Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Voicemail of a generation

Eeh by gum get dahn t’Leeds library an’ record thyssen fer future generations.

Leeds residents can record their unique take on the English language as a historic time capsule thanks to a series of events celebrating 21st century dialects.

The important voice bank is available for recordings from 5 – 16 January in the Exhibition Space at Leeds Central Library where people can read a set text or share their favourite words or phrases.

Leeds library and information service are joining forces with the British Library’s Evolving English project so residents can add their voices to the nationwide sound archive.

Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the people of Leeds to save their voices for posterity and provide a treasure trove of much-loved words, phrases and dialect representing our city and its people.”

Events exploring the development of the English language, in support of the project which is running throughout January, are set to take place at Leeds central library.

An Evolving English exhibition runs 5 until 27 January and includes material from Leeds City Council’s Yorkshire dialects collections featuring theatre playbills, maps and changes in place name spellings, words from different cultures in more common usage today and a translation of a 17th century play.

Doctor Barrie Rhodes from the Yorkshire Dialect Society will present a talk about the ‘The Origins and History of the Yorkshire Dialects’ on Friday 7 January at 1.30 pm.

Youngsters embarrassed by what their parents say or parents who don’t understand the words their children use should get along to Rhyming Relatives Poetry workshop with Craig Bradley on Saturday 8 January in the Exhibition Space from 1pm - 3pm.

Jonnie Robinson, curator of the exhibition Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices at the British Library in London (until 3 April 2011), will be discussing our language’s historical and cultural influences on Tuesday 11 January 6pm - 7pm.

A Massala English workshop will help people explore the diversity of the English language by recording their favourite words, expressions and phrases which have made their way into everyday English from other culture and languages in Exhibition Space Sunday 9 January from 1.30 - 3pm.

More details and information about how to get involved and more visit www.bl.uk/evolvingenglish or log on to www.leeds.gov.uk for information and opening times for Leeds Central Library.

Notes to editor:

Additional groups and workshop are supporting the events and exhibition are taking place with Holt Park Readers Group and Calverley Writers Group.


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer tel: 0113 247 8285, email: daniel.johnson1@leeds.gov.uk