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23 September 2014
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Accent-uate the positive
Also on Voices
Attitudes towards accents
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Queens speech 'less posh'
Rise of Estuary English
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Estuary English

In Your Area
What do you think about your local accent?
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Did You Know?
95% of people in Northern Ireland think of themselves as having a moderately strong accent, compared to only 63% of people in the east of England.
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Your comments

Max from Poland.
English is my second language and I have never been so confused as I am now.In my opinion the diversity of English accents is just disturbing.When I read some articles about English dialects such as Estuary English or Brummie- I usually get annoyed. It is because I got used to both: General American and Received Pronunciations.I personally prefer American English- especially its pronunciation and spelling, what is important the most films I watch and the most artists I listen to; use Ameriacan English instead of British one.I know that everybody has its all rights and we live mainly in a democratic sociaties but every language has its own standard form and English is probably the only one were local accents started to play an important role, but I don`t like the local accents for five resons: 1. it`s hard to understand them- cockney is terrible! 2. they make people start to use incorrect English grammar 3. they make me feel confused and worried 4. they stop unity and create artificial borders 5. they make English a terrible language that is a language for no one.By the way,I like near- RP accents like Bob Geldof`s accent.

Asst.Prof.Dr.Pacapol Anurit, Bangkok, Thailand
I spent 12 years of my life on education in London. Now that I've come back to Thailand for good for about five years; most Brits I've come across are impressed with the London estuary accent I picked up estuary accent. It also amazes many Americans. So ... go f(o)rit mate!

haylee from south london
I lived in south london all my life but two years ago i moved to lincolnshire.Ive found if your not from lincs or havent got a accsent likethem then your not accsepted round there it took me a good six months to mae proper friends around there. I started a waitressing job in one of there local pubs and the other girls there made me to feel i shouldnt be there and wernt very nice all because i was from somewhere else. Of course i gave them a piece of my mind as us londoners no how to look after ourselves. Apparently us londoners think were better than them and we nick there houses how patetic im proud of where im from and i aint ganna change my accsent for no one in it lol.

Luke from Australia
I have Indonesian parents and I was born and lived in Australia all my life. Apparently I have an "Indonesian accent", even though some friends say I have an Aussie accent. When I went back to Indonesia people said I had a "western" accent. It's very confusing here. About 10% don't know what I'm talking about, and its these people who say I have an Indonesian accent (even though I wouldn't believe they knew what an Indonesian accent was).

Shiobhan from Essex
I grew up in Margate Kent but with my Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncle and Mother who were from the Isle of Skye and I spoke with that soft almost Irish accent that they had. Then I moved to Wiltshire for a couple of year at 6 and then eventually to London. Consequently I now have a totally mixed up accent. I find I pick up accents very quickly even those I dont like. Being half Irish and Scottish I would love to have a soft Edinburgh accent rather than this ugly Cockney - Essex accent that I now have developed.

Janette, Kent
I was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire but brought up from the age of 5 in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. Even though I have now lived 'down south' for over 20 years my accent has not gone. Having previously lived in Middlesex, Surrey, Essex, Hertfordshire and now Kent the locals still notice my accent and sometimes look at me strangely when I speak. When I go back to Yorkshire people say I now 'talk posh'. I don't feel I speak any differently but perhaps over time you adapt to where you live. It is really funny when people try to mimic me.

Kay from California
I have lived in SoCal for all of my 21 years. When I was 13, I went to Ohio to visit some relatives for about a month, and I almost couldn't stop laughing because of the accent there. Everyone seemed so sweet and quaint, even if they were acting snotty. Soon I figured out that I felt that way because of how people from the Midwest are portrayed in movies. They always seem cute and seldom play evil characters. Califonians, however usually come off as snobby, fake,and harsh. I personally think that it's hilarious how we Californians think that we have "no" accent. But also, what is amazing, are the different accents one hears within this state. In a way, it's almost like the "Microcosm" of UK English. In Cali, the Valley Girl, Surfer Dude, Mexifornian, Bland Newscaster, and Silicon Valley Hotshot and Midwest Transplant think this state is an "accent-free" area, but it's just not. Whenever anyone, in any part of the world, opens their mouth, they are instantly judged. Whether we like it or not, we are a species of stereotypes. Personally, I like a good Scots accent. Not necessarily the frequently incomprehensible thick Highland brogue, but perhaps Southwest. I have watched British TV and movies since I was little,have been to Scotland, England and Ireland, and I must say that I do not like RP at all. It's very dull,dismal,stuffy and unaffected(plus, it's easy to poke fun at!).Give me some friendly Welsh, Irish, or Scots any day! I suppose I'm guilty of stereotyping, too!

Emma Claughton originally from Leeds
I originally come from Leeds in West Yorkshire and speak with a West Yorkshire accent example: dropping my H's and Vowels and not being able to prounounce my R's properly etc. I have lived near York in North Yorkshire for the past 14 years and there is a difference in the Yorkshire accents, albeit a slight one. The North Yorkshire accent tends to be softer and gentler whereas the West Yorkshire accent is more broad Yorkshire like the Yorkshire Dales or Moors, maybe becasue it is closer to them than in North Yorkshire!!!

Rana from London
I'm from Queensland in Australia which has a pretty grating accent. I had lived there my whole life until coming London about 18months ago. I had spoken "proper" English and while working in Oz was often asked "how long it was since I came over here from England" (with no relatives being from outside Oz you can't blame that!!). And while living in London it seems I have adopted a quite strong English accent, or as my friends say "posh Rana" as there is no differentiation between the sound of my words and those of an inner-West Londoner (and even I, a foreigner, can note the regional dialects...even in London). I beleive that accents can be subconsciously changed in a very small amount of time- and even though there are some who fake it to make their lives easier, there are others, like myself, who just deal with it.

Eric from Ireland
Howeryis, yeah i like ah usah speaki oirish accenta bura thor if i spoke ina prapar accenta i.e. r(i)p id be berra undarstud.Bura i thank r(i)p is a dead accent sura. But then again speaking proper english in an rp stylie does give one a jolly good boost of confidence.

Vicky from Hebburn
i have a rather unique take on this argument, as from as far back as i remember, living in tyneside with very broad accents all around me, i persisted in continualy and persistantly speaking in what amounted to RP. this was an anomaly, because my mother and father were both tynesiders with incredibly broad accents. i do not have any idea why i speak the way i do, but it is is funny sometimes. people keep asking me where i'm from- hebburn, i tell them. no, origionaly, they ask!

sean from lurgan,ireland
i hate me irish accent, it sounds stupid,i'd love a welsh or a newcastle accent

Rachel from Bristol
I'm Brissle born and bred, but it wasn't until I started going for jobs outside the West that I realised my accent is so strong. People seem to struggle to understand me even when I am talking in what sounds to me like RP. However, even the blank looks are better than the times when people start talking slowly and clearly to me, using gestures and avoiding long words. When I'm not using my natural dialect, my grammar is better than theirs. So why do they assume I'm thick? I'm working on losing my accent as quickly as possible, because it's holding me back.

sam, rugeley
i live about 20 miles away from birmingham and everybody who I meet tells me that I sound like a brummy,i think its bcuz alot of my m8z use brummy pharses, bti sound more brummy than they do, lol!

Rory from Inverness
People from Inverness think they have a normal or nutural accents because they dont say ken or dinnae. "Whot, r,yu,onInitelike? Doween nufeen spechaal maaself! like! No Queens English is it EH?!! baad crack!!like! Ive been away from there for three years and its got one of the wierdest accents, I used to find a Western Isles accent bad but Inverness is worse now Im not used to the accent! The reason we dont say dinnae ken and other scots phrases is we used to speak Gaielic so we learned English off English soldgiers!

Nina from Germany
I am doing a lecture at uni about estuary english, that's why I got here to read your comments. apparently you are all very aware of accents & dialects, which I find surprising. Esp. I don't understand why almost everybody here is not quite in favour of EE. German people mostly don't mind if you have a slight accent, but there is a newsspeaker who lisps, which most people find absolutely annoying.

Chelsea from Liverpool
I was born in Canada and moved to Liverpool when I was 18 to go to university. It took 2 years to get the scouse accent mastered. I love going back to Canada and going up to people and pretending that I need directions. Everytime I say something the stare at me like I'm crazy, it's so fun!

Gary Ross from Edinburgh
While I have nothing against regional accents per se I don't like speaking the way I do, despite many people telling me that I am already very well spoken. I prefer the accentless way people from, for example, Surrey speak and I am taking elocution lessons to learn to lose my own accent and develop a regional accent free speech both for fun and for profit.

Mohammad Ali from Pakistan
I have R.P British accent and I learned it from the website. I did a job in call centre as a tele-marketer. I sold a lot of products on the phone. I think R.P British accent sounds trustworthy, understandable and assertive. Now, when ever I speak in a British accent, People usually ask , have I ever been to England. I speak in R.P British accent, but some times I do sound like Hugh Grant.

katie, Leeds
I was born in Liverpool but currently living in Leeds as I'm still at uni. Being a scouser is something that I've been very concious of. When people here you are from Liverpool they suddenly have to become all very sympathetic towards you and often do not take you very seriously at all because of the way one speaks as opposed to some one speaking the 'Queens English'. I think accents should be celebrated. People should not worry that recieved pronounciation is dying out or that the bbc are apparently dumbing down t.v just because we no longer have every presenter talking as though they have plums in thier mouth. Accents are part and parcel of British life. People must start to accept this diversity, when they do maybe the old north/south divide will be no more....

emma reed warrington
im natvily scouce but living in warrington so long i picked up the accent i love the liverpool accent and hate the warrington is ther any thing i can do to get my native accent back.

Karen from Edmonton
I constantly get asked if I am from Wales because of my Welsh accent however I have never lived anywhere outside of Canada. My ancestors on my mother's side hail from Wales which intrigues me so maybe it is an accent that has been carried through the generatios. Quite interesting I think.

little me, north notts
Im proud of my roots, dialect and accent,east mids isnt considered to have a strong distinct accent there is quite a diferent dialects eg (ey up=hi, cob=bread roll) my dad spent the first 15 years of his life in middleton Leeds and the last 32 here in notts and still has a strong yorkshire accent, i do tend to say the odd yorkshire word eg. young un! lol I think east mids accent and cultre is overlooked. my aunt has lived in yorkshire, nottinghamshire and kent equally wen goin 2 her current home she sounds completely southern 2 me whereas her husband says she speaks like me?! people who "develope" a different accent after a year away are clearly faking it. my friends mum is from london and tells me friend to talk properly 2 which my friends puts on a southern accent then speaks different with other ppl.This is pure snobbery southern accents are no posher than northern ones and there is no right or wrong way to speak its wt ur brought up with not something to hide. "Alr8 young un's stop kiddin ya'sens wi' accents n go 'ome!"

Chris from Winnipeg, Canada
Canada is a young, highly urbanized country so we don't seem to have strongly divergent regional accents, although they do exist. Winnipeg has a sing-songy accent with rising intonation, as if everything we say is a question. A friend from Toronto told me that Winnipegers sound to her like hicks, which makes sense because she sounds awfully posh to me. My cousin from Berkshire thinks I sound Irish, which is a frequent comment from you English. Maritimers, especially Newfoundlanders, sound to my ears like Brad Pitt's character in the movie Snatch. I find people from Vancouver and Toronto sound posh, or at least 'Canadian posh' if such a thing exists. Our aboriginal population also have their own distinctive accent and dialect that is utterly bizarre but they tend to speak rather slowly so they are easy to understand. Winnipeg also has a sizable French population but their accent is quite different from, say, a Parisien's. We also have a tendency to speak very quickly. Nevertheless, our central Canadian accent must be somewhat pleasant because Winnipeg has more call-centres than any city in North America. I am generally conscious of my accent only when I'm with friends or drinking, when it becomes very pronounced.

alex from mexico
since i was a child i've got to learn English, and the little i know, is American english, which i believe is the worst. Everytime i hear speaking to Mr. Bush is like looking to a cowboy dressed up as a president "" yet you can hear someone from New York or Boston and is totally different. I can distinguish clearly between English and American accent, but then we have australian that a texan guy trying to pronunctiate brit? and then scot..lord! yeah! lord of the rings...when someone asks me "so how is the scottish one" i say "just watch lord of the rings".It is so amazing how accent change, who decided how to began a new accent? how did it pop out? People from Argentina pronounce de "y" as "sh" and in the rest of latin america and spain we just pronounce it as in "yes"..but who was the argentinian guy who had the idea to pronounce it as a "sh" sound, or in spain the "z" and "ci,ce" sound as "th" "thinthinati" or "thoo(zoo)", how come we didnt continue that pronc. here in the new world? It'd be interesting some kind of study and find out how and why accents change, why isnt the same?

Arvind from India
Hi all my name is Arvind from India, i like to improve my English the language that i love a lot. All together i say Indian English is Clear and neutral accent.

Emily from Tasmania
It's fascinating to read about all the confusion just within Britain about accents. I was born in Tasmania and speak with an 'upper class' accent - not quite RP, but what is called 'cultivated' here. Most people (including English people) assume I'm English. I take that as a compliment - better than being thought too 'posh', I suppose - and certainly better than the awful 'Strine' I hear on the telly.

Theo from Portsmouth (orginally from Burma)
I am a Burmese and lived there for 19 years till before I left for England to go uni here in Portsmouth where I picked up a strong southern English accent. Having had American teachers back there, I used to have a rather amusing way of saying things like "tomae-to" for a "tomaH-to" which has disappeared now. Personally, I do prefer the RP ("posh" you might say it) accent as it's clear and easy to understand. I myself speak a strong southern-influenced PR mostly, common sometimes and some Singaporean/Malaysian English often as I live with some Malaysian peeps!

Martin, Bolton
I was born and raised in Bolton (north of Manchester) where i developed a strong bolton accent (like Peter Kay the comedian). At the age of about eight me and my family moved to an area (Egerton) where the Boltonian accent wasn't used. There i lost the accent and now talk without much hint of regional accent at all.

Madeline, Suffolk
For a school project i have been investigation how the use of an accent changes between different age groups. I've found many people that alter their accents depending on who they're talking to, i also found that i do the same quite alot. Having lived in Suffolk all my life, and being the offspring of a Suffolk hay trusser, i should theoretically speak Broad Suffolk. I am quite ashamed to say that the only time i do speak with a Suffolk accent is when the majority of people around me are doing the same. With my friends i will speak a mixture of estuary english and standard english like nearly every student in the school, but with my parents the laziness is taken out of my speech. I don't make the alterations to my speeh consciously but i know that i do it. I hate that you would probably be able to count the Suffolk speakers in my school on one hand but can't bring myself to speak it all the time. I think it's a real shame that regional accents are dying out but then i suppose it's one of the results of a modern lifestyle.

dale from stoke on trent
i am from stoke, i aint moved anywhere but loads of ppl i met say i dont sound like a stokie, how can this be, i dnt sound proper stoke, but people frm the north say i sound "post" how come?

aimee from east midlands
Ive been born and raised in mansfield,notts. When I go up north im told i speak "posh" but when im down south im told I sound "rough" and "stupid"! I have also been told that my accent is like sheffield-ish. I love the yorkshire accent and i think the people there are much nicer, the geordie accent is great to. the london and birmingham accents drive me mad though and liverpudlians accents are comical! I dont think its fair that east midlands/nottinghamshie people have a regional nickname and us nottingham/yorkshire people are underestimated I would say we are the "most fun" people in the UK!

ian holt from stockport
I have the misfortune of having a very unusual accent that seems to be a combination of Lancashire and Stockport,so it seems to me that people with a 'proper' regional accent should count themselves lucky.Even local people can't understand me sometimes,for example the way I say the word 'fourteen' makes people think I'm from Darwen or Colne or somewhere,wheras people who actually come from deepest Lancashire think I'm a Mancunian with a speech impediment.I don't even know how my accent came about,I've lived in Stockport all my life and the only Lancashire people I heard while growing up were my father's parents,who I didn't see often enough for them to have had an influence.Combined with my habitual use of local slang words like 'parky' and 'nowty' this means if I'm outside Stockport I have to really concentrate when I speak and struggle to make myself understood.I'd rather speak like a Brummie to be honest,and I don't think many people would say that. Oh,well...can't be 'elped a spose.

Nick P from Dorset
I won't say too much about the English accents I hate, as this just exposes my own prejudices, although I can't resist having a swipe at "refined" Northern English- think Alan Bennett or Molly Sugden in Are You Being Served, and you'll get the idea. Sounds to me like they're always having a winge. However what I really dislike is Europeans who have learnt English as a second language, (often very well it should be said), but who spoil it by adopting a false American accent, thinking it's clever. Oddly enough, although I'm quite good at mimicking accents, the one I can't do without sounding like Peter Sellers playing the Indian doctor is the Welsh accent. This is in spite of having a Welsh father who never lost his accent, and being surrounded by relatives from the Valleys when I was a child.

Jozef from Huddersfield
Born and bred yorkshire. I love my accent, sometimes to the extent that you find yourself emphasising it on holiday with your mates. However it gets to me that people sometimes see accents as a sign of uniteligence. I want to do medicine at university and my accent could sadly work against me.

Will from High Wycombe
Coming from the home counties I grew up with a pretty nondescript general southern/soft London accent (that somehow got construed as 'cockney' up at the local grammar school). I went to uni at Southampton and spent a fair amount of time around locals, which gradually had an effect on me after while, as when I was with my mates down the pub back in Wycombe for Christmas they thought it was hilarious that I'd said "That's clahhs in a glahhs" rather than "clarse in a glarse"! Suddenly my reputation went from Cockney wideboy to Farmer Giles in one fell swoop...

Jenny from Hampshire
I've lived on the Hampshire/Surrey border for all twenty years of my life and would say that I speak with a (modified) RP accent - many people when they meet me assume I come from quite an affluent 'county' background having heard the way I speak. However, due to having a father from Northern Ireland and a mother (originally) from Nottingham, I do find myself using a few of their dialectisms - 'int'it', for example. Furthermore, owing to a love of historical literature, I occasionally find myself using lexis and syntax that would perhaps now be viewed as obsolete, or at least a little out of place. However I embrace all of this; it all contributes to my own personal idiolect, which in turn is part of my identity as a person.

Sarah, north London
I have a softly spoken north London accent.. Often people ask if I have a horse or if "Daddy pays for my university fees." I suppose I am very well spoken and perhaps speak clear enough for people? I adore the London accent.. But sometimes can overuse the American language- probably because of too much Sky TV.

Steph, Newcastle
Born and bread in Newcastle. Most of the non- tyneside people i've met love the geordie accent whereas I hate it. Hearing it on TV makes me cringe as we (Geordies) sound so stupid. I tend to 'pick up' accents and sometimes drift off from my native accent. People who i have met abroad often ask where i'm from because they can't figure out the accent. Scottish accents, more so Glaswegian accents are my favourite. A good Midlands/Southern accent is good all the same.

Hannah, Nottingham
Born and bred in Norwich - but without a Norwich or the softer Norfolk accent. Therefore I sound a bit 'posh' when going back to Norwich - but as I live in teh East Mids, I do have a placeable 'southern' accent. The Norfolk dialect can be percieved to sound a bit 'thick' to outsiders, they think of country bumpkins! Because of my southern accent, I've been told in Nottingham, that there's no 'r' in glass!

Robin from Leiden, Netherlands
I was born in Lancashire but my folks moved to South Africa when I was a few weeks old and later moved to Wales. I have a slight northern twang (think bUs, brUsh etc) but otherwise no one can place me and I have often been picked on by northerners for being a southern softy. Others have suggested I went to a good school, or my folks have got lots of money.In fact I went to a dump of a Welsh nationalist school and my parents were not rich. I moved to Holland 4 years ago and sometimes speak English with Dutch grammar! My brother was born in Merseyside and grew up from 6 months old in Wales. He picked up what we call a Borders accent and now speaks like a southerner after living in Kent for 5 years. My sister moved to Australia 10 years ago and now has that sing-song accent that sounds like she's asking a question all the time. The Aussies think she's a kiwi, the kiwis think she's an Aussie and the Brits think she's an Aussie. I think accents are nice to listen to my favourires are brummy and cornish.

Laura from Hertfordshire
I was born and bred in Hertfordshire so had a sort of 'soft London' accent. I then spent four years in Scotland where people sometimes wouldn't understand me, I then moved to Australia and since then I have developed a 'posh' english voice. Since moving back to Herts I have kept the same voice and sound nothing like my friends and family but seem unable to change back!

kris from Essex
I love hearing Welsh and Irish accents, they are so much more musical than most English accents. In Essex my accent is considered modern RP and i always thought i had very little accent but at university in Wales everyone told me i sounded like a cockney barrow boy to them!!! I could never understand Rab c Nesbit, and i would say a thick glaswegian accent is the one i would least like to listen to. Birmingham accents always seem to make me laugh, and i love listening to a west country burr. I hate hearing Estuary english, but always enjoyed a more traditional London accent like my Nan had.

Coby from Bennekom (the Netherlands)
I simply love all the British accents! As a child I tried to learn as many Dutch accents as I could and when in 1994 I worked as an au pair in England I was fascinated by all of yours. Please don't deny your own accents! I have to say that for me, having lived in London, following an episode of Eastenders is much easier than an American film/movie. I'm not sure if that is due to the accent or because of all the unfamiliar expressions.

Mary from Ireland (Living in London
When I came to Uni in London, although most people immediatley knew I was Irish, others guessed I was from South Africa, Wales, and America. I don't know where this came from, as I have a very thick Dublin accent. I have found that speaking to some English people, I can be better understood if I lapse into the kind of accent heard on "Father Ted!" Similarly, I have to tone down to "Americanised neutral" to be understood by some of my fellow students from more far-flung locations. I love the diversity of the UK, which is why it was my number one choice for Uni!

Paul from Birmingham
I was born in Birmingham to Irish parents, and have lived there most of my life. However, in my teens I started to become interested in learning French and went on to study French at University - Nowadays however, People always seem to mistake me for being french - they would ask me "what part of France are you from?" to which I either lie (to keep life simple) and say "er, Paris!" OR try and explain to them that I'm actually a brummy and I don't know why I don't have a brummy accent! Even more confusing is when other people notice that I have an Irish accent and not a french one?! At least i'll always sound exotic!

Claire, Nottinghamshire
born in Norfolk, strong Swaffham accent aged 4,turned to Guyanese when our family moved to Sth America, turned back to Norfolk aged 6, turned to East Midlands aged 9,turned to Caymanyan! Children are like sponges, and are also subliminally programmed to 'fit in'. My accent now, after years of military service, and time spent all over Europe & England is bizarre. To my local East Midlanders it may sound unplaceable, to other English nationals it may sound East Midlands? I do hope not. SOME accents suit girls more, some suit boys, but, got to say, an East Midlands (especially the 'citified' Leicester & Nottingham accents) are really unattractive. I've heard alot of accents on my travels, and really do find this one not nice. On the whole though, accents facinate me, and for such a small spot on the globe, we do identify our many 'tribes' quite clearly to each other. To Americans however, we all sound 'Posh'!

Jay, New York
As a Brit living in New York, I'm constantly frustrated by people not understanding me. I'm often met with blank looks from my colleagues, even though I make a huge effort not to use any regional dialect. I'm from the East Midlands, but I've got one of those boring non-descript middle class accents with northern vowels - not RP but easy to understand (one would think). It's sometimes hard to believe that we actually speak the same language! One of the most annoying things has to be Telephone Voice Recognition Systems here in the US, which are calibrated with only American Accents. Recently, after several attempts to buy tickets to see 'The Killers' I was so frustrated I almost threw the phone out of the window - even my best fake American accent didn't work!

Meg, Tyneside
Where I work I am constantly hearing colleagues say that they "hate they way we talk up here" makes me so angry! Your accent is part of your history and is something to be proud of, not something you try to hide. I have a very broad northern accent, but that doesn't make me any less educated or more "common" than someone who doesn't. Be proud of your roots!

Louise from London
Listening to someone's accent and trying to work out where they are from (or have been) is one of the joys of the variety of life. I was told by a speech therapist that we often define our accent by the age of 18. Not the case for me and it seems for many who have posted here. I spent a year away mostly in Australia and acquired a little twang. It was only when I arrived in New Zealand that I could hear the difference between the accents. I was hopeless in the USA where I was waiting for someone to shout 'phoney!' at my impromptu americanisms. On returning to England new acquaitances were convinced I was from either australia or NZ and not England! I have trouble purposly imitating accents but to fit in I find I start picking up an accent if with a group of native speakers. My own (current) accent is 'plain' and not many people can identify it. I do hear changes depending on whom I am speaking to.

Robert from Australia
Oh and by the way, I think the emphasis some people put on the superiority of RP and "proper" English is hypocritical because RP has barely been going more than a couple hundred years and before that most people are said to have spoken in a rhotic accent in England. Those who complain about poor grammar and improper English treat it like it's got an unchanged lineage going back to Noah or something. I wish they'd get over themselves.

Robert from Australia
I was born here and have lived here so far for 28 years and people think I'm English (including several English people I've met over the years) which I think is actually because I got very ill and almost suffocated from what was a chest infection gone bad when I was 4 years old.... I had to re-learn how to co-ordinate speaking clearly and confidently but I ended up with an accent which I've since learnt is basically like Cambridgeshire meets Lincolnshire in a voice that alternates between a deadpan drone, a sort of airy lilting tone and something that sounds kind of whiny. Consequently my biggest problem is trying to sound sincere... ^_^

Zachary from Scarborough (Toronto)
I grew up with my family sourroundings from Possil Park, Glasgow, and I have always tended to speak like them and never with a Southern Canadian accent. When I'm with my Canadian friends, I tend to talk alot more like them, but not with anyone else. With anyone else, its near impossible to speak as if from Toronto. Living in Canada, people always ask me where I'm from (or if they can pinpoint my accent, they ask if I'm on holiday from Glasgow). When I say I was born in Toronto, they're always quite shocked and even amused. I sometimes dispise my ugly accent. There is virtually no interlegibility between a Torontonian accent and Glaswegian accent. Gonnaenodaethat!

Angela from Glasgow
I was born & lived in Norfolk until i was 18 but by this point my accent was already pretty mixed; i blame this on a) having Northern teachers b) having cockney friends and c) watching too many Australian soaps!! Now living in Glasgow people are often confused by my accent & almost no one can place it to Norfolk (or even East Anglia). I've had people asking if i'm Australian and others assuming i'm 'posh Scottish'! ;p I do tend to adopt peoples accents - not on purpose though! I just love different/regional accents, i find them fascinating & I think having so many regional accents/dialects is what makes us such a unique country. I'm proud of my messed up accent! :)

Matt Brown Essex
being fom essex my accent is quite strong.when i go up north to liverpool and manchester they always ask where im from in london.i suppose northerners cant tell the difference.

Chris Reaney from Nelson, S.Wales
Having been born and brought up in Sheffield for the first 19 years, I've lived the last 26 in the S. Wales valleys. As a result I've picked various idioms of 'Wenglish' over the years, and thoroughly confuse my family at home with expressions such as 'come by 'ere and have a cwtch'(!).

Lindsay, Lincolnshire
I was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire as were all my other siblings. I lived there til i was three and then we moved down to Lincolnshire.In lincolnshire there is such a strange mix of accents with about half saying grass and the other grarce!!!!! My Mum is from Lancashire(generally..she flitted about a bit as a kid) and my dad is from Swinton in Manchester. My dad has a funny way of changing his accent for work and at home but when we go to manchester and he talks to people he fits right in!Although i have lived for most of my life in Lincolnshire i feel a strong affinity with the north and think i seem to have a general northern accent. sometimes my friends will mock the way i say something such as 'ay up!' I visit places such as Bolton etc. alot and i hopefully am going to uni either in Preston or Lancaster.

James from Merseyside
I've lived in Merseyside all my life, but speak rather a mix between very mild scouse and very mild Lancashire, which I know is boring. I've always found it kind of interesting how some accents pronounce words/series of words differently. Examples include 'Bath' (barth just sounds wrong to be), 'Direction', 'Been' (to pronounce that 'bin' sounds wrong and irritating), 'Length' and 'Up'. Does anyone else think the same? But the accent that has had the greatest effect on me if certainly Yorkshire - I find it a hugely attractive voice to hear on a girl, and also very comforting to listen to. I think the accent suggests a nice and cheerful person and does not deserve the constant criticism and laughing it gets. It is certainly a strange thing how such a small country as England offers such a rich and wide variety of accents and variations within accents.

Keith Dawes from Nottingham
Local accents, dialects and RP etc are much like clothes, tastes in food, and music (both pop and serious) in that, over a period of time, they are subject to change, and eventually sound comical!

Hui Tongping from Shaanxi,PRC
I listen to the BBC World Service and enjoy the staff's voices.

Maggie, Brighton
Oh, the comments about RP make me chuckle. Why strive for RP? Have a look at Tony Harrison's "them & uz", and celebrate your regional twangs. Having circulated through the West Country, Wales and a spell in Australia, I've no idea what kind of an accent I've got. In my head it sounds a bit yokel-ly, on tape like the Queen Ma'am. Tis 'ansome, my bird, whatever 'tis!

Douglas Mortimer
I was born in Humberside, and believe I have an accent that is more like South Yorkshire then say the rest of southern Licolnshire. I believe that there is a mjor differance in accents between northern lincolnshire and southern lincolnshire. Southern licolnshire folk tend to speak like people from peterborough.

Lyndsey, Stockport
I live in Stockport, just outside Manchester. I've never thought I have a particular accent, just a mild nothern one I think. My sister is 15 and just yesterday criticised me for pronouncing "university" properly. I am no where near 'posh' but apparently because I pronounce my 't's properly, I have a posh accent!Partly that's down to my drama training because I've been taught to speak clearly but it's also because I think it's important to try and speak properly, it sounds so much better and I think it's much more attractive for employers. It's worrying that so many kids today just use text language (surely this affects their use of grammar in exams?) and that so many accents are losing their clarity through laziness.

Pamela Armstrong from Texas
My father was in the military. I was born in Indiana (yankee country), lived in France and Germany as a child and spoke both as well as American English. I studied German, French and Spanish in school. I have learned a smattering of Korean and Japanese from friends I have had over the years. I lived in Oklahoma, Wyoming, Iowa, Colorado, Arizona and now in Texas. My accent is a mish-mash of languages and regional dialects. Because we moved so often when I was a child, I learned very quickly to imitate the area accents to keep myself from "standing out" too much. Consequently, if you put me in a room with someone from another area, within an hour, I sound very similar to them. Within a day, my accent has changed completely and within a week I will sound as if I am from that region. It is very difficult for others to know where I am from, since I take on the characteristics of the area I am in. That ability has always helped me "fit in" with my new community. By the way, my siblings, who have not lived outside of the US, do not have the same ability, so I presume that it is a "learned" trait. It can be kind of fun to listen to the guesses from others as to where I am from!

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