Julian Rhind-Tutt’s Norfolk

I’ve accidentally caught a couple of episodes on Radio 4 of Julian Rhind-Tutt reading some slightly sub-standard spoof ’tec novel set in Norfolk.  I could listen to him reading for hours; however, my pleasure was marred by his terrible Norfolk accent.  A shame, ’cos that unt difficult to get a bit of a twang roit.  So here are a few suggestions for improvement.

1. Approach it from London or Australia.  The width of diphthongs and the use of the glottal stop are similar; East Anglians also go up slightly at the end of sentences, like the Aussies.  ‘Might’ becomes moi’.  (There are, of course, differences, e.g. ‘ow’ is ‘o’ rather than the ‘ah’ of London.)

2. There is no ‘r’ in Norfolk.  There is no rule more important than this!!  People from Oxfordshire and the West have nice ‘r’s, but no east coast accent does.  Once you realise that, your mouth opens in a slightly different way.  Dorset, for example, is pronounced by its natives ‘Drset’.  Norfolk is pronounced by its natives ‘Nawfuk.’  (Or, if you’re interested in chocolate, Gnawfolk.)

3.  ‘o’ is very often ‘oo’.  ‘So’ is ‘so’, ‘go’ is ‘goo’, ‘road’ is ‘rood’.

4. ‘Here’ and ‘hour’ are good words to get right, as they’re quite telling about others.  ‘Here’ is not pronounced ‘hear’ as in standard English, but ‘hair’, like ‘there’.  ‘Hour’ is pronounced ‘oar.’

Mr Rhoind-Tu’, if you get asked to dew more Norfolk stuff, Oi’d be heppy to give yew a bi’ a coochin’ oover a poin’ a bear.

Alternatively, there is a charming society for Norfolk speech, FOND.


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