I wanna speak Irish accent

Bambi   Mon May 08, 2006 1:22 pm GMT
I'm a British girl from Yorkshire who wants to speak Irish accent. How can I learn it? I really love the accent and I really want to speak it everyday. Is that a weird idea? Are there any Irish people here who can teach me?
Jim C, York   Mon May 08, 2006 1:35 pm GMT
Tut Tut ;)

I recomend watching Gráinne Seoige on Sky News Ireland, press your red button on Sky News in the evening and you should see Sky News Ireland at some point. They have a few hours every evening devoted to Irish news. Imitation is the best way, its what every one recomends on here for people wanting to learn an RP accent by watching the BBC.

Also Gráinne Seoige has a great accent, and she makes any news seem like good news :)
An Fear   Mon May 08, 2006 6:29 pm GMT
Please don't make it a leprechaun accent. I can't take another one. We do NOT speak like that. I cannot emphasise that enough.
Damian in Edinburgh   Mon May 08, 2006 6:49 pm GMT
A Yorkshire lass with an (assumed) Irish accent.....why not. First, take a trip to Dublin......it's a cool city. I went by ferry from Holyhead but you can get a flight from any airport in Yorkshire....half an hour trip or so I think. Apart from Sky News Ireland, tune into RTE on any radio......FM or whatever...I don't think you can get it on DAB.

Or Go Irish online:

Adam   Mon May 08, 2006 7:03 pm GMT
"I'm a British girl from Yorkshire who wants to speak Irish accent"

Why? So everyone can assume that you're thick?
Adam   Mon May 08, 2006 7:04 pm GMT
What is it with Yorkshiremen and women?
Jim C, York   Mon May 08, 2006 7:08 pm GMT
My sisters boyfriend flys from Leeds Bradford, its fairly cheap I think. To be honest you should embrace your Yorkshireness. Is this a perminant accent change? or a party piece?

Adam, the Lanc accent sounds as gormless as the next...
Roger   Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 pm GMT
Imitation is the best way, its what every one recomends on here for people wanting to learn an RP accent by watching the BBC.


Imitation is the WORST way to learn an accent since you tend to exaggerate the way cartain phonemes are pronounced and you tend to overapply certain rules. That's why so many Americans trying to imitate RP (or what in their puny little minds they think of as a "British accent") suck at it. Now if they had read JC Wells (who thoroughly analyses both RP and GAE and even comapres the two) and they they had purchased some British ESL audio material (where the speakers usually speak slowly and/or enuciate clearly) then that would work much better. Of course, that would involve doing some actual research and work - something most people would rather not do unless it's absolutely necessary (not to mention investing some money) as opposed to pushing a button on a remote and listening to a TV (something most Americans are very good at).

JC Wells explains certain aspects of RP like smoothing, ellision, assimilation, linking 'r', intrusive 'r', the use of clear 'l' in intervocalic (and ONLY in intervocalic) environments, when to use a broad 'a' and when NOT to, and other aspects of RP which are not easily apparent or onvious to a novice listening to an RP speaker speaking rapidly.

I used to try to imitate RP (I'm American) using the imitation method with pathetic results. Then I carefully read, and reread the JC Wells book (in addition to the "upper-RP" section), and borrowed some ESL cassettes (32 in all) from a European relative of mine (the cassettes feature RP speakers) and now when I travel to England, or talk to people from England, or meet people from England while travelling, I always hear: "Where are you from? You have a posh accent?" or "You could definitely pass for English but I wouldn't use that accent up north", or "You sound like an Oxford professor from the 1950's... even the Queen doesn't talk that way anymore" or "You sound like a friend from my hometown who went to Eton", etc...

Incidentally, I have not lost the capacity to speak GAE, I've simply gained a second accent which I use mostly in Europe and in the UK. It's like learning a second language except you're actually learning a second dialect (JC Wells refers to such people as bi-dialectical).
An Fear   Mon May 08, 2006 7:30 pm GMT
" "I'm a British girl from Yorkshire who wants to speak Irish accent"

Why? So everyone can assume that you're thick? "

Damian in Edinburgh   Mon May 08, 2006 7:46 pm GMT
I think that Bambi has met up with a Seamus, a Donal or an Eamonn.........a broth of a boy from Co Donegal.....

I can't ever imagine wanting to change my accent under any circumstance.....the one I have is one I grew up with and it's just...well, natural. If I tried to change it in anyway it would be 'unnatural'. I can truthfully say I never adapt it to any situation or location. If I went to live and work in London (or anywhere else for that matter) I would keep it as strongly as ever even when I got to be 90 or something. I never think about my accent really, except sometimes when I'm away from Scotland like this past weekend and that's only because people say things like 'haven't you got a nice Scottish accent!' If they say it's nice, then that's nice.....I never think about it at all most of the time as most of the people I'm amongst now all speak the same way more or less. It's only when I'm out of Scotland that it becomes an issue. I reckon that's the same for everybody, whatever their local accent.

I'm just grateful I wasnae born in Glasgow.....LOL
Jim C, York   Mon May 08, 2006 8:46 pm GMT
Ok Roger, thanks for putting me straight. I shouldn't put out advice with out backing it up with experience. I asumed it was similar to how impressionists do their work, by repeating and imitating over and over. Fair comment?
Anglo-Hibernian lady   Mon May 08, 2006 11:00 pm GMT
No, darling, you don't want to be talking like those ghastly, fat, superstitious, over-fertile tenant women of our's down in Co. Kerry.
It's vulgar.
Roger   Tue May 09, 2006 2:47 am GMT
<<I can't ever imagine wanting to change my accent under any circumstance.....>>

Even if your life depended on it?

While we all respect your decision to NEVER change your accent, even if you moved to someplace where not a single other human being talks as you do, you should also respect the fact that there ARE people out there who WOULD change their accents under CERTAIN circumstances (like someone with a thick US southern drawl wanting to work for an elite firm in, say, San Francisco (or anywhere in California).

In my original message, I never suggested that anyone go out and change his/her accent. I was merely suggesting what the proper way to do so is IF someone should decide to do so. Your statement, Damian, is, as usual, pedantic.

<<If I tried to change it in anyway it would be 'unnatural'.>>

So then combing your hair, or using gel, or even getting a haircut is unnatural since you are doing something to alter the way your hair looks at the present time. Does that mean we should never get haircuts or comb our hair or change our hairstyle? What about people who dye their hair? Is there anything natural about that? Make-up is also unnatural. Should women stop using it since it alters their appearance or because they were not born with blue eyelids?
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue May 09, 2006 8:23 am GMT
Sorry Roger.....my accents stays just as it it is....if my life depended on my accent I would take my chances as they come, good or bad. Speaking any way other than the way I do would seem weird to me, and I can't equate it with any of the parallels you mention. My hairstyle I have changed willingly.....my accent remains a permanent fixture even if I get banished to...England....or wherever.

I understand what you are saying....some accents are less popular than others and though it may seem snobbish, people do have to change their accents to a certain degree to fit their circumstances, usually in employment. Maybe I'm fortunate in that my own local accent is highly favoured in the UK generally......it came near the top of a poll a wee while back. Maybe I'm lucky not having to change it in any way, so I'm sticking with it.
Damian   Tue May 09, 2006 8:24 am GMT
1st sentence: accents =accent I only have one.