Tag Archives: innit

682. Key Features of English Accents, Explained

Exploring the main differences between standard English pronunciation (RP) and non-standard regional or colloquial accents. How do people really speak in different parts of England, and how does this accent differ from the accent you probably hear in English language course books and dictionaries? Notes & videos available below.

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Notes & Transcripts for this Episode Start HERE

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Hello everyone, this episode is brought to you by LEP Premium which is my paid subscription service in which I focus on teaching you vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation to really boost your English. It includes a big library of audio episodes, video episodes and PDFs plus new content arriving all the time. You get episodes in the LEP App or online. To get started go to www.teacherluke.co.uk/premiuminfo 

Hello and welcome to the podcast!

I hope you’re doing fine today. I’m alright thanks for asking. It’s a Thursday afternoon. I have finished my teaching for the day. I’m at home. I’ve had lunch. It’s now pouring with rain outside. The conditions are perfect for learning and teaching English in another new episode. 

This one is going to be a deep dive into English accents and we’re going to look at some pronunciation features that are common in the non-standard forms of English accents, which basically means the regional accents that differ in various ways to standard English RP. This should help you identify key differences between RP and the other accents and remember – most people have a regional accent. RP isn’t actually that common. It’s only a small percentage of all the English speakers in the world, and yet the coursebooks, pronunciation guides, dictionaries and so on tend only to present RP as their model for learning English. As a result you might find it really hard to understand people speaking in the real world or in realistic TV shows and films. This episode is about helping you understand how non-standard English accents differ from RP.

Just before we start on that though, I just have three announcements and bits of podcast admin to make.

1. WISBOLEP – The New Deadline for the Competition is 15 October 2020.

The latest LEP competition is now open, since I launched it in the last episode. WISBOLEP. If you’re interested in taking part, just listen to the previous episode of this podcast to find out. I thought I wouldn’t get many entries, but of course I always underestimate this kind of thing. 

Thank you for those of you who have entered the competition – I have already had more than I thought I would get. Now I’m worried that I’ll get too many entries. At this stage, the competition closes on 31 October but I have decided to bring forward the end date of the competition, otherwise I will get so many entries and I won’t be able to deal with them all.

So – is that clear? The new end date for WISBOLEP is midnight on 15 October 2020.

2. LEPster Meetup in Prague – Sat 17 October 

I want to say “hello” to any LEPsters in Prague in the Czech Republic. Hello.

There is another LEPster meeting happening in Prague on Sat 17 Oct 2020, 5pm-10pm. I suggest you join in, speak English, meet some like-minded people and play some board games in English, which is a really great way to work on your communication skills because it’s fun and makes you use English in specific ways.

Details

Date & Time: Sat 17 Oct, 5-10pm. 

Venue: Bohemia Boards and Brews

Host: Zdenek Lukas

It’s a board game cafe. A lot of expats go there and the owner is American.

Join a Facebook group called Prague Lepsters and sign in there because of the reservation and/or send me an email at teacherzdenek@gmail.com.

Prague Lepsters on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/1317940114960070/

3. Listen to Luke on the IELTS Speaking for Success Podcast

Recently I was interviewed on the IELTS Speaking for Success podcast, which is co-hosted by Maria Molashenko. The podcast is all about succeeding in the IELTS test, but our episode was all about how to use podcasts to improve your speaking. We talked about approaches to using podcast episodes to learn English in various ways, including listening passively and actively and specific techniques you can use. Maria is a successful language learner herself (and she’s a LEPster) and she has loads of good input too. So, you could listen to that. It’s for everyone hoping to improve their English with podcasts. Also, there’s a PDF summary of all our advice, which you can download free. Find both the audio and the PDF linked on the page for this episode on my website, or search your generic podcast app for IELTS speaking for success. I was in Series 4 Episode 10 “Learning English Through Podcasts”.

Listen to the episode

Get the PDF

successwithielts.com/tpost/9pu2jmrdhf-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-language-le

Key Features of English Accents

This episode is all about English accents – the regional versions that exist all over the country, and how they generally differ from a standard English accent like mine for example. 

We’ll be looking at some very common features of English that are very typical in England, and which generally mark someone out as being from a certain place and from a certain background.

We’re not going into all the differences between each regional accent, like “this is Liverpool, this is Manchester, etc”. I’ve done that before in previous episodes (search the archive for British accents and dialects). Rather we are just going to look at some features which are shared by lots of the different regional accents.

This feels like a premium episode because it’s all about language, but I’m keeping it free and what I’m going to do is record a follow up premium episode which will be full of pronunciation drills for you to practise saying things with these pronunciation features and without, like me.

That’s coming soon to www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium 

Have you ever noticed any differences in the way I speak and the way that some other British people speak, like some of my guests, for example the way Paul Taylor speaks? 

The difference is quite subtle.

Luke’s Accent vs Paul’s Accent

From episode 527 – Can Paul Taylor Pass the UK Citizenship Test (from 12:50)

teacherluke.libsyn.com/527-can-paul-taylor-pass-the-uk-citizenship-test

There’s really only one main difference there in the way Paul and I speak, but it’s quite a big one in the world of English accents. Paul says things like “It’s really overly complicated and it’s not, it’s not complicated but it’s stuff that is irrelevant if you want to live and work in England” “He’s pretty decent. He knows a lot about history and stuff.”

The difference there is the way Paul pronounces certain T sounds with a glottal stop. I might do it occasionally, but I think generally I pronounce most of my Ts, certainly the ones in the middle of words, most of the time.

So Paul uses a glottal stop and I usually don’t – that’s the main difference, but it’s quite a big one.

What does this mean then? How does this distinguish Paul and me then? 

The difference is just a subtle one in the way that we speak, which means that Paul’s accent is influenced a bit more by where he comes from, and maybe he’s from a slightly lower social class, but we’re splitting hairs really. It’s probably more of a cultural one in the households in which we grew up. 

I grew up in what I often call a BBC household with a dad who went to Oxford and worked at the BBC for most of his career and in our house there wasn’t much of a trace of an accent. Maybe a bit of midlands, or Yorkshire but generally it was RP. Maybe this is because my dad studied English at university, and my mum studied history as well and then my dad went into broadcast journalism, so speaking in this standard way was just the norm. Also my grandparents spoke mostly in this way, with slight northern accents coming through sometimes in the way they said certain words. 

I don’t know all about Paul’s background that much, but I guess his accent stems from the time he spent in Kent growing up, which is very similar to London really, and glottal stops are very common in that entire region. I don’t think Paul is from a hugely different social class to me, but if I had to call it, I’d say that I’m more on the side of upper-middle class and Paul is, I don’t know, middle middle class, not that it’s important. It’s more that I want you to be able to pick up on these little signifiers of people’s backgrounds, like English people do when they hear each other speak. I’m not inviting you to judge people, just to be aware of certain social clues that you might not otherwise notice.

I don’t want to get bogged down in class here. That’s another story for another time.

Let’s get back to talking about different types of English that you might hear, and their differences.

How about the way people speak on the BBC news and the way people speak in the street? [There are stylistic differences, but mainly the BBC news is spoken in standard RP]

Have you ever come to the UK after studying English in your home country for many years and then got into a taxi and found you have no idea what the taxi driver was saying?

It’s probably because his pronunciation didn’t follow the usual, standard conventions. It probably wasn’t something you were used to hearing if you’ve been studying from course books or other published materials.

What are some of the differences between my accent and so many regional accents in the UK?

Email of the Year

Every now and then I get an email which asks me lots of questions and also answers them at the same time, which is great. Here’s one which I received flippin ‘ages ago ( 5 years ago in fact – Email of the decade?) I’ve only managed to get round to it now but anyway, here we go.

Name: Koji Watanabe

Message: Hi Luke!

My name is Koji. I’m a big fan of your show.

First of all, congratulations on your marriage! I hope your honeymoon will be stunning and that you love it.

If I (can)  introduce myself, I was born and raised in Japan and moved to Sydney 2 and a half years ago. However, I have been using various visual study materials (tv shows) from the UK and my English is British rather than Australian.

I started playing cricket and am deeply saddened by the defeat by England in the recent Ashes series. In one episode you said you and your father loved the game so I would love to hear you talking about it for the whole show.

I listened to your episodes about the cockney accent, (Northern) Irish accent, British accents and dialects, and they covered some of my questions I would like to ask you today. 

I apologise in advance for asking you questions in the first communication. Only if you think it is something you might want to bring up in one of your podcast episodes, please read it through – otherwise, you can just disregard this email.

My questions are about accents and dialects.

Luke: What follows is a pretty detailed description of different pronunciation features in British English (TH sounds, T sounds and glottal stops, H sounds and more), with a few questions thrown in. 

What I’ve done is taken Koji’s notes and worked on them, adding details, thoughts, ideas and so on, while also keeping Koji’s original text. Let’s go through that now then.

Before we go into this, I just want to make a point about accents and identity.

What kind of accent do you want?

When we’re talking about accent, we need to bear two things in mind.

One is intelligibility – can people understand you? 

The other is identity – who are you? Who do you want to be? What do you want people to think of you? Who are you talking to?

Regarding the colloquial English we’re going to be looking at now, I think it is absolutely vital to know about these different varieties and how they affect pronunciation. But should you be speaking like this too? As I said, it’s totally up to you. I personally think being intelligible is the most important thing. You might also want to sound like a local, I suppose. In that case, go for it. But in the words of David Crystal, keep it natural. Don’t force an accent too much.

There’s also the rather sensitive subject of accentism or snobbishness in accents, and how people’s opinions of you are affected by the way you speak. The fact is, a colloquial accent can cause people to subconsciously judge you in certain ways. People might see you as being less educated or sophisticated if you drop all your Ts, pronounce TH sounds in certain ways, don’t pronounce H sounds and so on.

I’m not saying that colloquial English will make you stupid or anything. That’s obviously false, but colloquial English does carry with it certain associations such as a working class background. 

What am I saying? Basically, you’re more likely to find colloquial English like this from a guy working on a building site than from a qualified lawyer working in a top London law firm. So, which one are you? If you’re working on the building site with the other lads, I expect the colloquial English would seem more appropriate. If you’re doing an internship in the law firm, the standard RP would probably be more appropriate – but please don’t assume that I mean that colloquial English sounds stupid or is only used by uneducated people. I’m just saying – be aware of the baggage that comes with this kind of accent.

For example, my dad tends not to like glottal stops. If I said “Can you pass the butter?” he’d probably correct me. “It makes you look bad” is what he might say. Certain linguists might find that to be snobbishness, but the fact is, it’s a common attitude.

Should you speak like this? It’s up to you! The main thing is: you need to understand the varieties of English.

This episode is as much about understanding natural English when you hear it, as it is about actually learning to speak like this. In my honest opinion, I reckon you should probably aim to produce standard English. Try to be clear and use pronunciation that most people understand and let your own identity give some colour to the language as you doubtless will be imprinting your English with influence from your first language anyway.

In all honesty, it is very hard for an adult learning a second language to lose all trace of their accent. There are almost always traces of your accent in your English. That’s not so bad. Your English is just one of the many varieties out there. We don’t all speak the same. That’s the cool thing about English. It’s quite adaptable. If you’re using it, communicating effectively with it, and yet you sound different to everyone else – welcome to the club. English is like a village.

So, as someone from Bristol has their own version of English, then why not someone from Barcelona?

My main advice is – understand this, absorb it all, notice it when people speak, but just try to be clear when you speak. Try to focus on being understood in your communication, rather than trying to sound like a certain type of person. Clearly communicate your own ideas and just be yourself.

[Koji’s words are presented in italics]

*th-fronting

This means that TH sounds become either F or V. 

Thirty Three – “Firty Free”

Mother and Father – “muvver and favver”

It’s particularly common in the south of England, although apparently TH fronting has started to spread to areas in the north too.

Unvoiced TH /θ/

Those who speak with th-fronting use “f” if “th” is pronounced as “θ”. 

For example:

Heath, bath, both, think, lethargic, catheter, Thursday

Danny Dyer on “Who do you ‘fink’ you are?”

“I was bowled over when I found out I was related to royalty on Who Do You Fink You Are.”

“Edward the Fird”

“My great-grandfaver “

And does this also apply to names as well? (Luke: Yes, of course)

Thor, Beth, Theodore, Thurgate, Matthew

Voiced TH /ð/

If “th” is pronounced as “ð”, the sound becomes “v” only when “th” is used in the middle or at the end of the word. Is this correct? [So, basically – not at the start of the word]

> Yes: Leather [le-va], mother [ma-va], writhe [raiv]

> No: that [vat], those [vouz], them etc..

I would agree. Occasionally  you hear TH at the start of the word becoming F or V but very rarely (it’s probably just a speech impediment that some people have).

It’s interesting that native speakers also seem to struggle with TH sounds, because learners often find this really really hard. 

*t-glottalisation (the glottal stop)

A glottal stop in English is a replacement for a T sound in the middle or at the end of the word. It’s most typically associated with a cockney accent from London.

Interview with Adele (from 1:31)

“I got really excited as if it wasn’t me, and afterwards I tried to check Twitter but I didn’t have a Twitter account so I just saw what was on there if you’re not on there”

“Excited”

“Twitter”

Instead of making the T sound in your mouth, the glottal stop comes from closing and then opening the glottis, which is an opening between the vocal cords – basically it’s in your throat.

When we make a T sound, the tip of the tongue presses against your gum just behind your teeth and when the tongue is released, the air and sound that comes out is a T sound.

With a glottlal stop, we make that sound from the vocal chords rather than the tongue and the gums. When we open the glottis, air is released in a similar way to when we use our tongue on our gums.

  • Later 
  • Started
  • Water
  • Bottle
  • Computer

But we don’t do this for every single T sound. It depends on certain things.

It’s interesting to know this but I would advise against doing it too much in your speech. I’ve heard learners of English who try to use glottal stops on purpose perhaps because they’ve discovered that it makes you sound authentically English, but used too much and in a slightly wrong way it can have a weird effect. So, know about the glottal stop, know how to use it, but use it all the time at your own risk.

Quick Test

Imagine you’re a native English speaker who uses glottal stops ( you could be Paul Taylor maybe).

Can you say these words with a glottal stop? Where does the glottal stop go? Which words have no glottal stop?

  • Better
  • British
  • Antique
  • Letter
  • Entitled
  • Security
  • Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • Lost
  • Sit
  • Return
  • That
  • Thirty
  • Twitter
  • Wants
  • Potato

When do we add a glottal stop and when not?

YES: At the end of words  — not, hot, got, lot, start

YES: After a vowel sound (previous examples)

YES: In the weak/unstressed syllable

No: At the start of words

No: After a consonant sound

No: In the stressed syllable

Potato has two Ts in it. One is replaced with a glottal stop and other isn’t. Which T is glottalised, then?

Potato

Which T is in an unstressed (weak) syllable? 

It’s the second one.

Letter

Better

But not in hotel, antique, return – because the t sound appears in the stressed syllable.

Entitled

Pronounce the first T because it’s in the stressed syllable.

The second T becomes a glottal stop because it’s in the unstressed syllable and follows a vowel sound.

Lost

Wants

No glottal stop after a consonant (it’s impossible anyway!)

Koji – I’m sure there are some words in which t’s should not be dropped if I’m not mistaken.

For example, we can say:

Water [wa’er], pathetic [pa-fe’ik]

But we cannot use a stop for words such as:

Fountain (?), maintain, hotel, hostel..

Yes – because of the reasons given above.

Water and pathetic – The Ts in these words follow vowel sounds and are not in the stressed syllable.

Fountain, maintain and hostel – follow a consonant sound /n/ /s/

Maintain and Hotel – the T is in the stressed syllable

If a word has two elements then we do not drop “t”:

re-trieve, pre-text..

[This is a bit like the T at the start of the word. The prefixes could be considered as separate words.]

Are there any patterns or rules in which ts can be omitted? (we’ve just been through them but let’s recap)

YES: At the end of words  — not, hot, got, lot, start

YES: After a vowel sound (previous examples)

YES: In the weak/unstressed syllable

No: At the start of words

No: After a consonant sound

No: In the stressed syllable

Or do I just need to get the feel of it and remember which one can and cannot?

Get a feel for it is my advice, and like Koji mentioned before, the best way is not to do it too strongly. Don’t push it too much and try to use it everywhere. But try it out, test yourself, repeat after me. There will be a premium pronunciation episode for this, with drills for all the stuff in this episode. Both the colloquial version with things like glottal stops and also the standard version – how I would normally say it.

So, back to my advice for Koji.

Yes, on one hand, practise things like glottal stops – for fun mainly, but also to learn about how these sounds are made and how they feel, which will definitely help your listening, which in turn helps everything else. Helping your pronunciation can help your vocabulary, because it allows you to suddenly understand other people more, which then helps you identify what people are saying, allowing you to add those words and expressions to your active vocabulary.

So on the one hand, play with glottal stops and other things. But also consider to what extent you want to introduce these things into your normal speech, and in fact my advice would be to pronounce the Ts in your words when you are talking normally in your life. Pronouncing the Ts, especially at the ends of words, does tend to make you sound really clear and nice. It’s also probably a bit easier for you to do. As an example I am reminded of my friend Emina who was on the podcast a while ago, who has a great accent and I noticed she often makes a point of pronouncing the T sounds at the end and in the middle of words. 

But’s that’s just what I think. It’s up to you really! You can choose who you want to sound like, I just also want you to know what all the accents mean in the UK.

Glottal stops are very natural, but you should know that some people don’t like them and find them to be a sign of a lack of education. 

That’s not really true of course – you can be extremely well educated and still pronounce words with glottal stops, but there are plenty of people who don’t like glottal stops that much. 

So, regardless of all the arguments about the equality of accents (which I believe in) I think there is nothing wrong with pronouncing your Ts. (listen to Luke pronounce all the words in the list again, with T sounds)

This is especially true at the end of words, where a nice crisp T sound can sound very clear and nice.

  • I think we should start.
  • What time would you like to eat?
  • He’s intent on completing this project on budget.

*h-dropping

This is pretty simple. It’s when h sounds aren’t pronounced.

It’s quite common in a cockney accent, but also plenty of others.

Here’s an example of Karl Pilkington who comes from Manchester, talking about getting his fridge fixed. 

“He says ‘let’s ‘have a look then’. He opens it, sticks his hand in…”

But when does h-dropping happen?

I thought I would just add this from Wikipedia, largely because of the last line, as a way of saying “yep, what they said.”

H-dropping is the deletion of the voiceless glottal fricative or “H sound”, [h]. The phenomenon is common in many dialects of English, and is also found in certain other languages, either as a purely historical development or as a contemporary difference between dialects. Although common in most regions of England and in some other English-speaking countries, H-dropping is often stigmatized and perceived as a sign of careless or uneducated speech.” Wikipedia

It’s worth noting that social stigma, related to this kind of speech. I think that you need to know that some people look down on those who speak English like this. For some, this kind of speech is a sign of a lack of education or class. There it is. Of course plenty of well known people, successful people, well educated people speak like this, but there is a bit of a stigma attached to all these pronunciation features, and that is probably related to a certain kind of class-based snobbishness.

But H-dropping is found in dialects all over England and Wales.

It’s more frequently found in working class accents in England (which are pretty much the same thing as regional accents anyway). 

Examples

  • harm, heat, and behind
  • he, him, her, his, had, and have
  • Should have
  • Would have
  • Could have

The dropping of H in weak forms is normal in all accents, including RP.

We do pronounce H after saying “a”

  • A hundred
  • A house
  • A hotel

But you might just turn it into “an”, then drop the H

  • An ‘undred
  • An ‘house
  • An ‘otel

Koji: Are h-dropping accents applied to pronouns and names as well?

e.g. Heidi [eye-dee], Hugo [o0-go], Henry, Hamish.. (yes, they are)

For example

  • Hello Harry, How’s it going Harry? Here, have you been having a sneaky look at my house.
  • Sorry, what?
  • Have you been sneaking around my house.
  • Your what?
  • My house!
  • Oh your house!
  • Yeah, my house!

*”me” as a way to say “my” and “us” to say “me”

  • Hey, give us the remote control.
  • I’ve lost all me fags.

Michael The Geordie – “He’d eaten all me fags”

Michael the Geordie talking about throwing a monkey in the sea because he’d
“Eaten all me fags”. (From 0:21 )

Koji: Where can this mainly be observed? Is this very common among Northerners? I think I heard this in London before but I’m not 100% sure.

Definitely common in the north.

Also in “Pirate” (the sort of English that pirates used, usually in films and things), so probably the south west.

Not so sure about London though. It’s common to reduce “my” to a weak form but is it a full-on “me”? I don’t think so.

And again, is this not applied to the beginning of the sentence?

Yes: Wait until I pop me shoes on.

No?: My date was cancelled. (Is “Me date” acceptable?)

Not true. You can use “me” at the start of the sentence.

In a Northern Accent

  • What’s the matter with you? Why have you go the hump?
  • Me bloody date cancelled on me didn’t she.

I think this is largely found in the northern part of UK, and I find it very interesting. 

I wonder if hearing Tohoku accent is nearly the same experience for you hearing people from the north speak. What is your impression about the accent? [those accents]

What do I think when I hear a northern accent?

I like northern accents. I don’t feel there is anything particularly different about a person with a northern accent, although people in the north are often said to be more friendly, more open to visitors, more down to earth and proud of where they come from of course.

This is just an example of a pretty strong northern accent (Bolton, in Lancashire).

Peter Kay in The Ice-Cream Man Cometh

Or a more normal one…

Jarvis Cocker on the Johnathon Ross Show in 2001

I like hearing northern accents, like I enjoy all accents. There’s a certain lyrical quality to any northern accent, which is a pleasure to hear.

This is a pretty excellent tour of the north of England in accents, which was originally broadcast on BBC radio 4. It’s dialect coach Elspeth Morrison and she pretty much nails all the accents here. 

See if you can follow each accent as she goes around the map. Imagine the north of England like a triangle leaning to the right. The top of the triangle is Northumberland (bordering Scotland) and below that on the north east are Newcastle and Middlesborough. From there go down the left side of the triangle to the north west (actually in the bottom left corner) and you get parts of Lancashire, Liverpool and moving inland a bit you get Manchester. There are some mountains called the pennines which run between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Over the pennines you get to places like Leeds and Wakefield. Keep going east and you get to East Yorkshire and cities like Hull. Then back up the right side of the triangle you get to Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Northumberland again.

So, for this clip all credit goes to dialect coach Elspeth Morrison and BBC Radio 4. 

A Tour of English Accents by Elspeth Morrison

Koji: Like Tohoku people do not mix their dialect with Kansai dialect, you wouldn’t speak with your received accent with the ones above? 

Nope, unless it’s for fun and I’m imitating different accents. Sometimes I slip into different accents when I speak or when I’m around the house. My accent might shift a little bit if I’m with mates who have Birmingham accents or London accents.

I know it is weird if I speak with an accent, but my workmates say I do not have Japanese accent…

ok

Please just ignore this message if you think it is inappropriate for me to ask you those questions.

One more thing (well, two actually)

Ain’t

This is more a dialect feature than a pronunciation feature, but it’s worth noting anyway. 

You might have heard this in songs, films, TV series and lots of other places.

  • He ain’t coming
  • I ain’t got no money
  • Ain’t no mountain high enough

It either means “be not” or “have not”

Like all of these things:

  • Isn’t – This isn’t my car. This ain’t my car.
  • Aren’t – Those aren’t your keys. Those ain’t your keys.
  • Am not – I’m not lying. I ain’t lying.
  • Haven’t – They ain’t finished yet.
  • Hasn’t – Finished? She ain’t even started yet.

It’s considered to be an error in fact, but it’s very common.

Quick Task

Convert these lines into “correct” English

  • I ain’t finished yet –> I haven’t finished yet
  • He just ain’t smart enough  – 
  • You ain’t coming with us, you’re staying here
  • She ain’t got time to hang around with us
  • You know I ain’t lying

It’s quite common in double negatives.

  • I ain’t done nothing wrong.
  • She ain’t done nothing all day.
  • We ain’t said nothing to nobody/no-one.

And since we’ve had ain’t we might as well include innit.

Innit

This one mainly replaces “isn’t it” and that’s very common.

At a stretch it can replace all the different tag questions, but this is less common and more typical of a certain accent among young people in the London area. Ali G says it a lot, innit. (doesn’t he)

  • Isn’t it – “That’s the right answer, innit.”
  • Aren’t you – “You’re our new teacher innit miss”
  • Did he – “He went home innit”
  • Have – “We’ve gone the wrong way, innit”

So that’s it.

And Koji finishes his email…

Good luck with your honeymoon plan. I wish you a bright and the happiest married life together!

Best regards,

Koji

Well let’s all say thanks to Koji for providing what could be the email of the decade, forming the backbone of this episode, which looked at various features of colloquial accents common in regional accents all over England, including

  • TH sounds
  • Glottal stop
  • H drop
  • Me / my
  • Us / me
  • Ain’t 
  • Innit

I hope you feel you have learned something from this.

My next plan is to prepare a pronunciation episode of LEP Premium in which we can practise some pronunciation with and without these colloquial features.

Thanks for listening.

Actually, before we go, I thought I would make this episode just that little bit longer by adding something at the end here.

Jack & Dean on BBC Radio 1 – reading out song lyrics as if they’re being spoken by an angry northern dad. I thought it might be fun to hear them saying these lines that you might know from pop songs, but in the voice of a northern man. There’s quite a lot of laughing in this, which might distract you a bit, and some things might be a bit unintelligible, but generally I hope you like it. All the videos from this episode are on the episode page on my website of course, including this one. Right.

The songs and lyrics

Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars

I’m too hot (hot damn)

Call the police and the fireman

I’m too hot (hot damn)

Make a dragon wanna retire man

I’m too hot (hot damn)

Say my name you know who I am

I’m too hot (hot damn)

And my band ’bout that money

Break it down

Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two

But I can shake it, shake it, like I’m supposed to do

‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase

And all the right junk in all the right places

Hozier – Take me To church (weird lyrics?)

I was born sick, but I love it

Command me to be well

A-amen, amen, amen – Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins, and you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life