What are other prestige accents in the UK besides RP?
Well, that's the question, folks!
Which other accents in the UK are considered "prestige accents" and generally held in high regard? Do any of these accents manage to maintain a "prestige" status without being labelled as "snobbish" (as RP is)?
Standard American accent is considered prestigious in the UK also, American influence in Britain is quite big and the British neologisms are Americanisms. Also the New York accent is considered prestigious in Britain.
I would say the Wolverhampton accent is held in high esteem and is an inspirational accent!
***Standard American accent is considered prestigious in the UK also, American influence in Britain is quite big and the British neologisms are Americanisms. Also the New York accent is considered prestigious in Britain***
Is that some kind of wishful thinking? It's news to me as I live and breathe, and I happen to do both of those here.....in Britain.
I'm pretty well conversant with current affairs in my own country (in all four of its major component parts by and large) and I'm gobsmacked at the "prestigious" accent info, and even more so concerning the British neologisms thingy. The vast majority of UK neologisms are home bred, and I could reel off a whole list of current popular ones here and now and they would mean zilch to you, presumably.
As for the New York accent, over 90% of the British population wouldn't be able to recognise it as such if it was blasted into their lugholes through a kingsized megaphone.
Is it possible for you to confirm those assertions? Such as a weblink?
I'd really like to know for sure if the Standard American Accent really is considered prestigious in British public opinion. I've asked my flatmates here (two English guys) and they couldn't give a toss one way or the other.....unfortunately one of them is so rabidly anti-American that his views could not really be considered sufficiently balanced. I'll ask my work colleagues tomorrow and that may shed more light on something I've obviously missed somewhere along the line.
It's true that there is an element of American influence in Britain in some spheres of daily life, but so there is in the rest of the Western world, to varying degrees. Many other countries, societies and cultures as well have an influence on how we live and what we do and what we eat here in the UK. It's all global.
<<Standard American accent is considered prestigious in the UK also, American influence in Britain is quite big and the British neologisms are Americanisms. Also the New York accent is considered prestigious in Britain.>>
Aren't you a bit obsessed with America? (I guess it's more than natural patriotism or preference...)
I think it's no use talking about the prestige of the Standard American accent (or any kind of American accents) in Britain because most British people don't give a toss which Ameican accent is prestigeous or which one is stigmatised. (I reckon this is the case in the US, too.) The question of accent presige in your country is only relevant to the accents of that particular country, since those are spoken there. However, American accents (being "foreign" and "remote") might sound interesting, cool, exotic etc. to British ears and that makes them somewhat attractive to many young people.
American influence is quite big in Britain, just like in other countries. Technically, the whole of Europe is totally obsessed with America. (I have nothing against the States for the world, but I'm slowly but surely getting tired of this mania. Why, for God's sake, people don't stop copying others and be just themselves??? Sorry.) This influence is due to the American media, films and songs etc., partly. British people have American "loanwords" (just like Germans and other Europeans etc.), but I can assure you that most neologisms ARE genuinely British.
I completely agree with Damian, he formulated all these things much better than I did.
But Wolverhampton = near Birmingham = has an accent that's probably close to Brummie = not considered too prestigious (though it sounds perfectly okay to my ears) :p
Any other accents? How about the Edinburgh accent, being associated with the "Athens of the North" and such?
You guys are just jealous, the American accent is very prestigious because people from Europe learn the American English over British English
American accent? Prestigious in Europe? Is that why they call us all ignorant and fat? I'm not saying it's right of them to do this, but I hardly see where this leads to prestige.
>>You guys are just jealous, the American accent is very prestigious because people from Europe learn the American English over British English<<
"You guys are just jealous, the American accent is very prestigious because people from Europe learn the American English over British English"
Bollocks, they don't. In the EU, British English is the norm.
No, most Europeans learn British English. Which makes sense, given that that's the variety they're most likely to deal with....
I'm not British, so I really have no way of knowing the answer to this thread's original question, but here's a recent article on the subject from the BBC News:
"REGIONAL ACCENT 'BAD FOR TRADE'
An overseas accent is better for success in commercial life than an English regional one, a survey of business people has revealed.
Among the English accents tainted with business failure are Scouse, Brummie, Cockney, Geordie and the West Country.
The Aziz Corporation found that Home Counties, American, Scots, European, Indian or Asian were prized accents.
If you want to get ahead in business and don't speak the Queen's English, it is better to sound as if you are from America, Europe, India or indeed Scotland than from any English region
The survey found 77% of business people thought a Home Counties accent was a sign of success in business followed by 73% favouring an American accent, 63% a Scottish accent, 52% continental European and 25% believing Indian or Asian accents were successful.
However 64% of business people regarded those with a Liverpudlian accent unsuccessful, closely followed by a Birmingham or West Midlands accent, 63%, Cockney, 52% and Geordie or West Country 48%.
It also found that businessmen who speak with an Indian or Asian accent were considered to be hardworking and reliable by 69% of their peers, a higher rating than any other accent. Those with US accents were considered to be diligent by 66% of their peers, followed by 61% favouring a Scottish accent and 50% preferring a Home Counties accent.
However, only 24% of executives consider those with a Scouse accent to be hardworking.
Said Mr Aziz: "If you want to get ahead in business and don't speak the Queen's English, it is better to sound as if you are from America, Europe, India or indeed Scotland than from any English region."
Wonderful. My own accent is a mad mix of Home Counties, Scottish, American, and a touch of Asian. Isn't that the key to success? =p
(Asian-born, Home Counties childhood, Scottish education, American university. w00t w00t!)
<<You guys are just jealous, the American accent is very prestigious because people from Europe learn the American English over British English>>
We aren't jealous at all.
It's trendy to learn General American in Europe (and somewhat easier for most Europeans to learn because of rhoticity), but the norm is still the Standard British English (pronunciation and grammar) in most schools.
The regional dialects listed by Uriel are the most heavily stigmatised ones, and compared to those accents, GA (being an educated, standard and "neutral" accent) does have a prestige in commercial life.
However, there is a tendency to accept the diversity and wealth of regional dialects. Ten years ago people were advised not to use glottal stops when being interviewed for a job. ("The more glottal stops you use, the less chance you have of getting the job.") And these days, which accent is becoming more and more prestigeous in Britain? Estuary English... Now, wha' d'ya fink, mates?
Since you're on right now... Would appreciate your further feedback here =) Thanks!!