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Languages, accents, dialects an' t'ing


mjmooney
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We may have had a thread on this before, if so mods may wish to merge. 

Anyway, not spelling/grammar nazi stuff (that's kind of a different thing), but the way people speak - English as a foreign language, local accents, weird words for things. Particularly you non-native English speakers - what's it like encountering Brummies for the first time (or Geordies, Scousers, etc. for that matter)? 

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Posted (edited)

The dad of one of my sons friends is from Glasgow and I genuinely can’t understand a word he says. 
It would be completely impossible for a non native English speaker.

Theres only so many times you can say “sorry, what was that?”

Edited by Genie
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Posted (edited)

I'm often struck by this thought. 

The Brummie accent is so widely derided. 

However if you actually listen to broad cockney it's absolutely vile, offensive on the ear.  We've been conditioned by London based media that it's cool because it's so ubiquitous over the airwaves but it's really not.  I watched a little bit of The Wall with Danny Dyer the other day and had to turn it off. 

Scouse is the same, full on scouse is so harsh on the ears.  

Geordie is actually quite nice to hear although unintelligible. I'm probably biased but for me Brummie is actually quite a comforting musical dialect compared to most. 

Edited by sidcow
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15 minutes ago, Genie said:

The dad of one of my sons friends is from Glasgow and I genuinely can’t understand a word he says. 
It would be completely impossible for a non native English speaker.

Theres only so many times you can say “sorry, what was that?”

After the England Scotland match at Wembley in Euro 96 we got on a tube and were sat amongst 4 or 5 blokes who I can only describe as Rab C Nesbit clones.  Looked like him, acted like him, spoke like him. 

They were rabbiting away and I had no idea what they were saying. 

Then one of them raised his leg up and plonked it on my knee and started rabbiting again.  One of the more lucid ones translated that he'd got a metal plate in his leg and was always getting stopped at airports and that he'd had to leave his job at a scrap metal place as he kept getting picked up by the magnet. 

They were well funny when I could glean any of what they were saying. 

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4 minutes ago, sidcow said:

Geordie is actually quite nice to hear although unintelligible. I'm probably biased but foe me Brummie is actually quite a comforting musical dialect compared to most. 

The worst English accent has to be Geordie, impenetrable Glaswegians on designer Scandinavian Drugs. 

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I can never understand why the Brummie accent is so derided, it’s really not that bad and in most cases people are thinking of the Black Country accent anyway. The number one most annoying accent to me is the scouse, it’s like listening to long nails scraping down a blackboard to the tune of Baby Shark. 
 

Also, the Essex twang that seems to be popular, is just awful. 

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I struggled to understand my maternal Grandfather for many years, and to be honest it was 50/50 between the myasthenia gravis and the thick Yorkshire accent as the causal factor.

I've found I'm able to ape certain accents quite well, particularly German, which in turn can trip me up on holiday as I'll say one of the few sentences I know with enough conviction that the exchange rapidly escalates beyond my comprehension and I have to resort to the inevitable "es tut mir leid, ich kann nur ein bißchen Deutsch sprechen" climb-down.

My French accent however is verging on massage in the bock pissage territory.  Mind you, as rule I've found the French to deride any attempt, no matter how well-intentioned/executed.

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As I haven't had my natural Silhillian accent since about 2003, I often find myself mimicking the language patterns of others unconsciously when speaking with them.

There are a few Midlands things I'll say where I'll don the accent like a hat like "Ta ra a bit" when saying goodbye to my parents, who respond in kind. Or "yallroight" when saying hello. Similarly thanks to where I live in Gloucester I'll often don a very exaggerated Gloucester aaaaccent to say them. The biggest imitation I find myself doing is the Gloucester long Arrrr. My sister has a half-Stockport accent from her time up there too which is always funny 

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1 hour ago, mjmooney said:

Particularly you non-native English speakers - what's it like encountering Brummies for the first time 

from my experience of it its shit!

they have pretty much pre peaky blinders zero exposure to it and even then im black country not brummie, i would also say that i work in engineering and we have a manchester office which is very middle class and im then from a work class construction background, there are definitely not many working class expats here

there's an expectation i've had described to me as BBC english, the older guys seem to think we speak the queens but then i would say the younger guys you can tell they watch american TV

and i would also say that the most common thing I've found working with Germans and Europeans who have lived or worked in the UK themselves is the use of the word "mate" that's the give away always, the guys who have worked will say "morning mate" "alright mate" "have a good weekend mate"

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To touch on language more broadly, the eccentricities of Japanese are fascinating to me; to have an entirely separate, dedicated writing system - Katakana - for any word they have that has been borrowed from another language (i.e. in our terms, when we use words like rendezvous, wanderlust and so forth) seems like a stroke of genius, even if you don't know the word you're reading you can narrow it down. 

No future tense to have to muck about with either, only past and present tense.  I tell you, if their writing wasn't backwards, their symbols so intricate and they didn't have about 10 different ways of speaking depending on who you're addressing, it'd be the best language.

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20 minutes ago, villa4europe said:

from my experience of it its shit!

they have pretty much pre peaky blinders zero exposure to it and even then im black country not brummie, i would also say that i work in engineering and we have a manchester office which is very middle class and im then from a work class construction background, there are definitely not many working class expats here

there's an expectation i've had described to me as BBC english, the older guys seem to think we speak the queens but then i would say the younger guys you can tell they watch american TV

and i would also say that the most common thing I've found working with Germans and Europeans who have lived or worked in the UK themselves is the use of the word "mate" that's the give away always, the guys who have worked will say "morning mate" "alright mate" "have a good weekend mate"

So they are all noses? 

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26 minutes ago, Wainy316 said:

Having lived there, Manc is very unpleasant but they seem to get away with it as all things Mancunian must be forever praised it seems.

Yeah, when you get a really nasally whiney one but still not generally as bad as Scouse and Cockney. 

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An accent I've always really disliked is the Nottingham/Stoke accent.

I.e. the asshole character in Ricky Gervais's "Derek" - how annoying is that?

Thick brummies sounds terrible.  Like, almost everyone from Erdington, Longbridge, Hall Green, Aston, Small Heath, Yardley - just the less affluent areas.  Other brummies sound alright, Peaky Blinders has definitely bought up the "cool" factor & possibly Jack Grealish as well (he's a pretty famous guy now inhe?)

Yam Yams - the smart ones sound thick, the thick ones aren't speaking real words in any coherent way, just terminal thickness.  Wolverhampton, Dudley, Smethwick, Brierly Hill, Walsall urgh - unlucky if you live there. 

Harsh scouse is terrible, but I could listen to Ringo Starr "scouse" all day.

Mancs can sounds absolutely miserable, but some are ok.

Yorkshire men sound like idiots, but the softer womens tones sound quite calming. 

Don't mind the Bristol/South West accents, quite funny sounding.

Essex nah, you sound thick.

Cockney - not as fashionable as they think they sound

North East is fun, quite like it.

Glasgow scotch - nah

anywhere else scotch - lovely

Cornwall, a mix of fairly soft accents - quite like it

Norwich & East Anglia, more or less the same (to my ear) as the South Westerns weirdly, just with a touch of cockney.

But yea, Nottingham/Stoke and maybe Derby accents irritate me.  Leicester just about get away with it. 

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1 hour ago, GarethRDR said:

To touch on language more broadly, the eccentricities of Japanese are fascinating to me; to have an entirely separate, dedicated writing system - Katakana - for any word they have that has been borrowed from another language (i.e. in our terms, when we use words like rendezvous, wanderlust and so forth) seems like a stroke of genius, even if you don't know the word you're reading you can narrow it down. 

No future tense to have to muck about with either, only past and present tense.  I tell you, if their writing wasn't backwards, their symbols so intricate and they didn't have about 10 different ways of speaking depending on who you're addressing, it'd be the best language.

We don't have a future tense either!

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When the Mrs and I went to Brum for the Villa game,I actually asked 3 different people how to get to the Bullring and I couldent understand any of them.The Mrs asked the next person and she had no trouble translating his directions. 

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21 minutes ago, lapal_fan said:

Harsh scouse is terrible, but I could listen to Ringo Starr "scouse" all day.

Unless it was spoken by the actual RIngo Starr obviously because he says nothing but bollocks (and that's without my B***les hatred)

RIngo is old school South Liverpool Scouse. Pretty working class, there's a good reason they picked Michael Angelis to replace Ringo as the Thomas the Tank Engine narrator, they would be really hard to tell apart in a blind test. Born within streets from each other in the DIngle area same era they sound VERY similar.

Modern Scouse is very different to that but again is still softer in the South than the North. I'd say there were a number of different current Scouse dialects and one of them is horrible to listen to

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9 minutes ago, bickster said:

there's a good reason they picked Michael Angelis to replace Ringo as the Thomas the Tank Engine narrator, they would be really hard to tell apart in a blind test

That's interesting because I always wondered why they replaced Ringo with someone who sounds nothing like him. They sound night and day to me.

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