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English Language Proficiency: Sounds of the UK

If you learn English with Unique, you will begin to realise that the United Kingdom has a diverse range of accents and dialects.  If you take a lesson with one of our trainers, ask for them to explain in greater detail the differences in regional accents across the UK.  


Due to space constraints, we cannot explain everything here but will take a look at a few of the sounds you might hear when travelling around the UK.



Let us start in Northern Ireland, where the accent is considered to be one of the sexiest accents in the UK (although we reckon the Welsh accent is by far the best accent!), as you can probably gather from the YouTube video.  The Ulster accent is distinguishable by the speaker's intonation tending to rise at the end of every sentence and the heavy emphasis on the "r" sound after a vowel.  In this clip, Eamonn Holmes from Belfast in Northern Ireland interviews an Irish airline boss.






Scotland has her own language (Gaelic), but it is only spoken by a little under 2% of the population, although there have been attempts to promote the language and a television network and radio station entirely in the language do operate.  


The truly distinguishing feature of Scots English is the occasional word that you would never hear anywhere else, such as wee for small and bonnie for beautiful; and there is the occasional sound change such as rhyming head with heed and house with moose, which you should notice in the video below.


This video is an (exaggerated) version of the Scottish accent but you will be able to hear the different sounds and vocabulary unique to the Scots.  This comedy is set in Glasgow where the Scottish accent is at its most distinct.  If you travel to Edinburgh, the accent is significantly different.


For more on pronunciation, try these links:-


Pronunciation Lesson:  English from RP to Scouse


Pronunciation Lesson:  Welsh and Mockney



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