Poll: Do You Think British Accents Are More..."Sophisticated"?

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In my opinion, they are. It seems to me, British people sound much more intelligent than Americans when speaking. What do you think?

Also, this isn't meant as an insult, I don't want anybody to take this the wrong way haha...

I agree. From an American perspective, I think it also has to do with the diction that is more common with British English than American English, since I (and maybe other Americans) are not accustomed to that way of speaking.

If you're talking about the fancy English accent commonly found in London, then yes.

Personally, I have a Mackem accent. It doesn't sound sophisticated at all.

Define "British accent", though.

An Irish accent isn't the same as a Welsh accent, which isn't the same as a Scottish accent, and they aren't limited to one each.

England, with 50+ million people (though almost no land mass) has any number of accents.

Now, various upper class British accents tend to sound sophisticated to me, doesn't really matter what part of Britain.

I think it's easy to be funny with a British accent. But that's about it.

Yeah....We aren't really that sophisticated. But when we go to america and talk everyone assumes we're smart so thats a useful tool.

If you mean posh English accents commonly found down south then yeah i suppose. I'm kind of torn on wherever i like those accents or not, as on the one hand they can sound quite nice (on a girl) but can also sound slightly snobby.

North English btw, speak with a fairly neutral northern accent with hints of scouse.

Go to Chatham, listen to them talk for 5 minutes, weep for the nation and put the place to the torch.

Sophistication shares a strained border with pretentiousness.

For me, the British accent made Totalbiscuit sound like a pretty cool guy when I first listened to him.
Now it makes him sound like a douche that thinks he's above the people he's appointed himself to represent.

The kids at school (I now live in Australia, am 17) think I'm sophisticated and I come from north London. I don't have an upper class accent, just you're average London accent and they think I'm sophisticated.

Girls in Australia think British accents are extremely attractive, but they haven't heard some of the terrible, hard to understand ones.

OT (enough about me): Not all British accents are sophisticated, but some such as the Upper class ones certainly to.

DrunkPickle:
In my opinion, they are. It seems to me, British people sound much more intelligent than Americans when speaking. What do you think?

Also, this isn't meant as an insult, I don't want anybody to take this the wrong way haha...

Sorry but unless you hear actual English you can't really say, in films and such that is never an English accent ... unless you want a 40's accent.

This is two of many English accents...

Yeah, really intelligent. The guy in red has a very light version of an accent called scouse, the accent I had, if you heard a thick scouse accent you would think the person had a speech problem.

thaluikhain:
Define "British accent", though.

An Irish accent isn't the same as a Welsh accent, which isn't the same as a Scottish accent, and they aren't limited to one each.

England, with 50+ million people (though almost no land mass) has any number of accents.

Now, various upper class British accents tend to sound sophisticated to me, doesn't really matter what part of Britain.

Ireland isn't even part of Great Britain. Northern Ireland is, which actually serves to highlight (or accent-uate) the differences there too.

I don't think it, I know it, British > all.

I'm really weird though, I'm Canadian and I have a slightly British accent.

Amethyst Wind:

thaluikhain:
Define "British accent", though.

An Irish accent isn't the same as a Welsh accent, which isn't the same as a Scottish accent, and they aren't limited to one each.

England, with 50+ million people (though almost no land mass) has any number of accents.

Now, various upper class British accents tend to sound sophisticated to me, doesn't really matter what part of Britain.

Ireland isn't even part of Great Britain. Northern Ireland is, which actually serves to highlight (or accent-uate) the differences there too.

True, meant Northern Ireland, though I don't know how seperate their accents are from Republic of Ireland.

ectoplasmicz:
Girls in Australia think British accents are extremely attractive, but they haven't heard some of the terrible, hard to understand ones.

Quite the generalisation there.

...

Oh, I can't take French accents seriously anymore. Especially women, I have to stop myself from asking them about their car insurance.

ectoplasmicz:
The kids at school (I now live in Australia, am 17) think I'm sophisticated and I come from north London. I don't have an upper class accent, just you're average London accent and they think I'm sophisticated.

Girls in Australia think British accents are extremely attractive, but they haven't heard some of the terrible, hard to understand ones.

OT (enough about me): Not all British accents are sophisticated, but some such as the Upper class ones certainly to.

Yeah but Americans don't realise Michael Cain doesn't havea "sophisticated" accent. If it wasn't for the fact he's so talented he'd fit in fine in Eastenders.

Amethyst Wind:

thaluikhain:
Define "British accent", though.

An Irish accent isn't the same as a Welsh accent, which isn't the same as a Scottish accent, and they aren't limited to one each.

England, with 50+ million people (though almost no land mass) has any number of accents.

Now, various upper class British accents tend to sound sophisticated to me, doesn't really matter what part of Britain.

Ireland isn't even part of Great Britain. Northern Ireland is, which actually serves to highlight (or accent-uate) the differences there too.

Slight correction : Even Northern Ireland isn't part of Great Britain, which is made up of England, Scotland and Wales. It is, however, part of the United Kingdom. (Full country name is The United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

Would have to echo the "Depends on exactly which British accent" sentiment. The stereotypical "English" accent; Yes. It's sadly in a huge minority though.

thaluikhain:
True, meant Northern Ireland, though I don't know how seperate their accents are from Republic of Ireland.

I tend to find them slightly lower and a little more clipped than R.o.I. accents, though I'm probably hearing predominantly Belfast accents.

Accents are amusing. When I'm in England many people laugh at how unsophisticated my accent is as I'm from the West Country and I sound like a farmer. However when I'm out of the UK I get comments about wonderful my accent is and non-British people would say it is sophisticated.

Which makes me think that the perception of the British accent as sophisticated could well be related to the stereotypical view of British people more than the actual accent they have. Once a voice is established as British it may be assumed to be sophisticated, even if that is really not the case.

Depends on the British accent, and even more so on the American accent if you're going to compare them.

Texans always sound slightly retarded to me (no offense to y'all, but ya talk too slow).

Also there are some pretty uneducated, lower-class sounding British accents...

... strange thing though: American tourists have told me on several occasions that they thought I had either an Irish or a British accent... can't imagine why, I've lived on the West coast of Canada all my life. Relating to your post though, they seemed to think it sounded good.

DrunkPickle:
In my opinion, they are. It seems to me, British people sound much more intelligent than Americans when speaking. What do you think?

Also, this isn't meant as an insult, I don't want anybody to take this the wrong way haha...

There are many British accents and many of them are unpleasant. Though there are some rather nice accents, it's the same as any other country. I'm sure there are some states in America that have pleasant accents.

I have what is commonly listed as one of the worst English accents; The Black Country accent. Closest accent to Middle English in Britain and almost indistinguishable from the Brummie accent to those not from around here. Famous speakers of these accents include Ozzy Osbourne and the rest of Black Sabbath, Noddy Holder from Slade and Rob Halford from Judas Priest. It has been stated in polls that those two accents are the ones that make a person sound the least intelligent; usually on the premise of 'the broader the accent, the less intelligent the speaker' (mine is quite broad, sadly). A lot of it stems from unique pronounciation of words and phrases, or just coming up with new words altogether. Here are a selection of examples used by both accents that I've pulled from Wikipedia;

Babby = Baby
Donnies = Hands; e.g, 'Go and wash your donnies.'
Saft/Yampy = Mad/Barmy/Silly

Another trait is to pronounce the vowel 'a' as 'o', for example;
'Sond' instead of 'Sand'
'Hond' instead of 'Hand'

We also tend to use 'Thee', 'Thy' and 'Thou' seriously in conversation; "Dids't thou knock?" = "Did you knock?"

When I speak to someone new I try to tone it down enough so that I can be understoood, because if I'm not trying to stop it, the accent allows a person to speak incredibly fast, which is fine around family as they all understand and speak it, but to others then it's easy for things I say to be missed completely.

If you want another glimpse and to hear what it sounds like in practice I would direct you to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrIqSlt9PXg - The Black Country alphabet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqIcbLkY2iY&feature=related - Also this one, where people try to explain what certain phrases mean.

Regnes:
I don't think it, I know it, British > all.

I'm really weird though, I'm Canadian and I have a slightly British accent.

Define British accent 'cos it's like saying "I have an American accent" People from New York don't sound like people from Texas. It's the same for Britain, people from Liverpool sound nothing like the people from Doncaster.

Do you mean you sound like the queen?

If were talking Queen kind of British accent.

Then I hate it, it reminds me of snobby middle class Tory toffs.

Ha! Anyone who thinks British people sound sophisticated hasn't heard most British accents.

In the area I live we speak relatively posh (though to nowhere near the extent we're portrayed on TV), but due to the influence of my scouse mother I occasionally use words like "youse" (plural of "you"), "sound" (as a term meaning "good" or "cool") and "giz" ("give" or "give us"). Hardly sounds sophisticated, does it? And I honestly think your heads would explode if you ever heard a true scouser speak. Even I have trouble hearing that.

Erm what exactly is a 'British accent' I can think of at least 5 different accents that could come under that banner off the top of my head.

I'm from up north and my friends American fiance says I sound like a servant girl out of a BBC drama lol.

Lunncal:
Ha! Anyone who thinks British people sound sophisticated hasn't heard most British accents.

Or for that matter seen the movie Pygmalion. Just thought I would point that one out the whole movie(or play rather) is about speech.

Depend which "British" Accents you're talking about. Sure you said British but there are different type if British accents within British.
Overall no I disagree (and I'm British too). In my opinion I find the French accent to be more sophisticated.

theres a wide range of british accents..some of them more sphisticated than others

I theink the "yorkshire" one doesnt sound all that...uhh sophisticated

"Wa's dis, sweethar', why di' I find you wi' 'nother man?"
"Oh Petah, his no'one, he no' my lovah"
"Then the scum shoulda tyke his dandy fine pack 'n leave.
"Oh Petah, you'r thi only wone for me."

Yeah, real classy.

Whenever I hear an Ork in DoW the first thing that comes to mind is "What a stunningly interllectual fellow, that accent really makes them sound smart." - Also I'm lying.

omega 616:

Regnes:
I don't think it, I know it, British > all.

I'm really weird though, I'm Canadian and I have a slightly British accent.

Define British accent 'cos it's like saying "I have an American accent" People from New York don't sound like people from Texas. It's the same for Britain, people from Liverpool sound nothing like the people from Doncaster.

Do you mean you sound like the queen?

Well, I'm told I have a slightly British accent, despite never having been there.

In that sort of case, well, the people thinking that tend not to be the people aware of subdivisions.

*looks at Jack and Calumon*

Seeing as I talk to him all the time... Hm... I dont know, I never really thought of it. I dont really think of Accents.

Have you ever heard a scouser?
Or those Essex twats?

I'm allowed to say that, I'm from Essex and I have to put up with that shit.
"I'm going ta taan." - "I am going to town."

Intresting fact the "pirate" accent of yarrrr etc etc is actually VERY close to the south west somerset/dorset accent but even more close to the cornish accent where they had alot of pirates and smugglers.

If you listen to the wurzels then listen to some pirate accent its pretty similar.

Somerset boy ere scrumping them apples oooh arr

I'm British and I sound nowhere near sophisticated. I don't even have a particular accent, it's just... monotone.

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