Wales 5

Listen to Wales 5, a 20-year-old man from Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.

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AGE: 20

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/06/1989

PLACE OF BIRTH: East Glamorgan, South Wales (but raised in Rhondda Cynon Taff)

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Caucasian

OCCUPATION: student at Trinity College in Wales

EDUCATION: theatre-production design student


When recorded, the subject was visiting Orange County, California, in the United States, for a semester as a foreign-exchange student. But he has not lived anywhere else except his native Wales. He is from Rhondda Cynon Taff, in South Wales.


Subject does not speak Welsh.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Eva  Dailey (under supervision of David Nevell)






Hello, I am from Rhondda Cynon Taff in a place called South Wales in Great Britain. Em, back at home there’s hardly anything else to do; like here you have all your shops and stuff, and it’s a bit insane and everything’s readily available, which makes me cry ’cause back home you have to travel quite far and wide to get what you want, especially if you want to get loads of little gadgets and stuff. You have to go to, eh, London or the Camden Market in order to get all the weird and wonderful things. Where I’m from it’s just a big, massive valley of terraced housing; it’s quite small; it’s not very big, and it just goes on for miles and miles and miles and miles, and if you’re not from there, you won’t have a clue where you’re from, but the good job is you know me now so you know where to find me, you know.

Em, a couple of years ago, when I was about 13, I started to doing a martial arts called Taekwondo, and I did that for five years until I was about 18, and I got my black belt and I was going for my second Dan [a martial arts ranking/grade], and I used to do like tons and tons of competitions in all over Wales and all over Britain, which got me addicted to fitness as well. And, eh, I recently as of yesterday went to the fitness hall here, which is absolutely amazing, and, em, I did two miles jogging, and I haven’t done any jogging for like two years, so I was quite happy, but today I’m in a lot of pain. I’ve been, eh, walking around and my whole side’s just absolutely killing me there, so I’m kind of I think I pushed myself a little too hard yesterday, ya know, but I don’t know what to say so.

As far a theatre goes, well, I’m not an actor, OK, and it’s five of us all together here; you have two of us are design-production students, and we cover everything from construction to props to designing to sound to lighting and stage managing: all everything to do with, ya know, backstage. I wouldn’t call myself a techie ’cause I’m not a techie at all. I’m more of a design and production theatrical practitioner; that’s what I like to call myself: somebody’s who’s always a little bit more free and loose compared to someone who’s called a techie, and I don’t come underneath that branch; if I had to, then I would, but not as a name for myself.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Eva Dailey (under supervision of David Nevell); emendations by Alex Richards

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/11/2009; emendations 08/07/2020





Some younger speakers will use glottalization for voiceless plosive sounds. They also tend to mumble and cluster some of their sentences when excited or talking fast. Also, the /ing/ sound is almost always dropped in younger speakers. Note that the tapped /r/ is not always used by the younger Welsh generation. Pitch is also used for emphasis.

1. Instead of the GenAm [oʊ] diphthong, the Welsh speaker uses a pure long [o] vowel. Examples: going, roll, boat, lonely, holy, coal

2. In GenAm we use the same long [e:] as the Welsh speaker most of the time. Be sure not to glide [eɪ] or [ɛɪ]. Examples: cable, waist, stable, lazy, gave, pavement

3. Unlike most English dialects the dark [ɫ] is turned into a light and clear [1]. Examples: well, sell, little, clear, plastic, cool

4. The short /a/ sound changes from a very front clear [æ] to a [ʌ], which is more of a back vowel sound. Examples: ban, plan, sandwich, chance, fan, lamp

5. The rounded back vowel [ɒ] for the following words are the same for both Welsh and American speakers. Examples: daughter, salt, wallet, call, bought, fault

6. Like most British speakers, the Welsh use the [ɒ] sound rather than the American open front vowel [a] in the following words. Examples: cob, snob, chocolate, fox, pocket, college

7. The [i] sounds at the ends of words are unusually bright in the Welsh dialect. And they may even have more duration then GenAm. Examples: fancy, duty, nativity, pretty, simply, happy

8. All triphthong vowels in Welsh have the energy that to an American speaker a [j] or [w] seems to be created in the middle of the glide. Examples: coward, lion, player, lawyer, flour, tired

9. Welsh uses no rhoticity like most British regional dialects when the /r/  follows a vowel. Examples: bird, purr, first, barnyard, meter, horse

10. However, when the /r/ is before the vowel it is often tapped or flapped [ɾ] To the American ear it sounds almost like rolling. This is especially obvious when the /r/ is following a consonant. Examples: really, frame, Sarah, price, fiery, rigid

11. Where American as well as many other dialects would use a schwa [ ə], Welsh speakers employ a maximum difference from one sound to the next. Examples: compensate, consequence, influence, possibility, vowels, to be

12. Unique to the Welsh dialect is it’s interesting use of plosives [p, t, k]. The plosive sounds are more aspirated and vigorous. Examples: city, cripple, butter, collect, shaked

COMMENTARY BY: Eva Dailey (under supervision of David Nevell)


The archive provides:

  • Recordings of accent/dialect speakers from the region you select.
  • Text of the speakers’ biographical details.
  • Scholarly commentary and analysis in some cases.
  • In most cases, an orthographic transcription of the speakers’ unscripted speech.  In a small number of cases, you will also find a narrow phonetic transcription of the sample (see Phonetic Transcriptions for a complete list).  The recordings average four minutes in length and feature both the reading of one of two standard passages, and some unscripted speech. The two passages are Comma Gets a Cure (currently our standard passage) and The Rainbow Passage (used in our earliest recordings).


For instructional materials or coaching in the accents and dialects represented here, please go to Other Dialect Services.


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