11 Difficult English Accents

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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

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iain wrote: Fri Aug 11, 2023 6:05 am
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.
That is the case if I was solely referring to Scouse, which as you say, has many nuances. My point is about the very wide variety and their quite marked differences in such a small vicinity. They are so markedly different that it is worthy of note. I’m not sure if there is anywhere in the UK so diverse but I’m not certain. From the edge of West Yorkshire, to Bangor, North Wales, up to Lancaster and almost down to Stoke
There are some very strong a hugely differing accents here. I always find the tighter area around Manchester notable for many differing accents especially when you head north through Oldham, Salford, Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale,St.Helens, Preston, Burnley, Blackburn and on to, say Clitheroe. Widely differing in a very close proximity. I wonder why?
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

@Gar787 as I mentioned earlier, Phil, there are plenty of areas with large clusters of different accents and micro dialects. It’s quite normal to be more aware of your own local one because you grew up with it.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

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iain wrote: Fri Aug 11, 2023 6:05 am To be fair I can spot a Deep South accent but to me many American accents are just American accents.
A southern accent/dialect is a perfect example of what you and @Amor Vincit Omnia are talking about. There are probably multiple dozens of regional variations on a southern accent/dialect. To the unaccustomed year they all sound the same. I could probably pin down broad regions. Someone more familiar could get more local. Add to this, the accent/dialect will also reveal socioeconomic background, not just region.

As I mentioned earlier, he metropolitan New York City region is similar. While the outsider just hears “New York,” a local can distinguish between Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Long Island, and New Jersey.

Language is fascinating. I sometimes wish I’d studied linguistics in college.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Gar787 wrote: Fri Aug 11, 2023 8:38 am [Widely differing in a very close proximity. I wonder why?
A lot of it may be to do with geographical mobility, or rather the lack of it. Until relatively recently (we’re talking 20th Century here), it was quite normal for people (especially poorer classes) to grow up, marry, have a family, live and die in one tiny area. People could live pretty much their whole lives without leaving that area. Hardly anyone travelled for leisure, and the vast majority of people in industrial and rural labour didn’t travel for business. So huge numbers of people never travelled at all. You would get people moving away, of course, and you would get incomers, but the solid core tended to stay put.

My mother went on holidays, especially when I was younger, but she only left the UK twice, both times to northern France. I think she lived in either six or seven houses during her 88 years, and none of them was more than 3 miles from where she was born, except for the care home where she died.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by tikkathree »

missF wrote: Thu Aug 10, 2023 9:35 pm
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:
Quines = queens 'appen as not?
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by tikkathree »

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.
Growin' up i' Blegburrrrn ah'd AF yer ged on't buzz to meet 'wife.

She was completely untravelled "south of Preston" in her lineage and her family had that distinctive Southport but definitely not scouse accent.
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Re: 11 Difficult English Accents

Post by missF »

tikkathree wrote: Fri Aug 11, 2023 12:00 pm Quines = queens 'appen as not?
Never ever thought of the origin of Quines - nice one! :thumbup:
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