Author Topic: The real difference between Birmingham and the Black country accent/Cannock etc  (Read 19481 times)

trapio

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In the 50 + years since leaving brum I've rarely heard a brum accent - it is distinct and immediately recognisable.  I recognised my primary teacher's voice having not heard it for 50+years - it is obviously brummie though I'd always thought of her as 'well spoken'.  My half bro is equally obviously brummie - I deliberately didn't say 'clearly' brummie as to me he speaks in a monologue - although he broadcast on the radio and tv in brum. 

I recall the Black Country accent as being definitely different as I had classmates with both...and so there was NO chance of mistaking either.
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frederick

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I think There are differant accent sounds of the Brummy accent depending on which part of Brum you are from, i noticed that down here wear i am living now.
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Steve

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I was brought up in Saltley, you could instantly recognise who was Black Country, West Brom, or Wolves no probs. Nowadays maybe due to hearing such as Trevor Macdonald in the media our accents have become less distinct.
 Folk go off to University and develop the "U" accent. When in the RN, on my ship there was a "Brummy Mess" in which there were around 30 Midlanders, mostly from Brum. You noticed that when they spoke to an Officer, or someone from another region their accent was modified, as I was conscious of doing also. In the mess we were all broad Brummies again. People from all counties did the same thing, and I guess you could say there was a sort of forces "U" accent going on.
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Phil

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Steve
 
You are talking about our telephone voice, which we all have. I know I have heard myself using one many times, especially when I was working and speaking to a new client.
 
Phil
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trapio

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This has produced some interesting comments, here's my pennuth:

My voice varies in tone pitch and usually wording, as do most (except monotone half bro) depending on both the topic and the person(s), not whether or not I'm on the phone.  I know this is so as I do video conference calls in which nobody has a phone or mic, and there may be up to 6 people in each of 3 or 4 places and so 3 (or 4) mics are live, one in each place.  Other members also sound the same ''live'' or alive in coffee/lunch break, again depending on both the topic and the person(s).

I used to speak deliberately clearly in the 70s for secretaries who would be typing from the Dictaphone.  I now speak similarly, and more slowly, with new lower level English students.

I used to enjoy ''doing accents'', especially with another person and of course to do many, the voice has to be pitched in a different range with different tones - the basic difference in accents (and obviously languages) is firstly the vowel sounds....

trapio
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wooo

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I think the reason people mistake the Brummy accent for the Black Country accent, is whenever an actor is supposed to be doing a Brummy Accent, they do a Black Country one, Actors don't seem able to do a Brummy acccent.
Yeah, the accents are always very exaggerated. But i wouldn't necessarily call them black country accents either, just accents made to sound dumb by over-pronouncing certain words.

wooo

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I came across this website not too long ago - it has some voice recordings of people from all over the country

Birmingham -
http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=021M-C0900X18603X-0400V1.xml
http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=021M-C0900X18508X-0200V1.xml
http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=021M-C0900X18546X-0700V1.xml

Areas around the Black Country -
http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=021M-C0900X18514X-0300V1.xml
http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=021M-C0900X18568X-1800V1.xml

there's another site as well with some on, I'll post another time

Phil

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Hi Wooo
 
Very interesting as I have said previously  being used to hearing the local accent all the time, we tend not to discern it. Though out of the three Birmingham accents recorded there I would have to say that the young lady from Rubery sounded more like the brummies I am used to hearing. Also I think that you would need to be hard of hearing not to note the difference between black country and brummie.
 
You know I think all this accent thing, has quite a lot to do with your family background and history and how your parents speak. When I returned from Scotland at five years of age after two years living there, I had such a broad Scottish accent that no one could understand me. I have no trace of that accent left now. Perhaps this is why I have no discernible brummie accent (or so I'm told).
 
Phil
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frederick

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Phil,
That has hapend to me after living in Wales for 27 years people still know i am form the Birmingham area but the accent has rounded off a bit.
 
Down here behind a drinks bar talking and listening to people i could here differant sounds and all from a small town of 9,800.
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Steve

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Thankyou Wooo,
                     I think you have solved one of my family mysteries. I posted the bonfire pic on the Nechells thread recently and we couldn't figure what it was all about. The other pic of a party in a back garden is off the same reel of film as it's the same size and carries the same serial number on the back.
 Listening to the Brummy accent of Aubrey Walton on the links you posted seem to have cracked it as he describes the street bonfires and parties that went on, on VE Day.
 I also recall my Mum saying they were dancing on the tables in the pubs that night.
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trapio

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Hello Woo,

Than you for the accent links. The telephone enquiries lady then in her 50s sounds ''clear classic brummie'' with the grammar and word stress that make it unique.

Fred & Phil say that their accents have changed (esp in childhood, as is normal) as they have moved, and this is true for me too.  Having spent most of adult life out of UK in over a dozen countries, and the last 10 years teaching English, my accent is from 'nowhere in  particular' but deliberately non-US as there are many very different ones (Georgia, New York, Texas etc) and locals find almost all US speech unclear.   Having spent time in Oz, I often say ''G'Day'' - it's the exact English for local ''Buen dia''...and has the bonus of confusing those yanks that believe they own Latin America ;D the Monroe Doctrine still alive and sickening South America & Caribbean  ::) .  'European' English accents are the easiest for non-native speakers to understand...and that is of course 'British English' usually very well spoken by Dutch, Germans, Danes and Scandinavians in particular.

There are those who move around yet whose accents scarcely change and their roots are very obvious.
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