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

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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...

"Movie british"; yes.
Your average-joe british; Yeeaaaaaah no. Geordie, Scouse, etc, all horrible.

I think it is because a traditional British accent speaks much clearer than an all around American accent, and I guess some foreign complicated words make it seem a lot fancier to the states.
Myself I'd say I speak a mix or something, I am not AS accent heavy as the British are, and I mumble a lot, but I would say I'm more of a British speaker than American, just saying this since English is my second language.

As a Brit, I think Americans associate British accents with "class", or being classy. I don't see it myself. But I have the idea that ex-colonial people continue to have an elevated view of their Old World ex-masters: witness Africans vis-a-vis the French. It's a pretty silly view.

American here. Sometimes I do get this impression, but it doesn't last. For every David Mitchell or Stephen Fry, there's a Dappy.

I figure most people from outside Great Britain tended to be exposed to or grow up with material that presents the British as speaking with the English Received Pronunciation. Oh, sure, it's as sophisticated and sexy as they come (Stephen Fry and David Attenborough's voices are liquid butter I could guzzle down all day, every day). As a kid, I also used to think that Barry Ingham's take on Basil of Baker Street was absolutely awesome, too.

Then there's the actual reality of Great Britain's treasure trove of accents. Like anywhere else in the world, really, you can't pop up in England and say "Boy, these people do sound British!". There's Scouse, Estuary, Brummie, Cockney, Pikey, lasting traces of Received Pronunciation (mostly on TV or as spoken by the cultural elite), plus whatever else I might be forgetting.

To answer the OP's question, yes, the cliché British accent is very sophisticated and cool. I just haven't heard anybody from across the pond use it in a realistic manner, unfortunately.

The same goes with Québec, really. You'll constantly hear that us French Canadians have a specific accent that Americans and French both like, but they fail to consider that Québec isn't quite as Cajun as New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island's French speakers can tend to sound. Then there's the French Canadian diaspora in the Prairies and in British Columbia that all have their own accents and jargons, and I'm pretty sure you could go all the way up to Yellowknife and find the occasional speaker of what's technically French, but that nobody from Montreal could conceivably understand.

I would to love to go to America, for one reason. Just to see how people would react to my accent. To see if they thought it meant I was smarter, or rich, or posh or whatever.
Would be interesting.

pilf:
Wow, another Mackem on the escapist. While there's nothing wrong with our accent it definitely doesn't sound very sophisticated. Once you get down past the midlands intonation and diction start to become a little more formal and fancy/annoyingly snobbish.

:D Awesome. Aside from friends on Facebook you're the first Mackem I've ever come across on the Internet, nevermind the Escapist. Personally I'm pretty fond of my accent. It's one of those friendly, approachable Northern accents. <3

No.

The idea that nothing more than the inflection of someone's voice can make them sound "smarter" or "sophisticated" is downright foolish and insulting.

It's the same reason accents are neutral to me on the whole "attractiveness" scale. I hear so many people saying "oh, that's such a SEXY accent".

I don't understand it. At all.

I believe there are two types of British accents: the nice sounding one that makes the ladies swoon, and the annoying one that's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

(keep in mind, this is coming from an American)

Depends which dialect. Well spoken, articulate professors with an oxford English delivery are going to sound pretty posh, but cockney or scouse or welsh english or scots or anglo-patwa don't really sound inherently sophisticated. I think it's down more to enunciation and delivery, beyond that.

As a southern Canadian, abroad, Brits and Aussies take me for American, while Yanks and other Euros often think I'm British.

Aside: Found out that apparently my home Canada is the favored destination for Asians (mostly Chinese/Japanese/Korean) looking to learn the most "neutral" or "universal" English.

I don't know about sophisticated, but it tends to be nicer to listen to, mostly because of how used I am to it, and it seems more natural.

Some accents, like Welsh, I don't like as much, though.

Quite indubitably.

Or at least, we CAN do the English posh accent - because it's what all those furriners expect. When their backs are turned, we drop into our usual slang-ridden 'mare of a language.

There's also a scientific reason, in that Ye Olde English has very specific rules for the correct emphasis on words - Webster's English (US), Aussie English and other variations tend to alter the rules dependent on their natural pronounciation.

Which is why I keep getting red-lines below all of my words.

No, not at all. We had a British foreign exchange sturdy come to my school, he wasn't the brightest star in the sky. He kinda ruined the acent for me.

london accent? yes
Yorkshire, Liverpudlian, Geordie and Norfolk accents? i think not

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...

Have you heard someone from the midlands of england speak, it's hilarious. It was voted the accent that made people sound the stupidest. It certainly doesn't sound sophisticated.

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

Ty talking to someone with an Essex accent and seeing if that assumption holds up.

My accent has definitely got me more action here than my looks have though, it's the reason why America > England :P

EDIT: One thing I've found many Americans under-estimate is just how many British accents there are (it is reckoned there are around 40 odd).

No, when I want to judge how sophisticated someone is, I look at their actions, not their words and much less whatever accent they have.

Personally, I think French accents with a good grasp of the language can outshine even the classiest of Brits.

It just sounds so clean...

I know a lot of Brits will be up in arms about my statement but I work with a lot of Bilingual people. I'd much rather have the language glide across their tongue than a local any day of the week.

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...

As I have been told BY British people themselves, "We are not all of one accent". And it's true. Dependent on where you're from in the UK, you have a different mode of speech, just as I (A man from Pittsburgh) sound wildly different from anyone living in Georgia, say.

In regards to that, I'll ASSUME that you mean the particular accents that SOUND more sophisticated, such as Pierce Brosnan, John Cleese, and Rowan Atkinson. To whit...no, actually. It's not intelligence that voice enhances. It's charisma. You can have a personality of lead and still sound like a decent human being. However, it won't make you seem more intelligent unless you have the brain to back it up. Many times are the people who sound incredible during a speech, but have said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING the entire time.

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...

WHICH British accent? There are a lot of regional and ethnic dialects. For example:

If you are talking about a well educated and vocally trained person with an upper class/"RP" accent (The Queen, Sean Connery, etc) then yes, it sounds "classy".

If you are talking about the Cockney accent, well to me it sounds a bit uneducated.

"British accent" is like saying "American accent"; there's too many to make a generalization like that.

It's fucking so hott when a girl has any British accent tho.

Not sure about sophisticated but sexy as fuck? Then apparently yes.

Oddly enough I have had more than a few people froth at the gash over my voice, telling me straight up that they are in love with my voice.

Good times.

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

I feel your pain there brotha'. I prefer monotone over Scouse or Geordie though.

When you say British accents I'm sure you mean, the Queens English and the way upper classes speak. The English that most people speak sounds exactly as sophisticated as americans.

I'm guessing you mean a posh English accent (There are 4 countries in Britain remember and a ton of accents in England alone).
For the posh English accent hell yes. The person coulkd say anything and you'd beive them because it sound so damn intelligent.
I am bit biased on this though.
I'm English.

Anyone who lives in England will know this is bullshit. Most people here sound like uneducated scum. I refuse to say 'British' accent, because that'd mix English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh together. Not to mention some TOWNS have their own accents.

I don't think it's just the accent.

The more reserved mannerisms that some British people have and the choice of words they use, probably contributes a lot to the "dignify and sophisticated" image.

It also probably helps that us non-British are only exposed to the "elite" of the bunch, which helps re-enforce this image.

What your asking is too vague. There are several British accents and some of them sound absolutely ridiculous. The cockney accent (Danny Dyers' accent) for example is the British equivalent of the American "redneck" accent. It sounds stupid and makes the language and speaker seem moronic. Received pronunciation on the other hand sounds perfect and in my opinion is the best accent to speak the English language in.

To answer your question I'd say that British accents are not more sophisticated in general but rather that there is one British accent which sounds the most sophisticated of all English accents.

Yes and no. Depends on the region and what region we're comparing them to.

Cockney dialects sound a bit unrefined (though for the record I love that accent, one of my favorites to mimic), also British people say cunt a lot more, and there isn't much refined about that.

On the other end they usually enunciate their words more clearly (I'm not sure which region it is that has that more refined tone, now that I think about it... hmm...), and also since they use the u's in various words (colour, flavour) it sounds a bit more sounded out. This is what I'd point to on the "they sound more refined end"

That said, anyone sounds more refined than the terrible deep south accent large numbers of Americans use.

That also said, rock whatever you have and don't feel ashamed or shy about your accent, in no way does it actually make you any more or less refined. The human voice and it's cadence and inflection make it so throughly unique that one can make it out with more clarity and accuracy than a face or body when identifying that person, so be proud of your unique style, whatever that may be.

Why is the first thing I think of a thick Brummy accent? Y'know the least sophisticated accent in existance. I call shenanigans on this entire thread!

Though apparently American girls find certain English accents sexy... Not sure if I should call shenanigans on this as well or book a one way flight to America posthaste!

As a Brit; it depends on the accent.

To me a Welsh accent sounds friendly but simple and Scottish accents can either be extremely friendly or extremely aggressive. As for England, Southern accents can either be incredibly smug and pretentious or just thoroughly stupid, whereas I tend to think of Northern accents as sounding arrogant and stubborn. And finally Midlands accents just sound normal to me, except for Birmingham... horrid accent.

Generally speaking, yes. But as far as I can tell it's mostly the exotic factor for me, seeing as I'm an American American from America.

ToTaL LoLiGe:

Have you heard someone from the midlands of england speak, it's hilarious. It was voted the accent that made people sound the stupidest. It certainly doesn't sound sophisticated.

Hey

I'll have you know, I'm from Shrewsbury (West Midlands). And I wouldn't agree that our accent sounds unintelligent.

It depends who you talk to, however. The scruffier classes in the regions use stronger slang, and are less conservative and mannered in tone and speech. The accents can be presented with sophisticated and unsophistcated twists.

Haha, As others have said, it depends if you're talking about a "Queen" type accent. Otherwise, the number of different accents in the UK is ridonkulous.

Maybe you should've said posh/stereotypical English accent.

There are many different "British" accents, I'll assume you are talking about the stereotypical posh accent. I guess it sounds more sophisticated but personally I think it sounds stupid, it isn't even the proper way of speaking like many assume it is, it was developed by the nobility and primarily used by them, so everyone who speaks it and isn't an elitist bastard is basically their bitch because they are speaking a dialect invented simply out of the want to make the difference between the rich and the poor more apparent. (I heard this a while ago, pretty sure there is some truth to it but if I am way off let me, don't feel like looking it up right now.)

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