The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / UK, Ireland  % width posts: 97

Are you able to hear the different English accents?


KirkhamWesham 2 | 4
3 Jul 2010  #1
This is for the Polish. Are you able to hear the different accents in England or does it all sound the same to you?
A Polish guy I know stated that this other Polish guy was posh and that he was from the South due to his accent. I heard no difference between his accent and the "posh" guy's accent.

Pointless question I know, but just curious. Everyone else has answered pointless questions so I'll ask this one..!
nott 3 | 594
3 Jul 2010  #2
Am I able to hear them?? Sometimes I feel I'd accept a special tax for the National Bureau of Language Standardization, with a strong Investigation, Enforcement and Prosecution Department. All very nice and interesting, variety of accents, but I need to communicate, and sometimes pretty promptly. You get used to Estuary, then a Brummie comes along, drops a quick question, the Glasvegian flashes back the answer, and I stand there solving puzzles.

I knew an Irishman, good people, and some 30 years in England. We worked together, and we used to have a pint or two now and then for about a year - and still I had problems.

I went to visit my friend in Wiltshire, he was renting a house together with his local friend. I needed about an hour to adjust my pattern recognition. We went to a pub together, there were some local blokes, and again I had to adjust. That friend's friend was not quite that local, as it turned out.

I spent two weeks in Leeds, went to a local pub. Tried to ask a bit about the local ale, and ended up just nodding politely. Took me a couple of minutes later at the table to cobble up a probable English rendition. I was eavesdropping on the guys at the next table, and all I understood was that they were speaking of good olden days.

Are you English?
bimber94 7 | 254
3 Jul 2010  #3
Ooo-arrr! Ye be roit there, laddie.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,389
3 Jul 2010  #4
try this: bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/index.html

click on the map....the page changes... click on the player.
nott 3 | 594
3 Jul 2010  #5
Ooo-arrr! Ye be roit there, laddie.

Right. I got it immediately, proud of it. But if you barked it at me eye to eye, I'd probably look pretty sheepish for at least a moment. Unless after some time of acclimatisation.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 459
3 Jul 2010  #6
i can spot someone from Glasgow after hearing few his/her words...
OwCr 3 | 15
26 Sep 2017  #7
Merged:

What other English accents do you understand well?



This has always been interesting to me because when I visited Poland for the first time and opened my mouth in English, only a very small amount of people I met could understand me. My accent is of County Durham / teesside area.... nothing like London at all.

I'm not offended that they misunderstand me... in fact I should make the effort to speak Londoner, southerner or American... but I would rather learn Polish instead. ;)

Anyway, what english accents / dialects have you Polish experienced in your time of meeting English people?
Lyzko 20 | 6,347
26 Sep 2017  #8
Welcome, OwCr!

Although not Polish, I find the Dorsetshire "dialect" the most phonlogically familiar to my ears as an American native speaker.
gumishu 11 | 4,956
26 Sep 2017  #9
Anyway, what english accents / dialects have you Polish experienced in your time of meeting English people?

I only truly recognize Irish and Scottish accent (appart from American) - I am sort of familiar with Geordie accent through Toy Dolls' songs but I am not sure I could recognize it in a real life setting - heard about western English accents but never met anyone speaking them (speaking of Dorsetshire)

oh the question is which accents do I understand well - the answer is American hahah
gumishu 11 | 4,956
26 Sep 2017  #10
@gumishu

oh the question is which accents do I understand well - the answer is American hahah

let me tell you a story - I used to learn English pretty intensively in high school - in all I had 7 years of learning English under my belt before I arrived in London - and when a first person aksed me something in the street I understood one word - flat - and I though oh flat, I was looking for a flat - and then the guy spoke a little bit clearer and it turned out he got a puncture aka flat tyre

I also learned that there are accents even within London itself of which some I was not able to understand at all (not a single word)

I used to learn BBC English which was the same as the Received Pronounciation back in the beginning of the 90's
There were times I thought of the American English as uneducated and ugly. Now the situation is very different - the American accent is the most clear to me (ok Received pronounciation is also very clear but now I believe it to be forced and artificial) and I find it very pleasant to the ears. I can't even explain how this happened.

Oh, but I still use mostly Brittish English spelling - so I write favourite, humour and theatre.
johnny reb 16 | 3,501
26 Sep 2017  #11
It is humorous alright, why they put that extra 'U' in words that don't need it sure is silly alright.
The ink the Brits waste in just one newspaper alone needlessly using that extra 'U' is a sin.
It's "humor" not humour.
DominicB - | 2,645
27 Sep 2017  #12
@johnny reb

By far most Poles who speak English cannot tell the difference between an American accent and a British one, never mind distinguish accents at a finer level, unless they have lived in the country for a very long time. And yes, I have actually tested this. Without visual or other clues, very few Poles can distinguish between audiobooks read by American or British readers.

As an American who grew up on PBS sponsored imported British TV programming, I can only tell roughly if someone is from the southeast, southwest, middle or northwest of England, or from Wales, Scotland or Ireland, but not specific accents. And that makes me an expert in British accents here in the States. I can't reliably identify a Saffa or Ozzie accent without additional cues, and I have had longterm roommates from both countries.

Canadians are easy. Just punch them in the arm. If they are Canadian, they will apologize, like Canadians always do, even when they are clearly not at fault. That and the weird way they pronounce the word "sorry" are enough to give them away.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 459
27 Sep 2017  #13
@DominicB
oh, c'mon.
I have no problems (usually) understanding local (Northern English- Southern Scottish) accents. Also, distinction between (general) British and (general) American is pretty clear- and Texan was detected by me straight away (I met a pair of Texans when I've visited Orkney Island).
DominicB - | 2,645
27 Sep 2017  #14
@RubasznyRumcajs

I didn't say anything about understanding them, though there are some northern and Scottish accents that you would not even recognize as English at all, never mind understand. Watch the film "Kes" and see how much you can understand without subtitles.

I was talking about accurately identifying and distinguishing different accents. And even with the so-called "Texas" accent, you were relying on additional cues. There is no such thing as a "Texas accent". Texas lies in several accent zones, none of which is specific to Texas, and General American (northern) is very often used there, as well.

When additional cues are removed, by far most Poles will have difficulty distinguishing accents as different as American and British, as in my experiment with audiobooks.
Wulkan - | 3,255
27 Sep 2017  #15
By far most Poles who speak English cannot tell the difference between an American accent and a British one

Then they don't really speak English.
Joker 1 | 835
27 Sep 2017  #16
The British speak like the have marbles in their mouth

For Example: Russell Brand has the most annoying accent of all Limeys:)
mafketis 17 | 6,911
27 Sep 2017  #17
Anyway, what english accents / dialects have you Polish experienced in your time of meeting English people?

Here's the thing, most Polish people who learn English (in Poland, and some outside Poland) do so purely instrumentally. They are not looking for a new language to use with their nearest and dearest nor a new culture to embrace. They simply want an auxilliary language that isn't too hard to learn and doesn't threaten their national identity and one that will be useful in travel and/or work.

This means that lots of things that interest native speakers (like different accents/dialects, funny word games, slang, etc etc etc) are of no special interest to them. Given that they may transfer attitudes toward Polish to English they may regard anything that's not "standard English" as being of questionable value and their idea of 'standard English' is liable to resemble the BBC in the 1970s.

There are individual exceptions but that's the general case. Also accents (except the broadest) are always harder to distinguish for non-native users than for natives.

Also, as I've mentioned before, most Americans (like me) can't tell most British accents apart (they can distinguish very broad Scottish, Cockney (is that still a thing?), something like RP and Irish.... and that's about it.

At a conference recently I heard a question from an attendee from Northern England and I only understood about 60% or so (and that was mostly the polite introductions to his real question). I have no idea what non-native speakers made of it.... One and one I was able to converse with him but not without a lot of "excuse me?"s and "huh?"s thrown in on my part....
DominicB - | 2,645
27 Sep 2017  #18
Here's the thing, most Polish people who learn English (in Poland, and some outside Poland) do so purely instrumentally.

Exactly. There is little, if any, instrumental utility for a foreigner in being able to distinguish between native English accents, so they are, for the most part, ignored as irrelevant. Like you said, most Americans cannot distinguish between the different British accents. The reverse is also true: few Brits can tell the difference between the different American accents. This is also due to lack of instrumental utility.
CasualObserver
27 Sep 2017  #19
Exactly. There is little, if any, instrumental utility for a foreigner in being able to distinguish between native English accents,

There is if you are one of the c.1 million Poles that have moved to Britain. Many of these live in fairly small towns - I have met Poles right across the country, from coast to coast. Each city and small region generally has its own accent, though many are not much different from each other, but many are VERY different. So a Pole moving to Glasgow, Worcester, Hull, Peterborough or Bangor will hear have to learn the local dialect and accent in order to get by. Each is as different from RP as Appalachian is from Bronx. Accents can change drastically over as little as 20 miles.

I have a very distinctive English accent (and dialect), from a little-known corner of England, that is difficult to understand for those from other parts of the country. When I moved to a more mixed part of England I had to change my accent, as I simply wasn't well understood even by native speakers. Poles could understand very little, and when Poles are speaking to my family or friends from that region I generally have to translate (English to English!). In the past 10 years, the proportion of Poles in the population of my original area has gone from 0% to about 7%, so there are a lot of Polish people who thought they learnt English at school who then had to relearn it. If they move to another area they'll probably have to do it again to some extent. So there is definitely instrumental utility in being aware of the different accents.
Atch 17 | 2,742
27 Sep 2017  #20
a little-known corner of England

Royston Vasey?? :D

I must say I'm intrigued. Generally dialects survive in areas which have had little contact with outsiders so I'm guessing your home town is not close to the coast, nor to a large city so I think it's essentially rural but it's not necessarily a small place. Ok, I'm going to take a stab at it, you're a forester or something of that kind anyway aren't you, and I think that stems from growing up in a forested place, so forests, distinctive and rare dialect - I'm guessing the Forest of Dean.
Roger5 1 | 1,463
27 Sep 2017  #21
A Polish friend of mine who moved to Derby had to get used not only to the accent, but also to being called 'duck' by locals.
Atch 17 | 2,742
27 Sep 2017  #22
You simply can't beat the English for those, shall we say, terms of endearment. Duck, chuck, cocker, hinney etc. I believe they also have something called a 'singing hinney' in Newcastle, a kind of toasted teacake/crumpet thing with butter.
Roger5 1 | 1,463
27 Sep 2017  #23
Growing up in London it was normal for street market traders to call everyone darling, and I mean men calling men darling, but it was just street traders. Strange to remember that now.
DominicB - | 2,645
27 Sep 2017  #24
So a Pole moving to Glasgow, Worcester, Hull, Peterborough or Bangor will hear have to learn the local dialect and accent in order to get by.

But won't be able to distinguish any other accents except the local one, because there is no point in doing so. So a Pole living in Bangor will be able to understand the Bangor accent, and, perhaps, pick it out from other British accents and imitate it to some extent, but wouldn't be able to distinguish Scouse from Kentish from Geordi from Glaswegian, or even from American or Australian, without abundant experience and work. Probably wouldn't be able to determine whether a given accent was Welsh or not, if it was not specifically the variety spoken in Bangor.

Even as far as speaking goes, they are probably going to largely retain a Polish accent, slightly adapted for local conditions. Unless they are quite young and highly motivated, they are not going to end up speaking the local accent. Acquiring a native accent after one is about twenty takes a lot of hard work that very few people are willing to take on.
mafketis 17 | 6,911
27 Sep 2017  #25
So there is definitely instrumental utility in being aware of the different accents.

No, there's instrumental utility in learning to cope with an accent you have to deal with a lot. That doesn't equate with active interest in learning about different accents.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,726
27 Sep 2017  #26
Cockney (is that still a thing?), something like RP and Irish.... and that's about it.

among the older white people, yes, but of course a lot of them have died or moved out.
The London accent these days is quite different,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multicultural_London_English

I would see no point in understanding accents of a place where u are not going to live...
Roger5 1 | 1,463
27 Sep 2017  #27
A Cockney is someone 'born within the sound of Bow bells', but most people extend this to the whole of east London, and even to parts of Essex, where lots of east enders moved to after the Blitz. South Londoners like me never call ourselves cockneys, although the accents are very similar. There was a time when I could differentiate the accents of people from Greenwich, Charlton and Woolwich.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,726
27 Sep 2017  #28
South Londoners like me never call ourselves cockneys, although the accents are very similar.

and yet if you were born in St Thomas Lambeth, apparently you would officially be a cockney...
Roger5 1 | 1,463
27 Sep 2017  #29
Officially? The word apparently means whatever people want it to mean. I met a bloke once who told me he came from London. I asked whereabouts. Luton.
Lyzko 20 | 6,347
27 Sep 2017  #30
@Wulkan, I agree with you there:-)

On the other hand, younger, educated Poles often have a perceptible "English accent" with a heavy overlay of their native language, of course!
The older or less educated the Polish speaker, naturally, the heavier the accent of their first language and the greater the first-language interference in their English, as one example.


Home / UK, Ireland / Are you able to hear the different English accents?
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.