11 Difficult English Accents

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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by missF »

I grew up between Inverness (named as the town where people speak the best queen’s English in the UK) and Aberdeen where the traditional dialect is the Doric. It was a strange combination to grow up with. But 30 years after I left and came to Edinburgh I still occasionally get asked if I’m from Inverness :D

The Doric Weather Forecast :
https://youtube.com/shorts/0lhOnmH-7N0
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Now here’s one for our American members. I’ve always been intrigued by an accent that you used to hear a lot in old movies, especially about gangs and prohibition. I haven’t heard it nearly so much in modern films or television. Basically, it substitutes OY for OR and ER when pronounced as “ER” before some consonants. TH tends to become T/D depending on whether it is voiced or not, and S sometimes sounds like SH.

So, “The kid’s first birthday in New Jersey” might sound like: “Da kid’s foysht boyt’day in Noo Joyzee”. (Apologies if that’s not accurate)

I think I’ve seen it referred to as “Noo Yoik”, and I’m unsure whether the origin of these pronunciations might be Irish, Italian or even Jewish? Can anyone shed light on it?
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by gwells »

i read a story a while ago about how movie dialects, especially back in the 30s-50s, were exaggerated to highlight dialects. what you're talking about is definitely a stylized NY/NJ accent. and traditional, standard american accents had some slight british edge to them (think Cary Grant, who everyone else was emulating, and who was, of course, actually british).
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

@missF Just for you…


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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

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Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Thu Aug 10, 2023 6:29 pm “The kid’s first birthday in New Jersey” might sound like: “Da kid’s foysht boyt’day in Noo Joyzee”. (Apologies if that’s not accurate)

I think I’ve seen it referred to as “Noo Yoik”, and I’m unsure whether the origin of these pronunciations might be Irish, Italian or even Jewish? Can anyone shed light on it?
We have a member on here called Viognier I don’t know how it’s supposed to be pronounced but I always read as though someone is saying vinegar in that exact same.
accent.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

@iain

VEE-O-NYÉ
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by jkbarnes »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Thu Aug 10, 2023 6:29 pm Now here’s one for our American members. I’ve always been intrigued by an accent that you used to hear a lot in old movies, especially about gangs and prohibition. I haven’t heard it nearly so much in modern films or television. Basically, it substitutes OY for OR and ER when pronounced as “ER” before some consonants. TH tends to become T/D depending on whether it is voiced or not, and S sometimes sounds like SH.

So, “The kid’s first birthday in New Jersey” might sound like: “Da kid’s foysht boyt’day in Noo Joyzee”. (Apologies if that’s not accurate)

I think I’ve seen it referred to as “Noo Yoik”, and I’m unsure whether the origin of these pronunciations might be Irish, Italian or even Jewish? Can anyone shed light on it?
That would be the stereotypical, exaggerated Brooklyn accent. Within NYC, one will find different accents across the 5 boroughs. The stereotypical Long Island accent is unique. And then across the river in New Jersey will be even more variations. I imagine they might all be indistinguishable to a foreigner. As for origins, I’m not too sure. I saw a video on it once and will go see if I can find it.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by jkbarnes »

gwells wrote: Thu Aug 10, 2023 6:56 pm and traditional, standard american accents had some slight british edge to them (think Cary Grant, who everyone else was emulating, and who was, of course, actually british).
Cary Grant’s accent was called the Mid-Atlantic accent and was developed by a linguist as the ideal way to speak English. It was promoted at east coast prep schools and was taught in many drama programs. Think of it as the American version of RP in the UK, to which it shares many similarities.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by jkbarnes »

This is a fantastic video on the origins of the various southern accents in the US.

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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by tikkathree »

missF wrote: Thu Aug 10, 2023 6:13 pm I grew up between Inverness (named as the town where people speak the best queen’s English in the UK) and Aberdeen where the traditional dialect is the Doric. It was a strange combination to grow up with. But 30 years after I left and came to Edinburgh I still occasionally get asked if I’m from Inverness :D

The Doric Weather Forecast :
https://youtube.com/shorts/0lhOnmH-7N0
Wheech! I worked in Inverness some years back and while attesting to the purity and clarity of the diction I learnt some new words of which wheech was one! It'd be true to admit to being scunnered for a while working it all out. My boss came from along the coast, possibly an Aberdonian, who'd regale me with tales about the young loons: perhaps Lindsay you'd have been a young loon in your teenage years?

https://youtu.be/OqhmMDtYR68
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

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tikkathree wrote: Thu Aug 10, 2023 9:08 pm who'd regale me with tales about the young loons: perhaps Lindsay you'd have been a young loon in your teenage years?
Nope! For loons=boys
I was a quine. I certainly fancied a few loons in my teenage years! Winchin was what ye did fan ye went aboot wi ain! :lol:
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by missF »

jkbarnes wrote: Thu Aug 10, 2023 8:33 pm Cary Grant’s accent was called the Mid-Atlantic accent and was developed by a linguist as the ideal way to speak English. It was promoted at east coast prep schools and was taught in many drama programs. Think of it as the American version of RP in the UK, to which it shares many similarities.
That’s interesting. I’d only heard of mid-Atlantic accent as the kind of lazy appropriation of a vague American accent that British singers often fall into. I think maybe that’s misusing the term
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by Gar787 »

I live in north-west England. Possibly the most peculiar accents are here. If you threw a forty mile diameter circle over my area, on the Wirral, the diversity (and incomprehensibility) of the accents are bizarre. From Liverpool scouse, which varies hugely, to North Wales (and a completely different language) before you get to Wigan, Chester, St.Helens, Preston, Shropshire then the various boroughs of Manchester itself. I’m not sure that anywhere in the UK is so diverse in such a small area.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by iain »

Gar787 wrote: Thu Aug 10, 2023 11:08 pm I live in north-west England. Possibly the most peculiar accents are here. If you threw a forty mile diameter circle over my area, on the Wirral, the diversity (and incomprehensibility) of the accents are bizarre. From Liverpool scouse, which varies hugely, to North Wales (and a completely different language) before you get to Wigan, Chester, St.Helens, Preston, Shropshire then the various boroughs of Manchester itself. I’m not sure that anywhere in the UK is so diverse in such a small area.
Coming from the same neck of the woods originally I would agree there is a lot of variety. However I’d argue that you need to be very familiar with an accent to pick out local varieties.

While I can pick out from a mile away someone from Bootle compared to someone from Runcorn, someone from a different place might think they all sound the same.

I talked earlier in this thread about confusing Americans with Canadians. Whereas Drew regularly talks about his wife’s Massachusetts accent and how it’s very different from others from Massachusetts, he can make it sound like it’s a world away from his. To be fair I can spot a Deep South accent but to me many American accents are just American accents.

I have friends from the north east which to my ear is just a north east accent, but they can quickly tell their Geordies from the Smoggies and the Mackems. (Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland)

Maybe it’s just me.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

@iain Correct. Micro-dialects are very common. It wasn’t a part of linguistics that I got very far into at university. Basically it’s a branch of dialectology and sociolinguistics.

Unless you have studied them or you have a particularly nuanced ear, people from broadly the same geographical area can sound very similar to an outsider. If you grew up in a region you will be much more attuned to it.

To the outsider, most people from the West Midlands sound vaguely “Brummie”, but locals can pick out people from Wolverhampton, Dudley, different parts of Birmingham, Coventry, Tamworth, Solihull and so on.
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