Hello it's Jon, your pronunciation and accents coach and right here you can get a better British accent.
Today, we are talking about the accent known as MLE which stands for Multicultural London English. It’s spoken by young, working class people and is taking over Cockney as the accent to have if you are part of this group. In fact, is it the death of Cockney?Hmmm...
Now the big thing about MLE is it has influences from different parts of the world, like the Caribbean and the Indian Subcontinent, and the result is a new kind of English which can be heard not only in London, but also other urban areas of the UK. Let me show you how it works by making a pot of tea. I’m putting in 4 mixed tea bags, I’ll let it brew and later we’ll see what it tastes like.
So, In today’s tutorial I thought we could talk about dropping, keeping or changing sounds in MLE. We can also make some comparisons to Cockney, as there are both similarities and differences. Plus, at the end of the video, I’ll give you my top TV tip for watching and listening to the MLE accent.
So, Are you ready? Let's go!
Alright, let’s start with one of the most interesting features of MLE and that is: there is no h-dropping. What does this mean?
Well, let’s say that in Cockney there is a lot of h-dropping. Like alright, ‘arry? or, I’m ‘eading back to de ‘ouse you might say in Cockney. In MLE you would say “I’m heading back to da house”. Cockney ‘ouse, MLE house. It’s that simple. So keep your h’s if you want to speak MLE.
Next, let’s move onto th-stopping. This is where the two ‘th’ spellings as in the and th can be sounded as a /t/ or a /d/ sound. So thing becomes ting in MLE. Youth becomes yout. That can be dat and this can be dis. You might say in MLE ‘dis one or dat one?
Ok, now I think this is a good time to try the tea! Alright, let’s pour it into the cup, no milk this time and straight out of the pot. Mmm, well it’s an interesting blend, with lots of different flavours and influences and it’s quite strong. If I added more tea bags it would be even stronger. So, as you can see this also soums up MLE. An interesting blend of different flavours.
Alright, we’ve done th-stopping, now let’s do th-fronting which can also be found in Cockney. Ok, so th-fronting is when a the sound is exchanged for a /v/ sound or a /th/ sound is replaced by a /f/ sound. Let’s take a look at what it sounds like in speech: you could say “which monf was your bruvva born in? By the way brother can be:bruv, bruvva or bra.
We can also drop sounds in words like gonna, wanna, and the most famous - innit? Innit is short for isn’t it? But it’s used as a question tag for pretty much anything although it can still mean isn’t it? You could say are you going to take it? Innit? (the meaning there is aren’t you?)
Next is L-vocalization. This is also a feature of Cockney and Estuary English. It’s where the /l/ sound at the end of words changes to a /w/ or an /ʊ/ sound. The Channel Tunnel therefore sounds like Channel Tunnel in MLE.
And finally, my top TV tip for listening to the MLE accent is: Top Boy! A hard-hitting,, thought-provoking series about young Londoners and it is available on Netflix. I’ve included a clip in the description below. You will hear all the techniques plus loads more in series as the MLE dialogue is bang-on. But a warning - this series is not for kids. Alright?
Now check out the rest of my channel for not only accent videos but pronunciation too. I hope to see you there. Now let’s see how quickly we can get 100 likes for this video. Like it now bros and sistas. Yeah!
All that’s left is for me to say stay connected and see you later! Or Laterz! Bye!
Hello it’s Jon here, British accents coach here. How are you? Today is my fourth London accent video focussing on the four geographical areas of London - that is the north, south, east and west. So I thought I’d give you a mini tutorial on each accent and show you their biggest influences.
The North London Accent
Ok, so let’s start with north London. Now, one of the biggest influences on the north London accent is Essex (which is north east of London). The first feature here is the called th-fronting which is pronouncing “th” as a “v” or “f”. For example, north London can be pronounced “norf London”. Another interesting feature is l-vocalisation where an “l” sound sounds more like a vowel sound. Listen to this lifestyle becomes lifestyw. I’ve actually heard the TV host Denise Van Outen say this and she is from Basildon in Essex. Here’s an example sentence for you to practise: I wouldn’t bovva changing your lifestyle, alright?
The East London Accent
Let’s move on to east London. Amongst other accents it is the home of Cockney. So let’s look at two features of the Cockney accent. H-dropping or aitch-dropping is not saying the “h” sound. So for example two places in east London that often have their “h” dropped are: Hackney - pronounced ‘ackney and Tower Hamlets - pronounced Tower ‘amlets. Another feature of Cockney is glottalisation. I’ve mentioned the t-glottalisation in previous videos but it can also be used to replace “d” and “k” sounds just like in the name Hyde Park become Hye Park or even ‘ye Park. Let’s put them altogether in one sentence: “Well, yesterday I went to Tower ‘amlets and then i got the Tube over to ‘ye Park. Got it?
The South London Accent
Next let’s go to south London or as we can say saaf London. In this part of London we can say that Multicultural London English (MLE) plays a big part. Now, the first feature is actually the opposite of a Cockney feature, which is non h-dropping. For example in MLE you might want to say “put this hat and your head, man”, keeping the aitchs intact. Another feature is this long aah sound like in the word together, pronounced togetha or even togeva. Or, The word weather can be pronounced weva.
The West London Accent
Finally, let’s go to the west London accent which is heavily influenced by the accent of Received Pronunciation (RP) as this is the accent of the middle-classes. So, received pronunciation is what I’m speaking in right now. One of its most distinguishing features is the broad aah sound just like in path, fast and castle. However, if you want to give it a little edge to it to make it more Londoney, then put in some of the features from the previous 3 accents. Let’s hear and example: “I live in a castle in ‘ackney so the weather doesn’t bother me. Btw, it’s not true - I don’t live in a castle in Hackney or ‘ackney.
So there you go, now please bear in mind that this in not strict. You can find Cockney in west London or received pronunciation in north London because, well, London is a very diverse place.
hi! it's jon.
Welcome to my blog of free tutorials explaining different British accents and areas of pronunciation. It's a complement to my video channel with video scripts, lessons and sometimes extra info not included in some videos. Click on the image to go to the video.