It was a cool, rainy night and I was just about to lock the British Native Speaker office door when a mysterious envelope arrived at my desk.
Inside was the message ‘find out why the Scottish accent has been voted the most attractive in the UK. And that’s when my investigation began.
The case is called ‘Loched and Loaded’.
Hello, it’s Jon, your pronunciation and accents coach and right here you can get a better British accent.
Now, I think I’ve solved this case and I’m going to show you why the Scottish accent has been voted the UK’s most attractive accent.
In fact, the top three were - 1.The Scottish accent 2.The Welsh accent and in third place the Northern Irish accent. Wait a minute - where’s Received Pronunciation? Noooo…..
Oh well, you can’t win them all, right?
So why does everybody love the Scottish accent?
Well, it could be down to this man - yes that’s the actor Sean Connery.
He really is on the top spot of famous Scottish voices. In fact, at one point during his life he was voted ‘Greatest Living Scot’.
He was born in Edinburgh and it was the way he spoke that made his voice so enticing. His particular accent was as smooth as Scotch whisky.
Ok. That’s a good start to our investigation but we really need to hear a sample of the Scottish accent.
So, I’ll give you an example for you to hear and then we can analyse some of the features.
Let’s hear a sample of an accent from Renfrewshire which is in the west central lowlands of Scotland. And roll tape!
"Which way should we go to Loch winnoch? One way is seven miles, the other isn't quite so far but I don't want to take the car on that bad road again."
So what are the features of the Scottish accent which make it so pleasing on the ear? Let me give you a few clues.
Clue 1 - In the Scottish accent, the sound ‘wh’ is generally pronounced as a ‘hw’. You may have heard in the recording the word ‘which’ being pronounced with a hw sound at the beginning. This makes it confusing for Scots when they hear an English person talking about Whales or Wales? As in Scottish they are pronounced differently.
Clue 2 is the pronunciation of ‘ch’ as in Loch Winoch (that’s a mouthful) so the ‘ch’ is pronounced ‘ch’ in both words. The transcript for this word is /lɒx/ where /x/ symbol is a ‘ch’.
And by the way, Loch is a Scottish Gaelic /Galik/ word for a lake.
Clue 3 - The vowel sounds. Now, the sounds you have heard so far are not hard sounds and that is the same for the vowel sounds.Vowels are soft and smooth. Also, they have a loooong sound. It’s all oos and aaaaas, which is all very pleasant really.
Clue 4 - Rhoticity. Another interesting fact is that Scottish is a rhotic accent. There are approximants and taps and trills. In other words /r/ is very much pronounced in different ways. The most distinctive way that the Scots play with the /r/ sound is with the trill, or we could call it the rolling /r/. RRRR, RRR, RRR.
So that concludes my investigation and the case is solved as I as I’m pretty confident that these are the main reasons why Scottish has claimed the top spot and now let the ceremony begin to crown the Scottish accent as ‘the United Kingdom’s most attractive accent (as voted by you - the public).’
By the way, have I missed out any features that you think are important? Let me know in the comments.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more videos on British accents click here to watch my analysis of all the James Bonds accents including Sean Connery.
All I have to do now is say see you later and stay connected! Bye, bye.
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.