UK & Ireland Accents Quiz

By Matt Watts

9 years ago

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Communication is a vital part of the business world, and can range from internal meetings and customer relations to chats with colleagues locally and across multiple sites and offices. With all these different places comes many different accents, but just how difficult are our everyday accents to understand, especially over the phone?

In recent times a number of high profile companies have moved their call centre operations back to the UK and Ireland.  EE for example have moved to scale back operations in the Phillipines, creating new roles in Northern Ireland, Newcastle and Edinburgh, BSkyB have a major contact centres in Dunfermline, Leeds, Dublin and Livingston, and our own contact centre is based at our head office in Bournemouth.  This is quite a shift from the state of play historically where many companies based their call centres in London and the Home Counties, then outsourced them abroad before moving them back to the UK more recently as customer care took a more central role. It’s clear then that we’re exposed to an increasing number of accents, so what better way to test you, the public, on your accent knowledge, than with the simple quiz above!

The quiz consists of eight audio clips of people saying sentences you may hear on the phone. Carefully listen to the audio and select the city that you think that person is from.

To make this more difficult, we edited the audio clips to represent what the accents would sound like on a phone line. This has been achieved through equalization – removing frequencies below 400Hz and above 2000Hz to represent what a true phone line sounds like.

Now you’ve tried the accents quiz, here are some accent facts:

  • Historically, to be a Cockney you had to have been born within earshot of the Bow Bells. Now it refers to various neighbourhoods in East London
  • The Irish language lacks words that translate directly to ‘yes’ or ‘no’, so English spoken in Ireland sometimes follows this pattern, with people repeating the verb from a question they were asked to indicate their response. Examples:
    • “Are you coming home?” – “I am!”
    • “Is that your phone?” – “it is!”
  • Some Scotticisms include ‘a dinnae ken’ meaning I don’t know, ‘Och aye the noo!’ meaning oh yes, just now – this is an overt Scotticism rarely used in serious contexts, but does lead on to perhaps the most famous: ‘aye’, meaning yes
  • The Manchester accent avoids Ng-coalescence. In laymans terms this means that the ‘g’ in ng is often pronounced: ‘singer’ rhymes with ‘finger’, ‘king’ and ‘ring’ end with a hard g.

If your business phone system isn’t providing you with the necessary call quality to enjoy the variety of accents on offer in the world today, give us a call to discuss how we can provide you with a brand new system without spending any more money.