Posted by: Jason | March 13, 2011

Just How DO You Say That?

Something that often trips up many students is the large number of English accents out there. There are so many accents and there really isn’t any one standard English. After all, English is spoken in many languages, so, trying to create a standard would be very difficult. Should we accept one of the many English accents as the standard since that’s where English started? Or maybe we should use one of the American accents? After all, there’s about five or six times more Americans than there are British. Of course, the next problem would be trying to pick just one accent as a “standard”. This just isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

For a good comparison of accents, take a look at these links of people from different places saying the word, “Better”:

“Standard American” Liverpool Edinburgh New York and Alabama

As you can see, everyone says it differently. Something to always be aware of when you’re listening to something in English, is where is the speaker from. Getting a handle on different accents can really help you when you listen to people speak. To help you with that, here’s the site that those sound files above appear. They’ve got lots of great resources for hearing different accents.

The University of Edinburgh – Sounds From Around the World


  1. These ”better” are really really different!! Um, it’s difficult…

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