British Accents

mac-er

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 9, 2003
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I am aware that there are different types of British accents (e.g. Cockney, Posh, Mancunian, etc, etc). But, I've never heard enough to be able to tell the difference between all the different types. And, like most Americans, couldn't identify what the accent was if I heard it.

I assume the actors in the Harry Potter movies have pretty diverse accents given the shear number of British actors in the movie (at least it sounds like they are diverse).

Can someone tell me what type of accents the various actors have?
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,574
2,909
i say mullet as "mull-it" no crazy tone change on the 'it' part ;)

i've never seen Harry Potter so I cant comment on the accents. all I know is that I can tell (assuming they've been brought up in the same place) where somebody lives around here. Uppermill has its own accent, less than a mile away in Mossley they have another. *remembers the Fresh Prince joke where the butler meets an english girl and traces her exact location just by her accent :D *
 

Sogo

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2004
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eh, raight abouut that time eh chaps?

Righ ooh.

....ok i tease...


Yea I cant tell the difference, but I am fairly good with my british accent. The hardest part is really learning the different vocabulary.
 

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2002
587
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England
mac-er said:
I assume the actors in the Harry Potter movies have pretty diverse accents given the shear number of British actors in the movie (at least it sounds like they are diverse).

Can someone tell me what type of accents the various actors have?
I haven't watched Harry Potter for a while, but I don't remember any of the characters having strong regional accents, certainly no Geordies, Scousers, Brummies, Mancs, or Tafs in the main characters (Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Wales respectively).

As I remember they are mostly middle class "Queen's English" accents that are hard to place geographically.

Generally, I find that middle class people tend to have less of an accent, perhaps partly because they are more likely to move around the country and/or mix with more people, and partly because they tend to have a higher level of education. That is a massive generalisation though, and not meant to be offensive in any way to people with accents, or anyone else.
 

Kernow

macrumors 65816
Sep 30, 2005
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dobbin said:
I haven't watched Harry Potter for a while, but I don't remember any of the characters having strong regional accents, certainly no Geordies, Scousers, Brummies, Mancs, or Tafs in the main characters (Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Wales respectively).

As I remember they are mostly middle class "Queen's English" accents that are hard to place geographically.
Definitely for the main characters, this is true. A lot of the minor characters have regional accents though.
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
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Buy me a few drinks and I'll demonstrate all manner of regional accents :D


I haven't seen the Harry Potter film so I can't comment on which part of the UK they're from.

I have a 'normal' boring SE England/London acccent... not quite sure what you'd call it... a hybrid form of RP and Estuary English I guess. I pick up other people's accents really easily and in fact mine varies depending on the situation. I'm easily confused :p
 

mpw

Guest
Jun 18, 2004
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mac-er said:
...I assume the actors in the Harry Potter movies have pretty diverse accents given the shear number of British actors in the movie (at least it sounds like they are diverse)...
Obviously they didn't go to the same vocal coach as the famous British actor Sean Connery. I've seen that guy play Eygitian, Scotish, Irish, American, Russian etc. with flawless accents each time. He's like a chameleon.
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
Sogo said:
Yea I cant tell the difference, but I am fairly good with my british accent.
I'll lay bets that most Brits could tell it was fake though; just as you could probably pick our fake American accents out of a lineup regardless of how good we think they are ourselves.

I'd agree with the middle-England bit. Oliver Wood, the Quidditch captain in the first 3 movies, did have a Scottish accent as does Cho Chang in this one. And there's another kid, who is obviously Irish.
 

kwajo.com

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
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Bay of Fundy
Applespider said:
I'll lay bets that most Brits could tell it was fake though; just as you could probably pick our fake American accents out of a lineup regardless of how good we think they are ourselves.
this is true. if you've ever seen the movie "The Shipping News" which takes place on Newfoundland, you've got both brits and americans trying to get the Newfie accent and it is obvious they are all faking it, and I'm only from New Brunswick.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
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Palookaville
Some very fine actors can't do accents. As good as he is, Kenneth Branagh can't really do a convincing American voice. OTOH, Ralph Fiennes can, also Helen Mirren.

Regional accents are a lot of fun. When I was living in England a number of years ago, I enjoyed the game of guessing where people I met were from -- and managed to be right much of the time. Some of them are really easy, though.
 

strider42

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2002
1,460
6
mac-er said:
I am aware that there are different types of British accents (e.g. Cockney, Posh, Mancunian, etc, etc). But, I've never heard enough to be able to tell the difference between all the different types. And, like most Americans, couldn't identify what the accent was if I heard it.

I assume the actors in the Harry Potter movies have pretty diverse accents given the shear number of British actors in the movie (at least it sounds like they are diverse).

Can someone tell me what type of accents the various actors have?
My parents are English, and because of that I can't hear a lot of English Accents. There are a number of actors and actresses I didn't know were english, or even south african, for years because the pronunciations sound normal to me. I can't hear the accents in the harry potter films to tell you the truth, at least not of harry and hermione. I can hear Ron's accent, and Hagrit's. If its anything close to an normal London accent, it sounds the same to me.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,920
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What do you fellows and fellowesses think of Catherine Zeta-Jones's American accent?

I thought Renee Zellweger's was borderline OK in Bridget Jones's Diary.
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
Blue Velvet said:
What do you fellows and fellowesses think of Catherine Zeta-Jones's American accent?

I thought Renee Zellweger's was borderline OK in Bridget Jones's Diary.
Catherine ZJ's American accent actually sounds rather convincing to me... but then I'm British and crap with American accents. Renee Zellweger's British on the other hand to me does sound pretty fake and over-emphasised. Although I have to say hers is so much better than Gwyneth Paltrow's dreadfully nasal and whiny British accent in Sliding Doors. Aaarrgh.


Applespider said:
Hugh Lawrie's American accent in House seems pretty good to me. One of my US pals was astonished when she saw him on Leno (or the like) and realised that he was actually British.
Hmmm, I'm really not convinced. I saw a snippet of that and thought it was *weird*. Perhaps it's just because he has a very distinctive voice, that him speaking anything other than 'posh' British just sounds wrong to my ears!
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
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Palookaville
Applespider said:
Hugh Lawrie's American accent in House seems pretty good to me. One of my US pals was astonished when she saw him on Leno (or the like) and realised that he was actually British.
No matter what else he does, Hugh Laurie will always be Bertie Wooster to me.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
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Blue Velvet said:
What do you fellows and fellowesses think of Catherine Zeta-Jones's American accent?
There's no such thing as an American accent, or is there? :rolleyes: She's Welsh, but she sounds pretty Americanized in HW movies.

It's everyone else in other parts of the bloody world who have bloody accents. Not us Americans and Canadians.

Although in rural Americana, they speak a sort of slurred redneck accent that's pretty funny.


 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,788
2,870
Sod off
I went to a theme restaurant in NYC and a couple of the actress/waitresses were sporting some appalling "stage English" accents that were hilariously bad.

I've been watching BBC America and lots of syndicated UK shows for years and I'm still no good at picking out regional differences in accent. I can recognize differences but don't know the different regions.

I have to laugh at the stereotypical "Cheerio chaps, time for tea, scones and cricket" way-over-the-top UK accent that often makes it into US video games, televison commercials and whatnot. I guess it's only fair judging by the bizarre American accents I've heard some Brits sporting.

On a slighty OT note, I speak American English without an accent, like newscasters. Southerners call us Ohioans too nasal; or at least that's what they supposedly say, I can't understand that drawl they call a language. :p :rolleyes:
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,920
171
Lacero said:
There's no such thing as an American accent, or is there? :rolleyes:
Maybe not an overall one, but even I can tell the difference between someone from Brooklyn and someone from say... Texas.
 
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