Friday, 7 August 2015

Places that make your heart 'ZIng'

Italians will sometimes ask me if we have dialects in Britain. They are used to not being able to understand dialects from other regions. From Friuli to Sicily there are many different dialects that are like separate languages.
In England we do have different pronunciation, for example in the north the word book sounds like 'booook' whereas in London it is more like 'buk'. In the west country, Somerset, Devon,
Cornwall, Dorset you might notice a different way of pronouncing words, like cider becomes 'zoider', but it's still spelt the same. As a child I often went to the West country, mainly Dorset and I left part of my heart there. Studland bay, Lulworth Cove, Corfe castle, filled my childhood with joy and fired my imagination.
The coast line is beautiful and interesting, the beaches soft and sandy, the cream teas delicious, the country lanes sheer delight, the history fascinating. In my mind the sun is always shining, the sea is twinkling and blue, the gulls are swooping and there are funny postcards to giggle over and sticks of rock to buy for friends. We also had a giggle over the quirky place names. How can you ask your way to Piddle valley or Happy Bottom with a straight face?
William Barnes (1801 - 1886) was called the Dorset poet and he wrote in the local dialect. His poems bounce along filled with the joys of nature and how much pleasure there was to be found in the country lanes of his home county.
When you read the poem.-
v is f
z is s

An' many times when I do vind
Things all go wrong, an' volk unkind
To zee the happy veeden herds
An' hear the zingen o' the birds,
Do soothe my sorrow more than words;
Vor I do zee that 'tis our sin
Do make one's soul so dark 'ithin,
When God would gi'e one zunsheen,

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