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Can We Guess Where in Britain You Live Based on How You Speak?
by Zoe Samuel

English is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, and also one that has borrowed the most from other nations' tongues. But while there are varieties of English all over the planet that are diverse to the point of becoming separate dialects, even within the United Kingdom, English is spoken in a variety of different ways. Indeed, one reason the great English class system continues to exist to this day is that it's possible to tell a great deal about an English person's background just based on the way they speak. As Henry Higgins of "My Fair Lady" fame puts it, "An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him. The moment he talks, he makes some other Englishman despise him!"

From the dropped H's of Cockney in London's East End, to the short vowels of most accents from Birmingham and north, to the specific idioms and vocabulary that are common north of the border; from the BBC newsreader voice that is considered one of the most recognizable on the planet, to the soft Edinburgh accent that scores highest for immediate trust, there is a huge spread within English. Tell us how you use it and we'll see what it tells us about you!


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