The Welsh Accent

A recent thread concentrated on distinguishing Scottish and Irish accents. This reminded me of an OP I had once formulated but deleted without submitting:

What are the standardly accepted hallmarks of the Welsh accent? For some reason (perhaps related to the fact that I’ve heard ten times as many phony examples as genuine ones) I can’t seem to get my head around the peculiarities of the accent.

Listen at about a minute in. Jonathon Davies has quite a strong accent, but you can’t make it all out over the phone.

Quite a few Welsh here, too (including Davies).

I’m picking up softly trilled r, very rounded o (almost an oo), u in words like rugby almost pronounced “rigby”, a in Africa pronounced “efrica”, and a soft burbling cadence over all, not strongly inflected.

Did you know that thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can interview Tom Jones?

The stereotypical accent is a south Wales one, which is identifiable not necessarily by the pronunciation of individual words, but by a certain lyricism and often with a lilting feel.

There are marked differences between the accents of north and south Wales. It’s stronger in the north, mainly because more people there actually use Welsh as their first language.

There is no single Welsh accent. I wouldn’t say it’s “stronger” in the north. The Gogs or North Walians tend to have very soft sibilant “s” sounds, it’s an altogether softer accent than the more well known (and oft imitated) one in the South. I know Gogs who’ve been told “but you don’t sound Welsh”! As you say, until recently those in the north would have been far more likely to be mother tongue Welsh speakers too - perhaps the accents reflact the two different dialects of Welsh ?

In this clip (interview after the song) you’ve got a Welsh presenter with two singers who have lost/muted their accents somewhat. Similarly here again the male singer is from the north (about 30 seconds in).

For both though a “distortion” of vowels sounds is the main characteristic. “Here” becomes “hyur”, the word “well” can last for a few seconds and “isn’t it?” can be a never ending “isunaaaaaaa”. Cardiff has distinctive “a” sounds, Cardiff Arms Park becomes “carediff airms perk”. Then there can be little give aways like the inability to sound a “y” in words like “genuine” heard here after about a minute.

While the correlation is certainly true, I’d be hesitant to agree that it’s necessarily causation.

How bizarre - so far the only clips are of singers and rugby players !?!

Do none of you people watch Torchwood or listen to Aled Hadyn Jones on the Chris Moyles show?

There’s that old joke that a Cork man is a Welshman who learned to swim. If you think you know accents, try listening to Tommy Tiernan slag off Cork accents.*

  • Cork is in Ireland. This is not a clip of a Welsh accent.

Who are you asking ? THe OP wanted to know about

I doubt he listens to Radio 1. As for Torchwood, I’m only on season one but altho’ Ianto and Gwen (& her man) are Welsh I’m always surprised at how often the nasty alien things pick on the English residents of Cardiff :stuck_out_tongue:

I have no cite but was told that what the rest of us consider to be the Scouse/Merseyside accent is actually the North Welsh accent that has spread into some parts of N.England.

My experience is that North and South Welsh accents are entirely dissimmilar and IMHO probably have ccompletely different origins.

Not as far as I know. Scouse comes from the Irish. If anything, the influence is the other way, with Northern Wales being 80% displaced scousers :stuck_out_tongue:

Kizarvexius and anyone with an interest in accents from the UK should really help themselves to this excellent BBC site. It’s useful for dialect words and how accents and minority languages are perceived too.

On this page in Clip 1 the man is from the south and the ladies from the north, their accent in flatter somehow but just as musical, not that that makes sense.

double post sorry

No, no, you’re thinking of Birkenhead, the one-eyed city

My father’s first language was Welsh, and he’s retained an echo of his Llanelli accent. My paternal grandfather was from southern Wales, while my paternal grandmother is from north Wales. Their accents are distinct to me, but most other people say that they sound the same.

You can hear Welsh (as opposed to English with a Welsh accent) on BBC (click on the “Sain” link near the bottom right for a Real Media live feed). Welsh accents in English are much easier to classify if you listen carefully to the Welsh language itself, especially the vowels.

I must admit that I found it surprising myself but I have actually worked with a couple of blokes with what I regarded as broad scouse accents from N.Wales and they would get V.annoyed if you assumed that they were Liverpudlians.