Even though the United Kingdom and Ireland are roughly the size of the Great Lakes, the area’s regional accents are just as varied as those across the United States.
Dialect coach Andrew Jack recently explained and demonstrated different accents on BBC Radio 4. For people less familiar with the geography, however, we recommend a video from YouTube user Philip Barker that pairs Jack’s audio with an animation using Google Maps.
Received Pronunciation (RP) and Cockney, the first two accents Jack covers, will probably sound most familiar to American ears because of their frequent use in movies and television. RP is the “standard” British accent, while Cockney is associated with London’s East End neighbourhood.
The farther southwest you go, the more the British accents pick up the strong “r” that’s characteristic of the Irish brogue. The northern English accents are almost Scottish, with more pronounced glottal stops. Scottish Highland accents have a “poetic” quality that almost sounds Scandinavian.
Check it out:
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