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National Dialect Day 2013 is celebrated in Devonshire

Now in its 5th year, National Dialect Day will be celebrated at the Barnfield Theatre in Exeter in 2013, with 3 days of talks, competitions, singing & drama
One of the most unique things about the UK is that your local dialect often defines your roots, right down to the region and city where you grew up. From Scouser to Geordie and Glaswegian to Cockney, there are hundreds of dialects to choose from and they are all celebrated each year on National Dialect Day. In 2013, National Dialect Day is actually a three-day event from Friday 18th through Sunday 20th October.

What is National Dialect Day?

National Dialect Day is being hosted by Devonshire in 2013, which itself has a beautiful slow-paced dialect. Tickets for all the events taking place throughout the weekend are £20.

This is the fifth such event and it was prompted by the alarming rate of “sameness” which is creeping across the country, particularly in Britain’s’ High Street shops. The organisers felt that decisions made by councils and corporate bodies are eroding the identity and character of each individual town or area. Their aim is to celebrate our differences in speech and language while preserving and encouraging local dialects to be used and appreciated.

includes competitions, entertainment, readings, talks and other activities focusing on our diverse national dialects. The events will all take place at the Barnfield Theatre in .

Visitors can win trophies and prizes with competitions including singing or performing a short piece in a distinctive dialect.

What’s on at the National Dialect Day Celebration

A quick rundown of the weekend’s events includes:

Friday 18th October, the first event of the weekend starts at 7:30pm with some fun entertainment including a fundraising concert called “Bits o’ Broad Devon”. The Master of Ceremonies is Tony Beard, well known on BBC Radio Devon as the “Wag from Widecombe” who will introduce the Dartmoor Pixies, Jim Causley, the Kelly Quarry Blasters, Bill Murray, Devonbird and Dave Denford.

This lively evening will end with a lighthearted singalong in the bar where you can play an instrument and sing in any dialect or style. Anything goes for this one, and it should be fun to listen as well joining in.

Gypsy dialects and sailors’ phrases

Saturday starts at 10:30am with a series of 30 minute talks on the use of dialects. No translations are offered, but topics will include Gypsy dialect words and traditions, sailors’ phrases and the Somerset dialect. Some examples will be played on old 78s records.

After lunch (not included in the ticket) there’s a Regional Author Competition. Registrants each have five minutes in the limelight to act, sing or perform a piece they have written themselves which should showcase a fine mixture of talent from all over the UK.

After 3:30pm the event continues in a similar vein with songs, drama and pieces written by someone other than the competitor. At 5pm winners’ awards will be announced before a break. At 7:30pm there is an evening of entertainment by visiting performers finishing once again with a merry sing-along.

Sunday starts with the screening of the topical TV film The Dartmoor Entertainers followed by two talks about dialects. After lunch there will be more competitions specifically by entrants performing in a Devonshire dialect and awards will follow.

For anyone fascinated by the English language, this great get-together is not to be missed, and if you have your own regional or Devonian dialect and want to show it off, there are plenty of opportunities at this fun event. Held in the heart of Exeter, it should certainly be a weekend of great hilarity and amusement, as well as being a highly educational cultural experience.

Do you like to hear different accents? Do you think they enhance TV dramas and films by representing different regions, or should they be dropped? We’d love to hear what you think, and do let us know what your favourite dialect is!

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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