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

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Yes, the British accent is the height of sophistication.

There's a very good reason why old Beaners gets typecast as nobility and royalty in films and videogames:

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...

Umm just so you know there are 4 different British accents that would be the Welsh ,Irish ,Scottish and English accent and as a English man living in London I must say no I meet people on a regular basis who sound monumentally stupid. Yet I have to agree on some scale as people who speak "Queens English" which most if not all presenters of BBC shows use. Queens English is speaking English without the use of common slang that is how I talk and well people assume that I'm upper class the 1% if you will just from the way I talk but in fact I'm just about middle class. It does seem that mostly Americans find the British accent to be more intelligent I only say this because a girl from America fell for me and it was partly at the start due to my accent. (she says it made me stand out from the rest)

More sophisticated than... what? Ultimately, judging sophistication by accent is going to boil down to stereotypes facing off against each other. It's a hard call between the stereotypical snobbish Frenchman and the stereotypical snobbish Englishman. Heck, the word 'sophisticated' itself carries stereotypical connotations.

What I find so interesting about British accents is something that the question you're posing manages to avoid - that there are SO MANY VARIATIONS OF IT. I mean, for a small region, there are so many distinct accents that it boggles the mind. Some day I'm going to have to look into the ethnohistorical explanation for that.

I've always been interested in accents, as I grew up with a Scottish (Edinburgh) accent that eventually naturalized into... well, whatever it is we have in Toronto (I'm reluctant to call it Canadian, as that calls to mind the stereotypical Canadian accent, which is... not what we have. At all.). Over the years, I've taken to mimicking interesting accents and idiosyncracies I've been exposed to, and I try to keep them polished. There's a few I've been meaning to get around to (South African, Australian, etc. - yes I know that's a generalization, but you have to start somewhere).

You know what would be funny? If everyone in Britain had the same 'sophisticated' accent and mannerisms that I imagine you're referring to. It would be hilariously surreal.

You're wrong then and you've only ever heard a Home Counties accent. Listen to a Cockney, Geordie, West Country, Yorkshire or any other accent that isn't a Home Counties accent and you'll consider us inbred retards.

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.

I was under the impression that pirates shouting 'yarr' was absolute bullshit. Pirates had no one accent and the only meaning I can think of for yarr is you, which makes it just seem stupid to be shouting you every so often in conversation.

The only thing I find hard about having that stereotypical British (English) accent, and I do, is that I seem to spend more time saying what I need too, and people get bored and talk over me and say it in less time by not pronouncing every syllabal like I do.

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First world problems I know, but when talking to Americans online it gets hard to say everything without being talked over, and somedays I just throw up my hands and just blurb it all out in a terrible American style mock up.

I live in South East England. Have my entire life. And the people around me think I sound too posh.

ToTaL LoLiGe:

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.

What how dare you sir that is slander and on the internet as well I will not stand for this outrage. The midland people are among the finest,intelligentist,handsome,brilliant most sophisticated people on the planet and are more better than anyone else so guess that showed you.:p (I may be joking here)

If you cant guess I am from the Midlands originally generally though I find people near Brum think I am from Devon and people from Devon usually think I am from Brum (im from neither BTW), I would say my accent does not sound very sophisticated but I can put it on if I really wanted to I suppose.(I dont have a strong accent probably because I move around a fair bit)

There are a heck of a lot of different accents in Britain seriously if you walk for a day in one direction by the end of it odds are you will be hearing a different accent even if only slightly. Some are sophisticated some are bloody snobby and some are almost indecipherable.

I agree that "British" needs defining. There are a wide range of accents, many of which do not sound at all sophisticated. I am from the North of England and have quite a strong regional accent which I have spent years masking as I think it sounds horrible. It's a personal preference with accents. As a British person, I hear the range of British accents all the time and from some very unsophisticated people so, to me, it's just a noise...

What's that accent people with monocles talk in? That's the one I wanna talk in not the common tongue

Charli:
The only thing I find hard about having that stereotypical British (English) accent, and I do, is that I seem to spend more time saying what I need too, and people get bored and talk over me and say it in less time by not pronouncing every syllabal like I do.

:\

First world problems I know, but when talking to Americans online it gets hard to say everything without being talked over, and somedays I just throw up my hands and just blurb it all out in a terrible American style mock up.

I think that's more to do with how Americans approach even friendly or flirtatious interaction with a seemingly sociopathic aggression.

Do people honestly not realize that there is more than one British accent? People with Cockney accents don't exactly sound sophisticated, for example.

It's a great accent (my favorite by the way), but I don't find it sophisticated at all.

Didn't think so, then moved to Canada and got swarmed by people who love my accent. Mine does come across as 'sophisticated' I suppose, but that also has something to do with my manner of speaking, which is generally quite formal. I'm not sure, say, my father, or half the people I went to school with, would exactly come across as intellectuals.

Ahh, this old chesnut again. The "sophisticated" English accent - referred to as the Queen's English (King's if we have a king on the throne and vice versa)is just one of a plethora of accents here. Every region has one or two at the very least and some regional accents vary between cities/places within the region. And yes, the Queen's English accent sounds sophisticated because it's meant to. It's a clean, clear accent in which all words are pronounced correctly. It's the accent of the middle/upper classes.

I'm british (living in Canada) and it has been commented that i sound sophisticated :D it really does depend on what part of england you're from. I'm from Suffolk (east anglia, two hours north of London) and I have a strong accent but not of a country living suffolk person (if you know the accent you probably know what I mean).

On topic:
Yes I think british accents do sound more sophisticated but obviously each country has its own negative end of the spectrum; chavs (from England) and rednecks (America), both of which sound truly awful. :/ (just my opinion)

I used to.

But then I saw Skins.

Sara Fontaine:
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.

Not too far from a Yorkshire accent, my accent, the best of accents.

Define British accents. There is hundreds of British accents.

If you're referring to the stereotypical hometown accent, then yes. That accent is sophisticated. Because it's only spoken by highly educated, upper class citizens. So I guess the very rule of that accent is that it must be spoken by a sophisticated person.

But a cockney accent... Well, The person speaking cockney is probably less sophisticated than the inner tubing of a bike tyre.

But I can't speak, I have a Swindonian accent. We can't pronounce our 'T's.

So it's all like "Wha' are you doing? Ge' off that sea' you ti'!" Not considered sophisticated at all.

But yeah, Hometown accent is sophisticated. Edinburgh accent is sophisticated. Lots of British accents are sophisticated.

Some...others...(IE: Black pool, Cockney) not so much. I personally adopted a British accent (I'm American) after moving to the north, and being teased for "sounding like a cowboy". Nobody teases me anymore :P

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.

Indeed, they have gravitas in a low voiced person such as Hopkins, Burton, Tom Jones, even Brydon but are curiously whining in higher pitched voices like Secombe.

OP Too much variation in accent. For every Richard Griffith and Miriam Margolyes there a two dozen Scousers, Brummies, Lancastrians and Yorkies.

There is no one accent in the British isles, assuming you're talking about "Queen's English" then yes, it is quite sophisticated. Assuming you're talking about Wigan or Manchester, hell no!

An accent? As in this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM45TACI4H4

Because this I can understand perfectly.

*can someone tell me how to make the video actually show rather than a link? I used to know. Herp a derp :/

girl in orange = /thread

Sophistication is based on what you say, not the accent in which you say it. So, no.

I'd say it'd depend on the particular accent. I still love me some British accents, though. ^^

You obviously haven't been to Gloucestershire. Or Manchester. Etc. Heh.
The fact that I'm English probably voids my opinion, but I really don't think so. Especially seeing as I have a 'lower-class' Gloucestershire accent, and so do a lot of people I know. I don't pronounce words properly, basically.

I will re-type this in the way I would say it:

You obviously 'aven' been 'uh Gloucestershire. Or Manchester. Etc. Heh.
The fa't thu' I'm English prob'ly voids my opinion, bu' I really don' fink so. 'Specially seein' as I 'ave a "lower-class" Gloucestershire accen', an' so do a lo' o' people I know. I don' pronounce words properly, basically.

No, not really. After I heard an Englishman say "helicopter" one time I could no longer take his accent seriously. :P

I'm probably not the first to mention this but there is no such thing as a "British" accent, Britain encompasses 4 countries all with different accents, but I know the accent to which you refer, and no I don't think they are more sophisticated, they just sound like it

Im English, I agree that some british accents are "Sophisticated" but my voice is in no way that. Those "cockneys" you see when they show downtown london, thats my accent. I love having this accent though. No H's or T's in words. (T's only at the beginning of words)

You realise that English accents are extremely varied right? There may be a few that sound posh and sophisticated, but there are a whole lot that make people sound crass, stupid, and sometimes the accent makes it plain imposable to decipher what they are saying.

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

I dare anyone to take a nice long walk through Chatham high street on a friday night.

OT: We Brits really aren't that sophisticated, but I like the stereotype.

dvd_72:
there are a whole lot that make people sound crass, stupid, and sometimes the accent makes it plain imposable to decipher what they are saying.

yeah, some of our accents may be impossible to understand to foreign people, but stupid is pushing it a bit far.

I can tell you now, I despise most of the accents here, a lot sound like degenerated forms of English, cutting off words, mashing other words together, they end up sounding uneducated because it doesn't sound like they can speak properly. I have a somewhat posh accent, I guess I can be happy about that.

Just for the record, this is the kind of "accent" I'm talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqyU2z-FJr8 which is far more common than the sophisticated one you speak of.

I sound like Colin Firth, so you're damn right I think it's a sophisticated accent!

JayElleBee:
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.

Indeed. While (nearly) all British accents are awesome, not many of them are considered "Sophisticated". Pretty much just the South East, Home Counties and the cleaner parts of London.

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