How important is it to retain your dialect?

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    This is a blog I have transferred to shout Originally by Ageing Tart 🙂

     

    Hello everybody,

    Today an old blog came through in the feeds today from 2009 to my email and it was interesting as it covered the subject of Simon Cowel paying for Elecution training for Cheryl Cole. Apparently his feelings on the matter is such that Americans don’t understand our Cheryl so therefore her “Geordie dialect has to go.”

    Mmm.

    I realise its a sore subject as many people will see this as an infringement against her personality or her character.

    So how do we stand on the subject of strong dialects?

    I personally love them when in conversation and can understand most people irrespective of where they come from.

    I am not so sure though whether I appreciate a broad or non understandable dialect or style of speech when needing to talk in a business manner or deal with things professionally.  So this is the crux for me if I can understand you than having a dialect is fine –  but if I struggle to make out what you are saying than something needs to be addressed. I have the same line of thoughts when dealing with foreign language speakers working for  British companies or companies in Britain.

    Afterall how many times have you had to ask for a repeat of something thats just been said which may affect your phoneline or your internet service or Gas bill, sometimes it is so annoying having to ask for a repeat the person on the other end must find it daunting and rather trying to speak in a standardised form of English that all of us can understand. Most annoying if something has to be repeated more than twice say for example an important phone number that you simply must have but you can’t understand at all the person giving you it. Do you ring the enquiry line again and hope someone else handles the call?

    According to recent reports professional people who have foreign backgrounds who hope to work in Britain will be expected to take some written and oral tests to enable them to work here. This sounds fine in principal especially if you have to work with us Brits but we don’t necessarily make the same efforts ourselves when we opt to work a broad, the double standard stands out like a sore thumb.

    But what about our own vast array of dialects some so interesting they are like foreign languages. Indeed we have a joke book titled “Teach yourself Geordie,”  “The Geordie dictionary or Language Translator” and lastly the Geordie Passport”. I’m sure that your region could have similar especially if it is noted for having a broad and existing dialect.  Some people in the North East to protect the Dialect and the heritage of the North east want to be self governed. Who knows maybe they have got good cause.

    I always say that I’m a Northerner, I don’t say Geordie because my own dialect is that watered down it isn’t the sound of a true Geordie anymore even at its broadest it is just Northern.

    Important to the none retention of a Geordie  dialect is working experience with a broad area, for me it is Children, Students and having been involved with musical people all my life, so I hear a mix of everything. I also live in the city so city dialects are more cosmopolitan than those dialects in the regions particularly near mining communitites. Where even I would struggle to understand a real Geordie.

    Dialects are an odd thing they are part of your character  or personality and so much is written in defense of its retention, but is it really as valid an issue as some would have us believe?

    You know going way back into my own personal History my Old Singing Teacher used to say that “if you wanted a career in singing that you simply had no choice but to rid yourself of your dialect and work towards speaking with standard English.”  In fact many lessons on voice production were elecution subject based. Even my old Art Teacher in school used to say that “if you want to get on in the world you simply must speak Standard English”. Of course I am referring to education in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

    The most discerning commentary in my sixth form years came from the head of English he used to say “that if you intend working in a factory, don’t worry about how you speak, just pack biscuits, make cardboard, make components, pack sweets and don’t worry about such things as dialects.”Note no mention of anything remotely resemblant of a career.

    So school set the precident that how you speak would reflect where you worked and the importance of how you speak as how far in the world your career would travel.

    Today it is still just as strong the notion that a dialect which is too strong or broad is not good for any0ne wanting a career.

    What do you feel?

    Maureen
    Ageing tart

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