"Accents and dialects." Top 5 Page for this destination England Local Custom Tip by leics

England Local Customs: 129 reviews and 170 photos

  Roman temple
by leics

If you get chance to travel around England you will be amazed at the number of different accents you come across, from the 'Estuary English' of the South-east to the 'Geordie' of Tyneside, from the nasal tones of the Black Country to the burr of the West Country.

Why are there so many regional variations? Nobody really knows, but I like to think it goes back to the times before the Roman invasion, when England was divided into tribal areas. No doubt each tribal group had its own words, and its own way of saying and doing things. The Romans imposed some of their ideas and language, but after they left (around 400 CE) England reverted to its own ways.

Settlement by Angles, Saxons, Vikings and, later, Normans, all added to the creation of the fascinating variety in language and pronunciation you can still hear today.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 6, 2013
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Comments (1)

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    May 7, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    Excellent tips, as always. I remember needing half an hour to understand the tour guide in the Lake District - and I do remember not understanding anything when I heard the bus driver and an old Yorkshire sheperd talk. In fact, there I needed half an hour to find out it was English.

    • christine.j's Profile Photo
      May 7, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      It's very interesting. I know there are regional dialects in Germany,some quite different from each other,but to my ear at least the varieties in English are more pronounced.

    • leics's Profile Photo
      May 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      I remember Ursa telling me that there are at least 4 regional variations in Slovenia and that people from different parts have difficulty understanding each other.

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