Monday, July 23, 2007

On accents

FOR years and years the Young Wan had a Belfast accent despite living her whole life in Dublin. She had it even through the first years at school and slowly but surely little Dub things would creep in.

At one stage she even adopted one of the worst parts of Dublin accents and I say this without prejudice cos there are other Belfast collaqualisms and broad-accent on particular words she also adopted from time to time that also drove me nuts.

When she was really young she already understood the difference between how people speak in Belfast and Dublin and you could ask her to say things in Belfast and Dublin and she would, it was a great party piece.

I suppose I have little by little adapted my own lesser-Belfast accent. It has never been intentional, why would I want to lose my accent but maybe it isn't as strong as it was. And then I don't know, maybe I have adopted more Dublin sayings such as grand and the like than the accent. But there are some words that I had to change the way I say them or people just won't understand.

Dame as in Dame Street is one, Dorset as in Dorset Street is another. While our Dame to Dublin's Dame isn't that different, Dorset has an infliction on it that we [Belfast] don't use at all. When my Belfast mates first heard me pronounce it the way I have to they laughed their heads off and slagged me off saying I was a dirty Dub. (I know I have written about this before but I can't find it at all.) As Dorset Street is where Belfast drivers come into the city you say it a lot.

Then there are times when I hear my accent really strong, like on videos and I think Jaysus that is crazy. And then there are times when Red Mum is red-misty angry and apparently the accent comes out really strongly then.

Now the Young Wan's accent, I suppose, is kinda strange; a real mix. I don't really notice it anymore, except when she puts on something, then it jumps out at you. This can happen anytime but normally when she is on the phone to her pals.

So over the summer she is with her Nanny (Belfast accent) and when talking to the Young Wan on the phone everything was aye. She's gone all Belfast!

1 comment:

grimsaburger said...

Pitiful American here... I can imagine the difference on "Dame" but not on Dorset. Could you enlighten please?

Last summer I was in Ireland 6 weeks, the longest time in Belfast, and though I was literally exhausted by listening so closely all the time to understand what was being said to me (and dropping my own southern accent), I find I miss that accent so much more than the Dub I heard three months straight this spring... It may have something to do with constantly being called "luv" and hearing things described as "wee."