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Poll: What is your favorite English-language accent?

a New England variety 4 (6%)
a Southern variety 2 (3%)
a Midwestern variety 2 (3%)
a Canadian variety 11 (16%)
a UK variety 36 (54%)
an Australian variety 4 (6%)
a non-native English-speaking variety 2 (3%)
other 6 (9%)
   Discussion: What is your favorite English-language accent?
Gordondon son of Ethelred · 13 years, 5 months ago
I meant to vote for Aussie and I voted for UK.

UK is too broad a category, It includes English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh. They are all different. Different parts of England vary greatly.

I'm not too upset with my choice, I like all of the accents from the British Isles.

One favorite that isn't listed is from the English Speaking Caribbean. I love the sound of Jamaican. Bob Marley's poetry comes straight out of that accent.

renita Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
that's why the option is "a UK variety" . the poll gives a general region, and implies that there's more than one variety within that region. It's up to the pollee to fill in which of the varieties within the UK apply.

;)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
But the thing is the different UK accents aren't that close to each other as they are based on the populations that initially spoke different languages. It isn't the same as in the US and Canada where the different accents flow smoothly from one to another.
renita Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
But they are still varieties of English within a small-ish region and not all of the accents are based on the differences of the original language of that area. The difference between the London accent and one of the outlying areas, for instance.

In the US the Mid-West accent is HEAVILY influenced by the Dutch settlers, and that's a more recent integration of languages than exists in the UK today.

I would also argue that a Boston accent and a southern accent are as different from each other as any of the Brotish dialects
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
"I would also argue that a Boston accent and a southern accent are as different from each other as any of the Brotish dialects"

Perhas they are as different but they merited their own answer choices. Lumping Dublin with London is like lumping Mobile with Boston.
renita Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
eep! you're right, i didn't notice that the different regions in the US got different answer categories.

hrm, i suppose you could make the same argument for the Canadian choices... i guess it is a US biased poll, but i still like it :D
A girl named Becca Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Yup. Definitely biased. Here I am, stupid American.

Thought process was: most of the people who will be replying live in the U.S., and I was expecting most respondents to have the strongest feelings about accents close to them geographically. Clearly, I was wrong about that - would have apparently made more sense to lump the whole U.S. together and break up the UK more. Maybe someone should do another poll about just UK accents. :)
Andrea Krause Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Yeah I'm not fond of US accents. It's the UK ones that do me in. Scottish and English, particularly. *swoooooooon*. Someone could look like utter crap and if he/she speaks with a british accent, I am in lub. :)
Phoenix · 13 years, 5 months ago
Dwd?

So that's not very distinguished. I mean there's a difference between a Scottish, a Yorkshire (Whee. Kate Rusby. Swoon.) and a London accent ;)
A girl named Becca Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
I know, I didn't like it either, but if I separated Scottish, Irish, London, etc., then I'd have felt bad about not separating the Canadian accents by region, and then I would have felt like I should divide "non-native" accents by continent, at least, but really an Indian accent is so different from a Chinese one...etc.

Had to draw the line somewhere. I figured anyone who wanted to be more specific could comment. :)
Phoenix Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
True :)

There are different Canadian accents? Oh. I admit I can't really distinguish Canadian from U.S. accents (*ducks*) and I have only been to Toronto until now...

When I was a 12yo boy learning English I found it totally cool to sound British - that's why I still have more of an UK than German accent. Let's wait how this will develop while living in the U.S.
renita Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Reinhard!

that's like saying there're no different German accents ;)

of course we all know that the German spoken in Hannover is EXACTLY the same as that spoken in Schwabia ;)

bwahahahaha.
Phoenix Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
*points to icon*

I knew I was looking for "trouble"...

Btw I find it totally adorable that you consistently spell Wels(c)h the denglish way ;)
renita Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
hee :)

oy. yah, i do that ALL over the place still, it's the one denglish thing that still plagues me.
A girl named Becca Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Dude, everyone knows they don't really speak German in Schwabia.
;)
Samantha · 13 years, 5 months ago
I'm really into Irish/Scottish. English is hot, too. Strangely enough, I also like Indian and Spanish as well. i.e: Billy Boyd, Colin Firth, Antonio Banderas [especially, see Evita], the grad student I work with from India.. I could listen to any one of them reading me the phone book.
Yvonne · 13 years, 5 months ago
I'm Canadian but I'm gonna vote for a New York accent. ;)

Also, Newfoundland needs its own category. (No, we don't all pronounce "about" the same way.) :P
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
I'm always amused when someone likes my New York accent. Someone once told me that it sounds "intelligent." I think it just sounds like someone talking.
Andrea Krause Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
I never really noticed you to have a very new york accent. But i probably don't hear you enough. :)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
I think that's because you live close enough to the city that it isn't exotic to you. I remember being out in Thunder Bay Ontario for one day and twice people being so stunned by the accent that they had to comment on it.
Andrea Krause Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Hehehe...yes, I live close enough where it is just called The City. :)
nate... Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
see, I'm half and half... depending on who says it, and the context...... I can either think boston or nyc.

they're both "the city". :)

Kris 'engaged' Bedient Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
that's the same problem I have with NYC and Philly.
Yvonne Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
I think New York accents are hawtt. ;)
renita Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Newfoundland has its own way of talking for sure, but that's different from the "oot and aboot" that canadians are often teased about.

That is an effect called "Canadian Raising" only Canadians do it, and it's most obvious in certain areas of Ontario. I can't remember the centre of it, but i think it's a "valley" named region.

However, I've analyzed my speech and the spectrogram and yes, there is evidence of slight Canadian raising. We also spent an entire class looking at many different people's spectrograms and they all raised slightly.

in most of canada it's more of an /^ut/ sound not an /aut/. IT's never a monopthong like "oot" is, or like we're teased, it's still a dipthong.

Newfoundland does have some raising, but it's slightly different, this is an effect of all the British/Scottish/Irish influence with only a slight tempering of French as contrasted with the rest of Canada which also had a strong Eastern European influence and a stronger French influence.

Very simplified. and rambly. sorry.
dirty life & times Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
talk linguistics to me, baby ;)
renita Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
how about some vowel re-LAXING ? or are you a little tense. can i rub your geminate?
Yvonne Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Oh cool, I didn't know about that. Of course I do it and don't even realise it, it would be neat to be able to analyse my own speech sometime. I can hear that New York accents are different from mine but couldn't really say -how- mine is different, it's weird that way.

Do you think there is a specific Torontonian accent? I've been accused of having one. ;)

Valley region...I actually don't have any clue. :S
renita Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
it might be the ottawa valley, but i'd have to check my notes, of course, i can't find the notes from that lecture :p

and yah, there is a bit of a toronto accent, though not everyone i know from the area has it, but of those that do, it surfaces mostly in banana and toronto /ta-rah-nah/ erm, which is not a phonetic transcription, but just an attempt to generally express the idea.
hkath Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
It probably is the Ottawa valley. I can always tell which celebrities are from Ottawa by the way they talk. Specifically, Norm MacDonald and Dan Aykroyd have very distinctive Ottawa-area accents.

I, on the other hand, don't so much, or I think someone would have mentioned it by now.
Rachel Marie aka RAI Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
You wanna talk vowel shifting? Live in Rochester (r-tSE-str) ((crappy romanized IPA)) for a couple of years! That's some awesome vowel shifting there! Plus the nasality of the accent is amazing. It's kind of funny... the other accent I know of that is that nasally is the Philly accent, except we don't have the same front vowels Rochestarians do, so our nasality sounds completely different.

</really big phonetics nerd>

Really, though, my favorite accent is the Newfoundland accent... I'm biased, but you have to admit, that is one of the most distinct accents in North America. It's very old Irish, and I've heard claims that it's the most like Shakespearian English in its dialect, gramma structure and pronunciation.

The other accent that just drives me bananas is that of the southern Appalacians. You can't understand a word they're saying! It's amazing 'cause it's English, yet you can't understand a word of it! And it's in the US!

...And what about Jamacian? You totally forgot English accents of the Carribean!

...

*stops obsessing now*
A girl named Becca Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
I didn't forget - that's what "other" is for!
Phoenix Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
You can't understand a word they're saying!

That's the same with German and Schwabia "accent" as mentioned by Becca and Renita before.

I understood more when I was in Glasgow than in rural Schwabia ...
nate... Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
See, I didn't know there WAS a new york accent.

a long island accent, sure... but.... not new york in general.....

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Just think any cab driver in an old film about the city. In any new film he'd have a Pakastani accent. The exaggerated version is to say "New Yawker." It is actually similar to the Bahston accent we both get rid of the letter "r." We drop the "r" at the ends of words, "sista" brotha" and add them where they don't belong, "idear."
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
After writing that I did some online research and found a great article on the way New Yorkers speak. As anyone who has met me will recognize it describes me to a tee. It seems that I'm the platonic ideal of a New York Jew of Eastern European decent
nate... · 13 years, 5 months ago
Because I love english and irish accents.... but..... I think my favorite is actually zimbabwe..... and/or other similar african accents.

Brian Dinsky · 13 years, 5 months ago

If anyone claims to like the Boston accent, even as a joke, you'd be going too far. Way too far, in fact. I'll find you, throw you into the Buahstin Hahbuh, and not provide a towel.

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
I love the Boston Accent. Of course I was a kid during the Kennedys administration. I used to feign a Bahston accent very well and would try to pass myself off as a Bahstonian. I was very dissapointed that I couldn't Pahk My Cah at Hahvahd Yahd and had to pay a garage when I went to Club Passim.
renita · 13 years, 5 months ago
I voted other because I adore the New Zealand accent.

I'm also very fond of Welsch.

Also, kudos to Becca for allowing more options within categories :) and for using the term variety. \o/
A girl named Becca Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Hee. Thanks. I do what I can.
:)
Gordondon son of Ethelred · 13 years, 5 months ago
In Colossus: The Forbin Project (one one the most unexpectedly good book I've ever read) Colossus,the American super-computer that takes over the world, gives itself the power of speech. When it does it surprises everyone by speaking with an English accent. When asked it said something to the effect that if it is going to speak English it is going to speak it correctly. That whole idea was ruined in the film where it spoke with a stereotyped mechanical voice.
Phoenix Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
if it is going to speak English it is going to speak it correctly.

*giggle*

Quoth Winston Churchill: The English and Americans might have a lot in common but not the language. :)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Or as G.B. Shaw put it:
Two nations divided by a common language.


Any other Shaw fans here?
Rachel Marie aka RAI Back · 13 years, 5 months ago
Or, quoth Eddie Izzard: "You say 'erbs' and we say 'herbs' because... there's a f*cking H in it!"

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