Have You Ever Wondered How British People Sound When They Speak?

English may be one of the hardest languages to speak, but I often find that it’s the accents of those who speak it that can make it even harder to understand despite being an English speaker myself.

British Flag - The Union Jack
Credit: en.wikipedia.org

Watch this humorous video and discover how people in different parts of  Great Britain speak. You may need to log onto my blog to view the video.

Sometimes, even the different words us British use to describe something when talking to each other can cause confusion. That’s a post for another day.

Do you ever have problems understanding accents?

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110 comments

  1. While I’m not originally from here, I live in mid-Wales and the accent here is very similar to some of south-west England’s counties, like Cornwall as the vowels are drawn out and the rhythm is very sing-songy. People tend to speak slowly, too. It’s totally unlike South or North Wales.

    1. I grew up in the town of Chepstow, and many people thought I had a West Country accent. We are now living back in South Wales (after 30 years) and I’m picking up the local accent very quickly.

  2. Hi Hugh! I enjoyed this video so much. I’ve always been pretty good at understanding different english accents. Here in the USA every state has a different accent and even within the states accents differ (eg. New York Italian accents, Cajun accent from Louisiana, Cuban accent in Miami, Amish accent in Pennsylvania . . . ) I’ve grown up listening to all sorts of accents. I do love the British accents though. 😉

    1. Hi, Vashti, apologies for the delay in response but we’ve just moved house!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video. I think she does a great job in doing the accents and I think the pictures of some famous stars also helped. Now we are living in the South Weast of Wales, I’m sure my accent will change again. 😀

      1. Yeah, I enjoyed it. I think she’d have to do a whole video for Aberdeen. They have their own language called Doric which even I struggle with. Fit?

  3. Truly fascinating! Come to the states and hear a huge variety of accents. I speak a little “Valley Girl” myself after being born and raised in southern California, like totally!! And to think my Texas cousins (whom I barely understand) think I talk proper, LOL!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour. There were a few accents she did not cover, but it just goes to show that we may be the same nationality yet sometimes we still can’t understand what each other is saying. We’ve even had a few brand new dramas on the BBC which got complained about because some parts of the UK had no idea what was being said.

  4. I totally loved the video! I have always wondered about the different accents and dialects of Great Britain. This lady really knew her stuff! Thank you. I am going to share this.

  5. Adorable video – thanks for posting! When I first went to London in the 1970s I couldn’t understand anyone!! People kept telling me to speak bloody English (instead of bloody American I guess).
    But the last time I went (2 years ago) I didn’t have any problems – I guess because I am addicted to British television shows.

    1. I think TV does help, although recently there has been a bit of an outcry here the UK because some of us Brits could not understand what was being said in some new BBC dramas. It all had something to do with the accents being spoken 😱

  6. That was well done though I suspect Lenny Henry was none too happy that his Dudley accent was missed as he won’t want it called Birmingham. In North Wales there’s quite a difference between the accents of Bangor and those of Caernarfon, which can cause a giggle especially if Max Boyce gets to grip with them.
    Hugs

  7. I absolutely loved this! English accents (from anywhere in GB) are my absolute favourite. I love shows like Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Outlander. Heck, even my first book takes place in Great Britain.

    1. Glad to hear that, Sandra. There are so many of them and when you include the English accents of those countries that also have English as their main language, then there are going to be hundreds of them. Until I watched the video I’d forgotten just how many there were.

      1. But I wasn’t as impressed with her Brummie… she slipped into Ozzie/S African a little too! !!! (Means nothing that I’m from there. .. I don’t have a brummie accent either! !!)

        1. Well you may not be able to shut me up. .. be warned…I wasn’t given my Little Miss Chatterbox mug for nothing…. 😂😂😂

  8. That was fun! My problem with accents is compounded when people speak too quickly. For example, younger generations in Canada (20’s-30’s) tend to speak rapidly and I often have to ask them to repeat their comment. Perhaps social media is behind this tendency, and I wonder whether this is common in other countries or just in Canada?

    1. Put it this way, Beverley, my niece can type as if she is on fast forward when she’s responding to friends on Facebook, Instagram, etc, so I think it may have something to do with social media. 😀 It’s almost as if there is so much to say and not enough time to say it. Which, reminds me, that I often have to ask her to interpret the text messages she sends to me because of the all the abbreviations she uses instead using the full words.

  9. Loved watching the video Hugh.. and she was one talented lady.. 🙂 Humour too.. 🙂 Now I am nearer Sheffield.. so speak a little of the Yorkshire, but more Derbyshire.. 🙂 mix.. 🙂 lol But I think I speak the Queens English. 🙂 Until I hear myself on a recording, then I ask who on earth is that? 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Sue. I only came across the video after leaving a comment on another blog about what languages we speak at home. It got me thinking about accents because I mentioned in my comments that I was Welsh and that I didn’t always understand the accents of other British people.
      I hate hearing myself speak. I’ve recorded a few VLOGS and always roll my eyes when playing them back.

  10. Hilarious! Loved all the accents. I enjoy British English – I miss my accent, lost it when I moved many many years ago.
    Now I have no idea of the accent I have when speaking English.

  11. Linguistics/language has always fascinated me, Hugh. Probably why I got a (minor) degree in it. Having lived in the Southern U.S. (there are all kinds of niche languages there; a lot of Scots-Irish influence in the mountains, where I used to live) and moved to the Midwest, there were definitely a few misunderstandings here and there. Like gradation misunderstandings to outright changes of meaning: for instance, “Hoosier” is not a term for someone from Indiana here. It’s more akin to “redneck” or “white trash.” Go figure. Also, people from this general area insert “r” in the middle of words: it’s not “wash the car.” It’s “waRsh the car.” There’s all kinds of other examples, too, but what bugs me the most is not pronouncing French names and accents in French. Why Saint “Lewis,” and not “Saint Louie”? Why not “Bon-ze-ley” (for the French surname Bonzelet)? Nope, gotta pronounce it Bonze-LET or people look at you funny. Oh, I could blather on for hours about accents and diction, but I don’t know UK ones as well as y’all who live there do, obviously. Fascinating, Hugh—thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m guessing that every country in the world will have different accents, Leigh. When travelling across the UK I sometimes have to stop myself from laughing because of a word somebody may say to me which means something different. It just goes to show how very different we all are regardless of all being the same nationality. We do tend to say French words how they are supposed to sound although that can be very difficult for people, like me, who can not speak any other language apart from English. I did try German, French and latin, but failed miserably.

  12. When I read most of the posts by UK authors, I’ll give them American accents in my head (that is until they throw in those extra dozen ‘u’s in their words reminding me that they are proper English). One of these days I am going to make it to the bloggers bash and my mind will be blown hearing you speak with your natural voice.

    I loved the accent tour. Very helpful.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. You comments remind me of a writing competition I entered where I was deducted marks because I used British words such as ‘motorway’ and ‘pavement.’ Didn’t seem very fair to me and I tend now to just stick the ones here in the UK.

  13. This was a hoot! As a Canadian who speaks in an Ottawa Valley twang (Google that fancy accent), I enjoyed listenin’ to the different accents very much. Thanks for the great start to me day 🙂

  14. Lovely! Thank you for posting. Its delightful to hear the differences. I wish I knew where my great-grandparents were from, because then I could listen to this again and imagine it was them speaking. ❤

      1. It would have to be the North East for me – I have spent years trying to understand exactly what Kim is saying. For example – when she is cold she is nithered and when she is cross she is stottin!

        1. I lived in the North East for seven year’s, Andrew. The one I remember most was “howay man! I’m putting me face on” – said to me if I disturbed my female flatmate while she was putting her make-up on.

        1. Ha ha! It’s just very gentle and rhythmic. The fact that I like it despite growing up just over the border in Gloucester speaks volumes!

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