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British Accents: Let's School the Yanks!

 
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CTLucyFan



Joined: 23 Apr 2012
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British Accents: Let's School the Yanks!Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:43 pm    Subject: British Accents: Let's School the Yanks! Reply with quote


Recently in another thread we got to talking about Lucy's "southern counties" accent. Subsequently, I got to thinking (always a dangerous state of affairs Wink ) about British accents in general, and to what extent we here in the U.S. have been exposed to them. Also found this snippet on h2g2.com (where I'd been rooting around following a link about speaking "brummie"):

"For such a small country, the United Kingdom has an incredible diversity of regional dialects, many specific to individual cities. Some of these are melodious and pleasing to the ear. Some are bizarre, some sound awkward and guttural, and some - to non-natives - seem completely incomprehensible."

So. How about some of the UK contingent teaching a few lessons on the various accents? However, let me throw down a little challenge: don't just mention the names or regions, but back it up with either: a) the name (or names) of well-known or celebrity figures--that would likely be known to us across the pond--who speak with that accent; or b) a hyperlink to an audio/video clip where we can hear it for ourselves.

What do you say? (BTW, still not sure I know what brummie sounds like even after reading that h2g2 article... Big Smile )
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Pigeon
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British Accents: Let's School the Yanks!Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:38 pm    Subject: British Accents: Let's School the Yanks! Reply with quote


The "specific to individual cities" thing is a bit overblown, it's technically true but population mobility and TV have homogenised things a lot so the pure individual-city accents are pretty rare these days... and it was only ever people from the region concerned who'd be likely to identify them so specifically anyway, people from elsewhere would be unlikely to locate them any more precisely than the region.

I'd guess that in terms of general regional accents, without the individual-city thing, UK accents are comparable in numbers to US ones... the difference being that the diversity occurs over a much smaller area, and the differences between accents tend to be greater - I may be wrong but I don't think the US has the equivalent of Glasgow or Geordie accents which are often labelled "incomprehensible" by outsiders but are spoken by a large number of people.

Celebrity/TV/film examples are not always the best since the accent tends to become toned down for nationwide public consumption, but it's a bit impractical to try and cite non-celebrity examples Smile

Anyway, here's a non-exhaustive list...

Geordie. From Newcastle-on-Tyne and the surrounding area in the north-east of England. Owes a lot to Norse. Ex: Cheryl Cole, Jimmy Nail, most of the characters in "Auf Wiedersehen Pet" ("pet" being a regional term of address for more or less any woman).

Glasgow - main industrial town of Scotland. Rab C Nesbitt, Billy Connoly.

Edinburgh - capital of Scotland - "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" Smile

Yorkshire - England's largest county - northern, but further south than Newcastle. Fair bit of variation within the region. "The Full Monty" (which means "going the whole way", "the whole deal" in anything, not just stripping) features (mostly put-on) accents representing the industrial south of the region, "All Creatures Great and Small" the rural north.

Lancashire - other side of the Pennines, which divide the western and eastern parts of northern England, from Yorkshire. Cilla Black.

Manchester - northern industrial conurbation - used to be part of Lancashire until county boundaries were reorganised. Christopher Eccleston, "Coronation Street".

Liverpool - once a major port city, now has the reputation as a place where if you park your car for five minutes you'll get back to it to find the wheels missing Hehe "Boys from the Black Stuff" was set there. Craig Charles. The accent is usually called "Scouse", the inhabitants "Scousers".


Some Scousers, yesterday

Brummie - from Birmingham and surrounding areas - people from the Black Country, to the west/south-west of Birmingham, get annoyed when you misidentify their accent as Brummie, and vice versa, but there's every excuse for doing it as they do sound pretty much the same. Noddy Holder, Ozzy Osbourne.

London. "EastEnders". "Only Fools and Horses".

"Posh"/"Upper class" - formally "RP" (standing for Received Pronunciation) - The Queen Smile

West Country - the peninsula in the south-west with Cornwall and Devon, and the counties around where it becomes the mainland. The stereotypical country-bumpkin farmer accent. The Wurzels, Phil off "Time Team".

Welsh - fair bit of difference between North and South Wales - the North is more pronounced, but most well-known examples seem to be from the South. Tom Jones. "Twin Town".

Scottish - lots of variants - Glasgow, Edinburgh (qv), plenty more, and more or less any TV programme set in Scotland will feature a "generic" version.

Northern Ireland - or "Norn Iron" as it is in its own accent. Natasha McElhone in "Ronin".

Ireland - not of course part of the UK, but it's an accent from a regional group of English speakers on this side of the Atlantic Smile Clannad, Enya Smile
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patriot



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British Accents: Let's School the Yanks!Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:58 am    Subject: British Accents: Let's School the Yanks! Reply with quote


Being from the black country, i'm in no position to talk about regional accents Tongue
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CTLucyFan



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British Accents: Let's School the Yanks!Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:31 pm    Subject: British Accents: Let's School the Yanks! Reply with quote


Pigeon, thanks for that. Whew. I'll have to nose around and find some clips of these people and give a listen. I blush to disclose that I'm familiar with far fewer of those than I probably should be... Smile

Most of my exposure to British accents, of course, is from the movies that have made it big here in the U.S. Just off the top of my head, Jude Law comes to mind, and thinking back to "Bend It Like Beckham" you've got Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Archie Panjabi, Frank Harper, Juliet Stevenson, all of which (to me) sound somewhat different. (Although I just noticed in IMDB that Archie is reported to have "a great ear for accents" so that does make me wonder how many of the accents are the actors' own.)

One distinctive facet of Lucy's accent was her pronunciation of "protest" (in one of the romantic comedies)...came out somewhere between "PRAY-test" and "PREE-test". Caught my ear straightaway!
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EVISU



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British Accents: Let's School the Yanks!Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:12 am    Subject: British Accents: Let's School the Yanks! Reply with quote


yorkshire ur right has many different 1s here 1 from youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB3ieNhEsDY

some funny 1s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7LgPvTYbw8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY4tD2Hbg_A&feature=related

but the movie KES is good for yorkshire accent aswell
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