Prejudice & accents in England....

McNight   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 14:51 GMT
The only reason London is great is because UK is centralised to London, were Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester have their fair share not only would the UK be a better place as a whole, personally I think it's disgusting that one city should get everything. A city where toffs live.
unknown charver   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 15:23 GMT
Know what youre saying re Londres but i think that if u arent loaded the quality of life there is really quite shan. And the transport system is a disaster....olympics? i wouldn't bank on a jumble sale not bringing london to gridlock. There is a lot of prejudice down there against northerners....use a polysyllabic word and they look at you like youre a skateboarding duck.
McNight   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 19:37 GMT
That what makes me laugh, London's transport system is a joke, and they decide to rebuild Wembley in London even though a more convenient place would be in the midlands i.e Coventry. £750 million for a 90,000 stadium what a joke, they could have just built it in Coventry for half the price.

Rush on the tube, someone just video record it and put it on "You've been framed show" so everyone can laugh at it.
Rita   Friday, June 06, 2003, 03:03 GMT
one of my friends went to England and she said there was a lot of prejudice going on, not just to do with accents but also with race.
is this true?
Antonio   Friday, June 06, 2003, 11:57 GMT
London is so cosmopolitan that you cannot define it as English or British...
London certainly isn´t in position to be used to discuss about UK as a whole.
Higgins   Saturday, June 07, 2003, 11:47 GMT
Ahem! Getting back to a Southerner with what is perceived by many to be a "posh" accent AND having lived in Bristol, West Yorkshire, Manchester, Kent, London and Sussex, I offer the following:

Yes I have been seen as stuck up, rich, educated and trustworthy, not all of which are true. Yes, my accent does help in getting work - but I have had unsuccessful job interviews too; because I wasn't right for the post. Sometimes it does help to "de-posh" my accent, although I don't go as far as some "mockney" TV presenters! Sometimes this is sub-conscious simply by exposure to the local accent. (e.g. I have recently returned to Kent from Bristol and old friends are concerned at my West Country burr (rolling my r's) - apparently it does make me sound a bit too rural - but I'm working on it!)

Regarding the lack of jobs/opportunities etc outside London: some British cities would do well to take a closer look at Bristol. Many big companies have relocated offices/factories there from is cheaper, there is a large, competent and willing workforce, fast(ish) train links from London etc.... IMHO the city fathers have had to work hard to achieve that, but it's not perfect (where is!?). So if your city/region/county is lagging behind - do something about it, don't bemoan your lot.

I'm glad to see that Liverpool will be European capital of culture in 2008 - let's hope it gives the city a chance to regenerate and shake off it's unfairly tarnished image. Open message to Paul McCartney: get in there and do more for your home city.....

As I didn't notice anything about the Bristol accent in previous posts, here are my observations, some of which may only be helpful to British readers but here goes....

Bristol is sandwiched between Somerset and Gloucestershire (Glos) and is a cross between the two accents. The Glos accent is softer on the ear and rather breathy in sound whereas the Somerset one is much harder (think Pam Ayres for soft and the Wurzels for hard); Bristol is someone in between. All three have the rolled R's....

In addition, Bristolians often add an "L" to the end of words with a pronounced vowel as the last syllable (particularly A):

e.g. area becomes areal, idea becomes ideal and yes I have heard someone say United States of Americal.

I found the accent easier to understand than some of the phraseology.....

Where's that to? = Where is it
Yer 'avin a laff = You must be kidding/joking
Fair play to you = Well done / congratulations
Gert = great (as in big)

Alright my lurves!

Maria   Saturday, June 07, 2003, 12:58 GMT
When I visted London with my school for an English trip I was amazed at how large and bustling it was compared to where I'd come from in Yorkshire. There were so many large and historical buildings and businesses, and the list of facilites was endless. I don't think that transport is such a problem now they've introduced the congestion fee..however it would be much better if the Government actually improved Public transport.
I wouldn't say that there is much prejudice in Britain about race Rita. There is prejudice however towards asylum seekers, the vast majority of whom are money suckers who just want to live off the system. When you went to London you had to search hard for a local! :-)
Robert   Saturday, June 07, 2003, 17:24 GMT
I'm from Manchester and you would be surprised by how many local accents that there are within a few miles of the city centre.
For example people in places like Bolton and Bury (just 5 miles north of manchester) seem to have a very broad lancashire accent ie: they would rhyme the word "there" with "fur".
But a couple of miles Soutj of the city and somewhere like stockport or macclesfield for example there are far more cheshire like tones (kind of a well spoken version of mancunian).

I beleive that the mancunian accent is a combination of both of these (Cheshire and Lancashire).
And if you listen to a Mancunian (e:Liam Gallagher), you will notice how we replace "e's" at the end of sentences with "o's" for example "later" would be "lat'o'r" and "Manchester" - "Manchest'o'r"
Also silent s's are non existent in true mancunian,and a common mancunian greeting phrase would be "hiyo mate yer alrite man, what a fookin' nobead!"
(apologies for the swearing!) So if you want to learn a kind of mancunian like accent empaphise on your 'o's' strongly.
Also to those people who beleive that the South is somewhat superior to the North of England well where is the richest county in England? Cheshire, and what part of the country is that in? THE NORTH WEST, and to me nothing sounds thicker than a strong "Landon" accent or an incomprehensible "ooh arr!" West Country there!!
Richard Li   Saturday, June 07, 2003, 18:40 GMT
Day, chaps:

Britain isn't unique in being a country where people are despised because of their accents.

In China, as in Britain, people always take a mental note of someone's accent. One Englishman said about his country "it is impossible for you to open your mouth without having someone despise you"- the same is true in China. Chinese from different regions speak Mandarin differently and some southern provinces have their own dialects. Northern Chinese are heavily rhotic (that is, they often roll their tongue back at the end of vowels, making an "errrr" sound) whilst Southern Chinese usually pronounce "s" when Northerners would pronounce "sh". When a Northerner or Southerner goes to Shanghai, he would be looked down by the local people because of his strong Mandarin accent and inability to speak the local Shanghainese dialect. When a Southerner goes to Beijing, people will think he is a vulgar brat. When a Northerner goes to the South and starts sticking the "errrr" suffix after every word, people will think that he comes from some backwards village in the countryside.

Cheers, Richard.
Siobhan   Monday, June 09, 2003, 00:11 GMT
I am unfamiliar with Welsh accents and need to know one for a play audition. Can anyone suggest any movies I could watch?
To McNight   Monday, June 09, 2003, 11:27 GMT
It is funny to see how the UK and France are so similar!
For example by comparing London and Paris we understand the UK and France are very centralised: there are about 9 million inhabitants in London and 11 million in Paris, these cities are the two main cities in Europe, and probably the most fascinating! Problems are the same in those cities, though.
heinrich   Tuesday, June 10, 2003, 00:15 GMT
Germany isn't centralised like UK and France. We have three big cities- Berlin, Hamburg, München- with populations over a million. In Germany, there are two major commercial cities- Berlin and Frankfurt, a major port- Hamburg, and several industrial cities including Köln and Düsseldorf. All of these cities are equally important to the German economy and what not, though foreigners only know Frankfurt and Berlin.
hp20   Tuesday, June 10, 2003, 00:43 GMT
most foreigners are familiar with munich and koln as well.
Clark   Tuesday, June 10, 2003, 00:47 GMT
In general, a good deal of people might know about the following German cities: Berlin, Bonn, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.

You would be surprised at the amount of people who do not know their geography (unfortunately, they are Americans mostly).
Guofei Ma   Tuesday, June 10, 2003, 01:38 GMT
Aye, aye, Clark?