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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The voice of Dr. Who

British Telecom has signed up former Dr. Who and Little Britain narrator, Tom Baker, to record 11,593 phrases, covering every single sound in the English language in each of their different contexts. The idea is that if somebody texts your landline, the reassuring voice of Tom will deliver the message to you.

Unfortunately, BT do not seem to have thought about Welsh language texts and in particular, Welsh place names. So if you text a friend to arrange to meet up in Rhayader, LlanfairPG ( Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch in non-text language!) or Ystalyfera they may well not turn up.
Comments:
I'm just dissapointed it's still synthetic computer woman at the mo
 
If you take all the dialects of English, then you will find that English incorporates almost all the sounds of human language.

English and Welsh (and Cornish) share two of the sounds that cause most trouble to non-native speakers - the voiced and unvoiced dental fricatives.

Perhaps someone would like to explain why it is that in English the consonant cluster -NB- is only present in place-names (eg, Banbury, Enborne, Granby, etc). I genuuinely do not know the answer.
 
Perhaps. I was working with what the BT Executive told Radio Wales. I certainly have never come across Ll and Ngh in English, but then I am not a linguist.
 
If they want to make Wellllllllsh noises they'll have to ask a Silurian or maybe an Ogron.
 
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