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

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If your talking homecounties/the queens english style accent yes
but that ignores over 60% of the accents found lol. We have the more accent diversity than any place on earth (if your going by the sheer number of accents in the amount of space).

Compare the accent of Barack Obama to the accent of random cockney individual. 'Nuff said.
Seriously though, you should have defined it more narrowly. Are you talking about the speech of the Artful Dodger or Estella? Or Groundskeeper WIllie?

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

You have one. I thought the same thing until my American friends told me my accent was cute.

I have no idea how my accent sounds. I don't think I have the unsophisticated one, but posh? The thought seems rather alien to me.

I'm English and I like to think my accent is every so slightly sophisticated, but I do come from the countyside near Oxford, which is quite a posh part of England. There are some things I'll say though where a hint of rural Northamptonshire will sneak into my voice, making me sound like a total yokel. This tends to happen after drinking.

dogstile:

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

You have one. I thought the same thing until my American friends told me my accent was cute.

I have no idea how my accent sounds. I don't think I have the unsophisticated one, but posh? The thought seems rather alien to me.

I don't think I have much of an accent either I'm from up north but at the other side from Newcastle so I'm not Geordie.

My friend from Essex doesn't have much of an accent, compared to his friends.

Exactly what kind of British accent are we talking here? There's more than one. A lot more.

Not that it matters, everyone knows Welsh accents are better in every way.

xXxJessicaxXx:

dogstile:

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

You have one. I thought the same thing until my American friends told me my accent was cute.

I have no idea how my accent sounds. I don't think I have the unsophisticated one, but posh? The thought seems rather alien to me.

I don't think I have much of an accent either I'm from up north but at the other side from Newcastle so I'm not Geordie.

My friend from Essex doesn't have much of an accent, compared to his friends.

You mean that people that talk like you talk like you.

This is not the same as not having an accent, there's no objective default all accents are deviations from.

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...

Depends, "British" covers a lot of differant accents.

The typical hollywood upper class british accent DOES sound more intelligent and sophisticated, but an accent like that comes from breeding (or practice) and is designed to sound that way to everyone.

In comparison on the extreme other end you have your guttersnipe and cockney type accents which sound roughly as intelligent and well educated as your average American redneck. Which isn't surprising because like the whole Redneck drawl/slang schtick they are also lower class.

The US has it's own snooty, upper class accents which generally convey the same effect as the more Upper Class British schtick, but you hear them less often especially in the cinema.

You won't hear much that is snootier, intelligent, and vaguely condescending sounding than say an upper class Bostonian accent (East Coast Old Money). I also think people tend to forget some of the other upper class accents, like upper class southern ones which do appear in the media with a reasonable amount of frequency, especially in westerns.

Overall though an exotic lilt to a clearly understood voice is usually seen as being fairly attractive irregardless of culture. Brits and Australians seem to find the same kind of appeal in certain American accents, but I have notice a tendency among Americans to gush unsubtly about everything, and that includes awkwardly blurting out how much they like someone's accent like 15 seconds after meeting them. I've notice Brits and Aussies will usually say a lot of the same things, but rarely directly to the person in question or when they are around. :)

xXxJessicaxXx:

dogstile:

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

You have one. I thought the same thing until my American friends told me my accent was cute.

I have no idea how my accent sounds. I don't think I have the unsophisticated one, but posh? The thought seems rather alien to me.

I don't think I have much of an accent either I'm from up north but at the other side from Newcastle so I'm not Geordie.

My friend from Essex doesn't have much of an accent, compared to his friends.

As a southerner, if I heard you speak i'm pretty sure you'd have an accent. Northerners always so have one, must be something in the air. I actually had a girlfriend who was just east of Birmingham and even that 3 hour train ride was enough for me to hear massive changes.

thaluikhain:

xXxJessicaxXx:

dogstile:

You have one. I thought the same thing until my American friends told me my accent was cute.

I have no idea how my accent sounds. I don't think I have the unsophisticated one, but posh? The thought seems rather alien to me.

I don't think I have much of an accent either I'm from up north but at the other side from Newcastle so I'm not Geordie.

My friend from Essex doesn't have much of an accent, compared to his friends.

You mean that people that talk like you talk like you.

This is not the same as not having an accent, there's no objective default all accents are deviations from.

Essex is down south...

So no I'm not saying people like me, talk like me :/ I don't think anyone talking to me would know where I am from in Britain, the same as my friend.

Hmmm... I wouldn't say my normal voice is that posh, it's fairly neutral. When I'm angry/pissed bits of Brummie sneak their way in though. Shropshire lad here.

i think it depends on the accent. sure, the accent of a fine, upstanding gentleman will sound like hells of the sophisticated; but the accent of a commoner just sounds adorable.

You canīt say Cockney sounds sophisticated!?
Yes it sounds rather cool but not sophisticated. As thaluikhain said england has many accents some more sophisticated then others.

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?

Hmmm it's just how I tend to enunciate words, hard to describe really, but I don't speak like most people I know, that's for sure.

It like accents in the States and anywhere else in the world, some are really nice and smooth sounding accents, and then you get some really harsh, and barely legible accents.
For example, I think that Scottish accents can be truly lovely, but I know accents like the ones in this video are unfortunatly common in certain areas of Glasgow. (especially the little twat around 2:25) http://youtu.be/Xan2xU-ZFic

Come down here to the Blackcountry and see how sophisticated we sound

I have a very generic "English" accent, obtained from living all over the UK; though now I also have a healthy dose of a south-Wales accent - the place I've lived in for the past 6 years.

I love going to the USA, you get swarmed in seconds for the accent. I can see how others hear it as quite intelligent, because we pronounce the language exactly as intended, but when you're used to it you can start distinguishing accents within GB and even then determine how stupid someone is. We are in no short supply of Brits whose stupidity rivals that of the stupidest of Americans.

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

What this guy said, except replace 'Chatham' with 'Basildon'...!

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

As has already been mentioned... which British. Dear lord, she's great to look at but fucking hell, I can't stand Cheryl Cole's speaking voice...

Blunderboy:
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."

I see you have to tolerate that justifiably maligned dialect 'Chavvish'... -_-

bahumat42:
If your talking homecounties/the queens english style accent yes

See, the problem is that 'Queen's English' is generally disliked by the British because it's so horribly forced and has affectations to vowel structures that strictly speaking, even the Queen doesn't speak like that. Also, even within the Home Counties, there are at least seven or eight discrete accents that can be placed.

OT: I think what OP is trying to get at is British Standard RP... i.e. Stephen Fry. In that case, yes, it is sophisticated above all else and all other spoken English accents.

But it also depends on vocabulary and expressions used in common parlance and occasionally, verbal affectations etc.

As I'm sure many people have pointed out already, it depends on which 'British' accent you're going for. For example, I have the monotone accent which is often represented in films, probably the one you're thinking of and yes it does make me sound somewhat intelligent. However, if you heard a Geordie or a Scouse accent I doubt you'd think it made anyone sound more intelligent, perhaps you would think it made them sound less so.

Also, which American accent are you talking about? To me New York accents sound less sophisticated than Californians, but more so than Texans etc.

And once again, which part of Britain? You are aware that 'Britain' encompases Wales? Do you think South Welsh accents sound more sophisticated than Americans, or do you prefer North Wales accents? Some specifics here are needed quite badly :P

Even if we presume that you're talking about the 'usual' accents that are portrayed in American/British films then I don't see where you're coming from. To me, an American popular accent sounds just as sophisticated as the British popular accent.

Also, the forum ate your poll! Omnomnom.

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

Ditto here, we sound like Canadians.... just less annoying.

Also, we can do a decent Posh accent.

I'm from Kent (though my mother is from London) and I have a pretty standard British accent. I always used to get teased for sounding `posh` at school (because pronouncing your T's are for losers). :P

I haven't really known many people outside of England, so I couldn't really comment on my own accent. Unfortunately some people do think that my accent makes me sound a bit stuck-up, which I'm really not.

Speaking as a Brit and having heard meany of the different British Accents I think what you mean is 'do people speaking in a Received Pronunciation or Estuary English accent sound more sophisticated.' Because no one in their right mind would think that Ozzy Osbourne sounded sophisticated.

Think of it this way, I could say that people who speak with an American accent always sound dumb, but then who am I talking about? A redneck drawl may not sound sophisticated but an Ivy League accent (I'm thinking mostly Princeton here 'cos that's the only one I've actually heard in real life) sounds very sophisticated.

Both of the above are American accents, but both sound entirely different. The same is true of Britian, it's just that over in America you only get to hear celebrities with RP or close to it. The reason for this (and I wish I was kidding) is because American consumers say that regional British accents on the TV (Welsh, Irish, west country) are harder to understand. British people can apparently understand all the American accents, but Americans can't understand us unless we sound like Doctor Who or Jean Luc Picard.

Well I live in liverpool, and the most sophisticated greeting we can muster is "arr eh laa, y'right kidda'?"

Scousers are great people, as long as you have nothing of value on you :)

-edit- Although, then talking to an American, you can be most assured that my accent will, at least, cut glass. It doesn't do to let standards slip when addressing the colonials, what what?

If you're only experience with an English accent is received pronunciation, then you of course you're going to think it sounds great. I'm from Nottingham, which is in the East Midlands. Our accents aren't as heavy, as say, someone from Yorkshire, but there's still something there. Not for me though, strangely enough, I don't really have an accent, so yes, I may sound like standard generic English accent number 7.

Does this man sound sophisticated to you?

I have poured knowledge into your brain's most wrinkled places, now go! Spread the news!

Zhukov:
Exactly what kind of British accent are we talking here? There's more than one. A lot more.

Not that it matters, everyone knows Welsh accents are better in every way.

Quoted for truth my friend.

But yeah, I assume OP means the classic "BBC English" accent?

If so, then yes, does sound sophisticated, reminds me of Stephen Fry.

It depends on the precise British/American accent. There are accents in both countries that drive me up the wall.

I guess in a "best of each" contest, I'd say I find an RP British accent more sophisticated than a well-spoken New York accent, but that's probably just because I don't really know many Americans. Pretty much everyone I have ever really respected has had a British accent.

Sophisticated? Really?

There is no such thing as a British accent, the dialects vary from region to region; and that's just in England alone, Scottish accents are far from 'posh'.

However I assume you are referring to Received Pronunciation aka The Queen's English. In that case I agree that it is more sophisticated and quaint.

There's no such thing as a 'British' accent, that would imply some kind of weird amalgam of generic English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish accents. Okay, I think I know what you're alluding to, it seems when most people from the other side of the atlantic talk about 'British' accents they refer to the stereotypical elocutionary accents of the upper/middle class found in central London, that are oft portrayed for giggles in the mainstream American media. Perhaps to a lesser extent they also refer to generic English accents that are harder to pin down to any particular region, but basically you'll never see somebody listen to a Scottish or Welsh accent and opine that it's 'British'. If they would simply refer to the accent which they envision as an 'English' accent then I wouldn't really have a problem with it, but as it stands calling it 'British' seems rather disingenuous. And as others have mentioned nations encompass a wide variety of dialects; Jeremy Irons would likely seem to have an accent which as a great deal more sophisticated than say Wayne Rooney, whereas on the other side of the pond Kelsey Grammer's voice would sound (I'm not saying the guy himself is all that classy, as he isn't >.>) more refined than Bill Hicks. Personally, I come from a place where the stereotypical accent would sound something like this:

Though I myself (and many others I've met) haven't picked it up, leaving me with a rather generic English accent, that's rather difficult to trace, unless you can pick up on the slight Somerset inflection that my voice places on certain words but I wouldn't consider it particularly posh or anything. Ultimately I find this prospect to be rather pretentious, the sound of one's voice does not denote any particular qualities or characterstics about the individual themselves, it's only an indication of where they grew up and even then the strength of one's accent tends to vary from person to person. And I honestly have much less respect for someone trying to obfuscate their natural speaking voice for something more accessible in an effort to be taken more seriously than someone who is comfortable enough in who they are and their ability to articulate themselves in spite of whatever mypoic preconceptions that others may have about their voice. In short, what may constitute as sophisticated is entirely down to the individual in question and even then just because someone sounds sophisticated doesn't mean they actually are.

Rastien:
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

My tutor at college is the bassist from Wurzles!

I'm from the west country and we do not have a sophisticated accent, but i've meet americans who can't tell the difference, even when I say ark at e

Iron Criterion:
There is no such thing as a British accent, the dialects vary from region to region; and that's just in England alone, Scottish accents are far from 'posh'.

I dunno, you can have posh Scottish accents IMHO.

thaluikhain:

Iron Criterion:
There is no such thing as a British accent, the dialects vary from region to region; and that's just in England alone, Scottish accents are far from 'posh'.

I dunno, you can have posh Scottish accents IMHO.

I didn't mean to seem insulting but I've never heard a Scottish accent that could be described as sophisticated. But then I have never been to Scotland.

There is no such thing as a British accent. Not only do the Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English all sound different, but within each country there's many different accents, especially in England.

A Geordie accent is very different to Liverpudlian, both of which are definitely not more intelligent sounding.

Its hard to say, anyone can sound more sophisticated by actually using words that are more complex that "got" and "cuz". I'm sure a British accent can sound sophisticated to some people, but for me I seem to start smiling whenever I get into a verbal argument with someone whose British.

Something about how they swear just makes me laugh.

Almost nobody actually speaks like that, we're mostly just an assortment of horrible, horrible regional accents.

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