The accents thread

STN

sou'wester
I don't have a strong accent, though I daresay one could tell I'm from the South East of England.

You?
 

zhao

there are no accidents
there are a few words in english which betray my chinese origins: Row, for example, i sometimes have a hard time distinguishing in my pronunciation from Roll. doesnt help that in chinese a similar sound, Ro, means meat.

im starting to slowly, very slowly, learn german. people tell me i sound like a surfer.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Identifiably north london / hertfordshire but obviously most people would just put it down as "southern".

I can spot people who come from where I grew up by their voices. Lisa Snowdon on strictly come dancing was a recent one.
 

jenks

thread death
Purest Estuary - free and three pronounced the same, glottal stops in butter etc.

This despite the fact my mum was RP (grew up in N London in a home run by nuns who beat it into her) and a dad who was born in the NE. My sister has a rural Herts accent.

I teach stuff about accents and it is always amazingly inflamatory. Very strong opinions and also a very negative self image - i.e. that they don't speak 'correctly'. I spend quite a lot of time showing them that all accents have a patterning and system and that the rise of RP is as much a cultural accident as anything else. Trudgill reckons only 3-5% of the population speak it, yet what power those 3-5% have!
 

mos dan

fact music
I don't have a strong accent, though I daresay one could tell I'm from the South East of England.

You?
i am always caught out when transcribing interviews.. do i actually sound that posh, seriously??! ugh. state school in inner london m8. still i'm not going to apologise for being well spoken.

one funny dissensian twist on the accent issue is pirate radio: i know certain djs whose friends claim not to recognise them at all when they are doing their 'radio voice'.
 

STN

sou'wester
Identifiably north london / hertfordshire but obviously most people would just put it down as "southern".

I can spot people who come from where I grew up by their voices. Lisa Snowdon on strictly come dancing was a recent one.
As you know, I couldn't believe how similar you and Mr Trick sounded until he announced he was from your hometown. I have a friend from Watford, and I think her accent is most similar to mine of anyone I've met.
 

mos dan

fact music
Identifiably north london / hertfordshire but obviously most people would just put it down as "southern".
aha. now then. is there a discernible difference between north and south london? sorry, sahf london. i'd like to think there is.. i know a south london/croydon accent when i hear it, having lived most of my 27 years there, but what does a north london accent sound like? or an east london one? is there an east/west london accent?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I was born in Swindon but I certainly don't have any west-country in my accent, I think that my voice is generically southern except that I say the short "a" sound in path or glass (as opposed to "parth" or "glarse") if you know what I mean. I can only assume that I inherited it from my mancunian father or my mother who spent some time growing up in Nottingham. At school I was teased that that was a posh way of speaking (and I assumed that that was correct) but now I see that it was just different or northern inflected.
I remember that the second time I met you STN you said something about not being able to remember if I was from north or south from the previous time we met. I can only think that that slight discrepancy is the reason for that. Or else you just have a bad memory. I can't in all honesty think that anyone who spoke to me would think that my origins were anything other than somewhere down south.

"Purest Estuary - free and three pronounced the same"
Ha, after almost ten years in London I find myself doing that sometimes. In fact I think that in general I'm quite susceptible to talking like people I'm talking to - I'm glad I never spent a lot of time in the US or Australia or somewhere 'cause I think that there is a good chance that I might have picked up the accent.
In my football team there is a one guy who is a geordie who has a strongish accent (to me) but apparently when he first met the other guys in my team (at uni fifteen years ago or so) they literally could not understand what he was saying. When he goes back home he now gets called a southern poof because of how weak his accent is now.
One of the other guys in my team (with a fairly strong cockney accent) went on a driving holiday round Memphis and apparently people were amazed by the way he spoke. People kept begging him to say something in his own language and were generally unable to accept that English was his own language.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
aha. now then. is there a discernible difference between north and south london? sorry, sahf london. i'd like to think there is.. i know a south london/croydon accent when i hear it, having lived most of my 27 years there, but what does a north london accent sound like? or an east london one? is there an east/west london accent?
It's hard to describe but like you say there is a distinct south London thing - certainly some people talk in quite a "tight-throated" way if that makes sense?

North/East London is hard to draw a clear distinction, but there are certainly differences when you get out to Essex
 

mos dan

fact music
North/East London is hard to draw a clear distinction, but there are certainly differences when you get out to Essex
i used to love it when i was at uni, and my well-spoken gf at the time would get a phone call from one of her schoolfriends - from essex. i could tell who she was talking to immediately from the sudden, dramatic change into 'essexish' - and only being able to hear one side of the conversation made it all the more funny.

actually come to think of it, me and my sister used to play a game where we'd work out who our mum was talking to on the phone, based on the slight alterations in her accent:

random yorkshire twang ('path' not 'parth'): she's talking to an old friend from bradford, the phone will be tied up for hours.
slightly germanic undertones: some elderly continental relative, run away in case you have to be polite and talk to them.

and so on. apparently a slight tendency to mimic shows you have a 'good ear' and good social skills though. makes sense.
 

Tentative Andy

I'm in the Meal Deal
Mongrel accent - middle-class Glasgow but with more keelie undertones that come through at times, middle-class south London, and generic islander/north-west coast elements. I can't really judge my own accent accurately, but it always seems to me to sound 'flat', if that makes sense.
 

matt b

Indexing all opinion
Oxford accent (west country mixed w/ estuary English), mixed with short 'a's, like idlerich (living in north for 17 years).

Better half just thinks I sound generically 'posh'- confusing it with 'southern-' but then she's a mackem. First time I met her dad I literally couldn't understand a word, and I'd lived in Newcastle for 3 years.

Her sister is married to someone from the north of Scotland. His voice is still a complete mystery to me.

At their wedding his dad came up to me and commented that whilst my better half's dad was a lovely man, he couldn't understand a word due to his strong accent (well, I think that was what he said).

Oh how we laughed (prounounced 'laffed').
 

Pestario

tell your friends
Australian here but with weakened twang due to Philippina mother who speaks with a sort of Asian-American accent and also due to going to an American International school for 2 years in my early childhood. At one point my accent was almost fully American.

Since being in the UK people generally pick up that I'm foreign but don't immediately identify me as Aussie. A very camp American man even thought I was American (but it was in a loud pub and we were both drunk).

I'm slowly being Anglocised though. I prounounce my 't's in words like 'city' properly now, not like 'siddy'.
 
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martin

----
Total North West London accent, which I'm happy with. N/W/S/E London accents are completely different, I can't always tell, as you get all these out of town wankers trying to pass themselves off as cockney wide boys and it all becomes this monotonous stew. But in general, North London tends to be gut'n'bass, East London is more treble, South East London always made me think of someone on the brink of tears, South West London was barely audible and West London was soft and amiable, but with a really sharp tang.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Utterly generic, middle-class, Southern, basically received. Practically the most boring accent there is. Still, at least I don't sound Brummie.
 

Lichen

Well-known member
If you developed a nutty, made-up accent and spoke in it routinely at home to your kids, you could create a family accent. Subsequent generations of your family would be the only people to use it.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
If you developed a nutty, made-up accent and spoke in it routinely at home to your kids, you could create a family accent. Subsequent generations of your family would be the only people to use it.
Does Loyd Grossman have kids, do you reckon? He's practically got an accent all to himself.
 
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