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Why are there so many accents in the UK?

in The Doing English Blog

Why are there so many accents in the UK?

The UK has 56 main accent types.

We say “main”, because, within each accent type, there are also loads of sub-accents. Meaning there are loooooads more than 56.

These regional differences developed because of the historical way the English language itself developed. Up until the middle ages, people spoke a variety of different types of English. People in the north spoke “northern” English, derived from Northumbrian old English. People in the East and West Midlands spoke an English derived from Old Mercian English, and people in the south-west an English derived from West Saxon, and people in the east an English derived from Kentish.

But of course, over the centuries different ways of speaking persists.

Which is why even today we can pretty much tell where someone in the united kingdom comes based on the way they speak.

Can you guess where I come from based on my accent?

If you said London… you’re wrong!

I come from the south-west area of England.

If you need English for life in the UK, you want to live in the UK or are simply interested in British culture, check out my course British Stories.

Best,
Julian

P.S. You can try the first lesson of British Stories for free if you like — Just go Here.

 

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