In this video, I'll show you how to speak modern/contemporary RP and I'll give you lots of secrets so that you you can speak this up-to-date British accent.
This is really the third in my series of how to speak RP and posh English.
Check out the videos mentioned in this video so that you can catch up on and compare the other versions of RP. Links below.
How to speak posh & conservative RP - https://youtu.be/1KaXTasMTwo
How to speak posh & mainstream RP- https://youtu.be/XuhoDv8ViqE
Plus, an extra one how to speak posh and RP in films-
Also,find out more about the glottal stop here- https://youtu.be/6NGOKEIS4DE
And finally, check my video on Estuary English here-
So, in the video I'll give you not only secrets, but also a controversy - that is to say - should we or shouldn't we use this technique. Watch the video to find out what it is. Or can you guess?!
Now, in some places the video is a little technical with lots of phonemic symbols for the vowel and consonant sounds (it's the best way to show sounds), but if you not good with these symbols then just listen to me and then try and say the sounds yourself. I hope that the video also shows you how sounds have changed from conservative RP (like posh people used to speak) to contemporary RP (like we speak it today). Start speaking this accent and you'll surely sound like a (posh) Londoner.
Thanks and stay connected!
Hello, it's Jon your pronunciation and accents coach and right here you can get a better British accent.
You can get even a Royal accent. Today, we are talking about how to speak like the Royals in "The Crown" and just like a Royal in real life. Let's go... And don't forget to subscribe and hit the bell for notifications for future videos on accents.
I have four secrets that you could use to sound more
like a Royal.
Secret number one is learn individual words.
Josh O'Connor, who plays Prince Charles in "The Crown", he suggested if you want to say the word 'yes'like a royal you need to think of these so simply just say ears, ears, ears, Do you see? It sounds quite a lot like the word "yes".
Wilfred is back for this video and he will help us to pronounce some words to sound like a Royal. Wilfred are you there? Oh, hello Jon.
Yes, coming in loud and clear - the first one is
how to say the word "year" you have to say "yah" .
If you want to say the word "here" you have to say
"heyar" "heyar". To say the word "lucky" you say "lucke".
To say the word "experience" you say "experrrrience".
So the conclusion for learning the words of the Royal family is learn: the individual words and practice as much as possible, also trying to get the voices right as well.
Secret number two is - to focus on the vowel sounds.
For example, listen to these words and
their vowel sounds. "Hour" "hour" becomes "ah". "God" becomes "gawd". long so the "o" sound becomes "aww". I think one that a lot of people know is how the Queen and the Royal family say the word "often". And they say "orfen", "orfen" it's a very long sound like "orfen", almost like "awful".
"Home" becomes "hyome", "hyome" or something like that...
Also, "golden", "golden", "golden", I don't know why I just
sat up straight but it makes me feel better if I do this sitting up straight than slouching.
"Golden" and "no", "no". The Queen might ask Charles, "Charles would you like to play polo?" Because he loves polo. Oh yes. In fact, if you want to act like a Royal start playing polo! Secret number three is learn how to call your close friends and parents.
There's a lot of ways that the Royals use to call
each other, earlier in "The Crown" Charles answered the phone and Lord Mountbatten said, "oh hello dear boy" "dear boy" that's a good one. So we can use "dear boy". The other big one is how to call your parents - so posh people or the Royals especially use "mummy" and "daddy" to call their
parents "mummy" and "daddy" and it doesn't matter how old you are you can still say "mummy" and "daddy" for your mum and dad. I've also heard Charles say,"papa" for father, so the conclusion is it doesn't matter how old you are you can use them to the very end.
Now, number four was going to be do not
swear but then during my research I realized in fact, there is a little bit of swearing, so I would say instead of saying do not swear, I would say choose your (swear) words very carefully.
Now, Princess Diana she loved the word "gosh", "oh gosh", "another sapphire ring Charles, oh gosh". So, I would suggest using mild swear words or curses or expressions to vent your frustration. For example, Princess Anne, she was talking about paparazzi and she said they should "naff off" "naf off" and
of course, "naf off" means go away. So another one I've heard is well they like using hell, bloody and these kind of words as well, but they are still pretty mild right? So, the conclusion is mind your language if you want to be a Royal.
In fact, in any of the series I've never heard the Queen curse. Whether she does in real life is a different story. So, finally has the Queen's accent
changed over the years - the simple answer is yes! She's adjusted her language and she's basically moved with the times and she wants to move away from a conservative RP accent to more mainstream
RP accent to sound less Posh and less elite.
Which you do if you still have this conservative
RP accent. And if you want to learn much more about the conservative RP accent, you can watch my video how to speak Posh and RP conservative RP up here.
If you want to find out more about how to speak
mainstream RP you can look at this video here. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial on how to speak Posh and RP just like the Royals in "The Crown" and of course, this is really how we speak in real life too you know and that's
it for today.
All I have to say now is who is your favorite Royal maybe comment in the comments below,who your favorite Royal is. Have you seen "The Crown" maybe and what did you think of it? as well.
That's all for today thank you very much and stay connected! You can watch more videos here by just clicking on the links and don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already.
Hello it’s Jon, your pronunciation and accents coach and right here you can get a better (1980s) British accent.
If you have ever been to London, you might have heard a ‘posh’ London accent. Now, the posh accent can take on many forms and today we are looking at a rather interesting version of Posh pronunciation called Sloane-speak. So, we are heading back to the glitz and glamour of 1980s London (Sloane Square, Chelsea and the best street in Monopoly - Mayfair) as we try and answer the question - why did posh people speak funny in the 1980s?
Now, firstly to speak Sloane-Speak, you need to pick a side as a Sloane Ranger (female) or a Hooray Henry (which is the male version).
So, originally, it was the language of the young, well-educated, middle or upper classes, influenced by the early 80s young Royals, including Lady Diana Spencer. There was even a handbook called ‘The Sloane Ranger Handbook’ and on its front cover it advises you to:
‘ ‘Put the ‘great’ in Great Britain, the hooray into Henry and live either in the country or Kensington Square.’
What are some of the features and characteristics of Sloane Speak?
Well, firstly, I think it’s fair to say that it is highly pretentious. People know exactly who you are or want to be when they hear you.
There are two words often associated with this speech, and they are ‘yah’ and ‘rah’. ‘Yah’ or ‘Ok Yah’ means yes or you are agreeing with someone. A ‘Rah’ is simply a young, upper class person. With this ‘ah’ sound you need to look like this ‘rather’.
Vowel sounds are from the back of the throat and mostly longer such as:
Really sounds more like rarely
But completely has a heightened ‘ee’ sound
And very importantly - the word Sloane has a heightened ‘o’ sound and the vowels are done very expressively with a nice open mouth.
‘Sloane Street Darling.
It’s quite expressive and the preference was for some good old-fashioned ‘frightfully’ and ‘dreadfully’. Just like in old films. That’s ‘frightfully good of you’, ‘I’m dreadfully sorry’ . Very dramatic!
You can also start a sentence or question with ‘I say….’ you have something important to say, and Sloanes use the phrase ‘such a’
‘Oh he’s really such a bore.’
But, swear words are mild, use ‘gosh’ and ‘bloody’ to show surprise or frustration.
So, as you can hear it has links to early or mid century RP because Sloanes wanted to imitate aspects of their parents' speech.
However, to show how modern they were, there is one accent feature that was starting to become popular at the time.
This is when the use of the glottal stop appeared in Posh Speak and paved the way for a slightly more modern version of Posh.
It’s a very subtle use of the glottal stop , for example,
Oh darling, what I really want is a holiday in Chamonix.
Plus, the use of short forms is creates some interesting variations on words, especially for their favourite London department stores:
Harvey Nicks is the short form for Harvey Nichols, Rods is short for Harrods and my personal favourite - Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly was known as Freds.
They would also borrow specific words, such as ‘yonks’ which means a very long time ago.
I haven’t been to ‘Rods for yonks.
So, what became of this accent?
Well, it was simply too pretentious for the 90s, but it turns out that the Sloanes were simply hibernating. More recently, boosted by the series ‘The Crown’, the sons and daughters of the original Sloanes have been out and about, with different attitudes. The language and accent have been updated as well, and in a future video I’ll talk about a version of the posh accent that some people speak today.
And that’s it for today - thanks for watching, I hope you enjoyed the trip back to the 80s and don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to my channel for more accent videos.
Bye, bye and stay connected!
Another glass of champers, darling?
Oh no, I can’t.
Oh don’t be a frightful bore.
Oh, Ok ya. Go on then.
Hello! Today we are talking about posh words in films and their modern English equivalents.
If you've seen my other video on how to speak with a posh accent (link in the description) then you will understand that some ways of speaking are a bit...old-fashioned, right?
So, how do you find out how people used to speak many years ago,and the kinds of words, phrases and accents they had? Through films of course. And how do you find out what kind of language people are using today?
By subscribing to my channel so that you can get a better British accent.
Now, after watching hours of old films, I have come up with a selection of words and phrases that were cool to use then, but not really today.
Most of these phrases come from the film ‘The Dambusters’, which is a classic British film World War 2 film about bombing dams with bouncing bombs. There is a link to the film from Amazon UK in the description below.
Here is the link to the film Brief Encounter mentioned in the video:
Here is the link yo Kind Hearts and Coronets Trailer mentioned in the video:
Here is the link to the trailer of The English Game - available on Netflix:
Now,a note about these words and phrases - some of them are still used today, but it is the combination of accent, intonation and meaning that makes them unusual or old-fashioned today. We can use a Conservative RP accent from my friend Wilfred to represent the old-fashioned phrases, and my regular accent for the modern equivalents.
So chock’s away (that means something can start).
Splendid is a positive reaction and in modern British means excellent, great, or very good.
Extraordinarily good of you means extremely or very good of you.
Marvellous means extremely good or great.
It's a devil The noise of those bombs is a devil
: when something is irritating or annoying
and if you want say:
Yes it is rather , then yes it is quite irritating.
Spiffing is informal old-fashioned British English for very good Could be used with something like, ‘that’s spiffing, dear boy’ (Wilfred) (boy actually meaning man).
Frightfully means very, You often used to hear, ‘that’s frightfully good of you’.(Wilfred)
Come come now, means either that you were telling someone not to be worried, or that you can't believe what the other person is saying. It’s like saying ‘don’t be silly’.
And, a jolly good fellow or chap is a very good man or guy.
One last phrase - can you think of any blockbuster films? You know, films with big budgets and special effects? Why not write a blockbuster film title in the comments below?
Now, a blockbuster was a type of bomb used in WW2 that was so powerful that it could blow up a whole neighbourhood block. (Bomb explosion)
So that’s it for today, I hope you had a frightfully good time.
Remember to share the video with your jolly good friends.
And stay connected!
AUSTRALIAN vs BRITISH ACCENTS - Different Types & Sounds+ Typical Slang Expressions!
Everybody loves gold, right? From the Gold Coast of Australia to the shimmering gold of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.
Hello it's Jon your pronunciation and accents coach and right here you can get a better British accent. Yes, today we are looking at the British vs Australian (or Aussie) accents through slang and everyday expressions. Plus, at the end of the video I’ll show you my Top TV Tip. Here’s a clue - I’ve already mentioned it - but alright I’ll show you my TV tip at the end.
Now, today I really want to focus on slang and everyday expressions as there are some really interesting similarities and differences between British and Australian slang as you’ll find out.First though, let’s take a look at the different kinds of accents on offer.
There are three main Australian accents: the most popular is the General Australian English (spoken by someone like Hugh Jackman) and as the name suggests it’s standard or general, Then you have the broad Australian accent - just like Steve Irwin spoke or someone who’s spent a lot time in the Outback or the bush) and you have the Cultivated Australian accent which is a bit like Mainstream RP or even the Transatlantic accent (like the actors Geoffrey Rush or Cate Blanchett speak. On the British side, I’ll be speaking in my regular Southern British English (SBE) which is pretty standard I would say.. If you want to find out more about British accents then I have done plenty of other British accent videos - check the links in the description.
So, a feature of accent that clearly separates them are the vowel sounds. The general rule is in Australian English - the longer and more diphthong-like the vowel sound - the broader the accent. In broad Australian English you get these long vowel sounds which are much looser than in British English. Think of the very word Australian and you can hear the difference.
By the way, you could hit the like button if you love the Australian accent and Australia, just like I do!
I’m going to show you the Australian expression on one side and the British equivalent or what I would say on the other side. Plus, I’ll give you some context where necessary. I’ll try my best at the Aussie accent as well. Alright?
So let’s kick off with the greetings. When Australians say g’day, I might say hello, alright?
When an Australian says mate - I might also say mate or matey. Pretty similar right? Plus, the similarities between both places is that it is very colloquial. So, don’t say it unless you really know someone well.
You could combine the two phrases and say g’day mate in Australian or alright mate in British English.
When an Australian says bloody oath! I might say too right! This is used to agree with someone.
When an Australian says It’s a ripper! I might say It’s a beauty! Let’s say you are digging for gold and you find the gold nugget that you’ve been longing for. Then you could say, it’s a ripper or it’s a beauty!
Fair dinkum! In Australian English means the real deal or genuine. I might say the real McCoy - like ‘that fortune teller is the real McCoy’.
When an Australian says far out! They mean something is great, unbelievable.This is an interesting one as it apparently comes from the jazz world and then entered the surfers vocabulary. In British English you can say something is bonkers.
No worries -and it means no problem or that’s alright. Australians love saying this one! I would probably say ‘ don’t worry about it’.
Rack off - in Australian English basically means - go away! A good British equivalent is bugger off.
Tucker - in Australian English means food. Now because it’s informal the British equivalent could be nosh. E.g. ‘I’ve bought lots of nice nosh for tonight’
Crickey is Australian for being surprised. I might say - Blimey, look out!” but we also do use crickey in British English with the same meaning..
Reckon - is used in Australian English to mean I think. It’s also used the same way in British English. You could say ‘I reckon Youtube will just keep on growing’.
Mozzie is what Australians call a mosquito.
Now, as you can see here Australians like to shorten their words by changing the ending of the word.
Some other examples are -Australians would say barbie, whereas I would say barbeque. There is also Brekky for breakfast and biccy for biscuit.
We also have arvo in Australian English whereas I would say afternoon. And Australians could also say defo where I would simply say definately.
So, you can see that there is a lack of formality running through Australian expressions to make them easier to say but also less formal.
Dunny - in Australian English is the toilet. I could say loo (neutral) or bog (slang).
And finally, how can we miss bloody or bloody? We both love this expression to emphasis what we are saying. That’s bloody great - bloody Nora.
Top TV Tip
Alright , now my top TV tip today is a really interesting reality series called Aussie Gold Hunters. It’s a fascinating look at gold prospectors who are in search of that elusive gold nugget. Now, these aren’t city types so you will hear a pretty broad Australian accent and loads of the expressions we have done today were featured in the series. I literally dug out these slang phrases from the series.
If you want to see what life in the deep Australian bush is like then go and check out Aussie Gold Diggers, available on the Discovery Channel and Netflix. Link to the trailer as always in the description below.
And my friends, that’s it for today I hope you had a whale of a time and do comment on anything connected with today’s video. I’d love to hear from you.
But for now stay connected and have a bloody good time. See you!
Hello it’s Jon, your pronunciation and accents coach and right here you can get a better British accent. Today we are looking at the BBC accent and RP and wondering how they are different. I’ll also show you how to read like a classic BBC newsreader.
Plus, at the end of the video I’ll show you what might be the high point of the BBC accent. Here’s a clue - still not sure? Watch till the end.
BBC and RP
So, The BBC, also called the Beeb, goes way back to the 1920s. Now, the director general of the Beeb wanted to find an accent that, firstly, wouldn’t be laughed at (yes that’s true) and that it would be understandable by the majority of the population.
Anyway, the boffins at the Beeb decided that RP or Received Pronunciation would be the perfect accent for their broadcasters. There was even an advisory committee set up to create a slightly modified RP that would be specific to the BBC, so that they could decide the pronunciation of specific words, especially non-English words. Hence the term BBC English.
So, pre-war you could also say that by today’s standards the accent is a version of RP called Conservative or Traditional RP, an accent that is so unique that it is spoken by about 2-3% of the British population. I’ve already made a video on that so just click on the link in the description or right here to go to how to speak posh & RP - Conservative RP.
But here’s the thing - the BBC created a handbook of pronunciation. So I thought, what a better way than to look at some of these BBC words and then try and read them as a BBC newsreader.
Let’s look at these words that the BBC highlighted because of their pronunciation (bear in my that this is from 1929):
Feature 1 - Let’s get stressed!
The BBC have written specific instructions on syllable stress for certain words. Nowadays, when you look up words in online dictionaries, it may give you two different syllable stress patterns for some words in British English. Maybe this is the influence of the BBC!
I’ll give you an example. Let’s look up the word garage:
You see there are two different ways of saying it in British English. Garage and Garaz.
So here is a list of BBC words with instructions on syllable stress:
Controversy has the stress on the first syllable.
Dispute - second syllable stress on both noun and verb.
Finance - stress is on the second syllable.
Formidable - stress on first syllable (we say it on the second syllable these days)
Gondola - stress on first syllable
Garage this changed from garaz to garage and then back to garaz) (both are accepted nowadays)
Kilometre Has the stress on the first syllable so we don’t say kilOmetre we say Kilometre and that’s the same as nowadays.
So a newsreader could read the headline:
DisPUTE erupts over the FORmidable CONtroversy surrounding the FInances of a gaRAGE in Dover.
Feature 2 pronounce your h’s
So, some words have been specifically highlighted with an instruction to sound the ‘h’ in words like ‘hotel’ and ‘humour’. So, don’t read them like ‘umour or ‘otel. Sounds too Cockney, that!
So you could read the headline:
In Venice, gondola crashes into hotel, making the gondolier lose sense of humour.
Feature 3 - hard or soft ‘g’
The guide recommends that gynecology is with a hard ‘g' like ‘go’ on the first ‘g’, and hydrogen is with a soft ‘g’ like gentle.
Feature 4 - Focus on vowel sounds
Haunt - is said with the vowel sound of paw.
Gouge is sounded like ‘how’ and not ‘who’.
Hovel is pronounced like ‘novel’ not ‘shovel’.
So a BBC newsreader might read the headline:
Workmen find hydrogen bomb in haunted hovel.
Now here’s a fact -
The first regional (non-RP accent) was used at the BBC in 1941!
Part 2 Post WW2
Nowadays, BBC presenters either speak in Contemporary RP or have a regional accent. In fact, pretty much any accent goes now. These days there is something called the BBC pronunciation unit which still monitors pronunciation. For example they have decided that BBC broadcasters say Hyundai. They also have an interesting way of transcribing the words too, so, for example, the word ‘pronunciation’ would be written as pruh-nun-si-AY-shuhn. They have written out this text spelling for all vowel and consonant sounds to make it easier for newsreaders and presenters.
Words whose recommended pronunciation has stood the test of time include Auld Lang Syne (‘sign’, not ‘zine’), centenary (‘sentéenări’, not ‘-tenn-’)
The BBC accent reached its high point in a short film called the Spaghetti Harvest. Yes, that’s right - the BBC made a film about spaghetti growing on trees. It was actually made for April Fool’s Day and is now cemented in BBC history. The narrator has a typical BBC English accent so I have left a link in the description for you to watch. Enjoy!
So, it seems like RP was chosen by the BBC as the standard language to be used by broadcasters and they adapted it at will to create a unique version of RP we can call BBC English.
So there you go, give a thumbs up and like the video or comment on what you find most interesting about BBC English.
All I have to do now is say Stay connected and goodbye!
The name’s Green. Jon Green. Today I’m going to show you how to speak like James Bond. That means Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and of course, Daniel Craig. It’s for your eyes only, so keep watching. Plus, I’ll give you the one phrase that you really have to get exactly right. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Now first let’s establish the single most important rule and fact about James Bond and his accent.
James Bond is English and well-educated so aim for an English RP (received pronunciation) accent. What we really call Standard Southern British English nowadays.
In fact, when you analyse all the actors who have played Bond, it’s a real mixed bag. Firstly, they are not all English, secondly they all played the role in their style of Bond, so these factors influence their accent.
We’ll be looking at the Eon Production Bond films and the actors and their accents. Now, as I never use other people’s videos or films without their permission, simply click on the links in the description to check out the trailers or clips.
1.Sean Connery - So he is actually Scottish from, Edinburgh, but James Bond is English, so for the role he adopted quite a neutral RP English accent, You can hear this in the line from the trailer to You Only Live Twice where he says ‘what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this’. Now there is one famous feature of his accent, where he tends to say ‘sh’ instead of ‘s’, from time to time you might hear 'Miss Moneypenny’. Also, many people have pointed out that Scottish elements to his accent creep in during his later films, but to be honest that still fits in with the plot as Ian Fleming himself rewrote Bond’s heritage to include Scottish after seeing Connery’s performance.
2.George Lazenby - He only portrayed Bond once in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. Now, he was Australian so he too had to adopt an English RP accent which he does pretty well. I’ve put the opening scene from the film in the description and in it you can here him say ‘this never happened to the other fella’ here you could argue that fella is Australian as fellow would be more accurate in RP.
3.Roger Moore - You could say the quintessential English gentleman. He was born in London and he had rather a posh RP accent, which he didn’t have to adapt much for the role of Bond as this was his natural stage accent .He seamlessly fits into the role with his ‘my name’s Bond, James Bond’ as you can see in the trailer to Live and Let Die. His accent is more elegant and refined than his predecessors, and he has a distinct melody to the way he speaks. In the Spy Who Loves Me as he pushes someone to his death after getting the information he wanted he declares ‘ what a helpful chap’.
4.Timothy Dalton - He also was well-spoken, not as posh as Roger Moore, but definitely had a clear RP accent. Although not born in England he clearly has a trained actor’s accent. In the trailer to the Living Daylight’s, when he replies ‘believe me our relationship is strictly professional’.
5.Pierce Brosnan - Pierce Brosnan has a mixed heritage, having American and Irish blood but he also lived in London where he picked up his English accent. He went for a super smooth version of Bond and he does a fair job at the RP accent, although some comments I’ve read say that his Irish accent or twang comes through from time to time.
6.Daniel Craig - So Daniel Craig is the tough no-nonsense Bondl. He’s considered the more down-to-earth Bond and it is definitely reflected in his accent. He has a more contemporary version of RP which is quite neutral ( a bit like mine - now why wasn’t I ever asked to play Bond?!). Plus, Craig was born in England so he is really the second English Bond, so therefore his accent is obviously convincing. Hear how he says ‘Aston Martin’ with a longer vowel sound.
The point we really don’t know is what accent did Ian Fleming (the author of Bond) envisage for Bond when he wrote the books? Bond himself had Scottish and Swiss family heritage but he went to Eton,served high up in the military and lived in Kent, So we could assume that his refined RP accent was down to his well-bred family, education and time spent in England.
So to summarise. In order to speak like James Bond you need:
1.A version of the English RP accent - with less emphasis on the poshness nowadays. Dropping occasional ts is acceptable these days.
2.Speak direct and to the point - don’t mince your words.
3.Use your humour - a bit of dry wit never goes amiss in a Bond film - although are they more serious these days? Another good question to answer.
So what do you think? Who is your favourite Bond and what do you think of their accents? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
Plus, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel so that see more of my quirky accent videos. Remember there is nothing like this on the internet!
All I have to do now is to say this is Commander Green signing off from duty.
And remember - stay connected!
Hello it’s Jon, your pronunciation and accents coach and right here you can get a better British accent. Today we are looking at Standard Southern British English. It’s an accent tutorial and I’m going to show you what it is, who speaks it and where, I’ll also give you how to speak smoooothly AND I’ll give you a top film tip. So, are you ready? Let’s go!
First some background features
What is it? The new standard
Standard Southern British English is now the go to expression for calling the standard accent from the South of England. Linguists now agree on the term Standard Southern British English or Southern British English (SBE) as the accent you are likely to hear by actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch (who is from London) and people living in this area.
As an extra note - I also speak Standard Southern British English as I was born and raised in the south of England.
And by the way, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and click the bell for notification for more videos on accents.
Now, what do we mean by Southern British?
Now, let’s establish what Southern British is. It is actually the South of England. That is to say, we are really talking about the Home Counties and London. I’ll show you on my map of England here. The home counties include Kent, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Sussex. Plus we can include Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire. These are really the key counties where SBE is spoken. We can include counties like Dorset in the South of England too but the further away from London you go the thicker the accents get. So we can’t go too far!
What is not included in SBE?
Now, we can’t include dialects in this or any strong accents from the south of England (like Cockney) because they are not standard (even though it’s from London) Also we can’t include the Midlands and the North of England, nor Scotland, Ireland or Wales. So none of this talk alright? (Cockney accent). No, no today we will speak in a standard way. Alright, Let’s move on.
SBE Accent Features - How to Speak Smoothly
So let’s move on to the tutorial. The main point is to show you how to speak smoothly.
So, I’m going to show you how Standard Southern British English is making it easier for you to say sounds. The first one is called Monophthongization (what?) or smoothing. Here’s how we can compare it:
Today’s analogy brought to you by Green’s pies.
Think of it like you are making the top of a pie. You have the dough and you need to roll the dough as there are a few bumps in the dough. The dough is our voice. But, once you roll it, it becomes nice and smooth. We can apply this to how we speak. We don’t want difficult, bumpy speech - we want Smooth and easy.
Why not hit the like button if you like pies!
OK let’s get on to smoothing
Here are some examples of two ways of saying different sounds:
ɑj + ə → ɑː notoriety becomes notoriety
ɪj + ə → ɪː dear becomes dear
ɛj + ə → ɛː prayer becomes prayer
Interestingly, the schwa sound /ə/ disappears in the second version. Now, this is what I believe has happened.
Which is easier to say? Prajer or prayer. Of course the second one, So I believe that British English is evolving so that we are making things easier to say, and that has become more important than speaking more carefully.
Now have a look at the following words. How do you think we say them?
Now the fact is that there are really two ways of saying these words. I want to show you the difference and how you can smooth out what you say.
So, let’s say these in two ways:
The first way
The second way
Now, the sound is a lot smoother right? Because it has changed from a diphthong sound (two sounds) to more of a monophthong or single sound.
Let’s put it in a sentence and say it both ways. I’ll name them first and second.
My dear, he’s here and I fear that he wants to peer over the fence.
My dear, he’s here and I fear that he wants to peer over the fence.
The second is the more modern way of saying it. It much more common for younger SBE speakers to smooth their vowel sounds.
Same rule applies here but different sound.
So, you could say:
He cares about bears and likes to share his pears.
I think these sentences are getting more and more strange!
The same rule applies to the third set
He was unsure about the tour on the moor as he poured himself another drink.
So the word sure has ended up rhyming like shore. Amazing eh?
So in all of the phrases the second one is the more modern way of saying the word. Both ways are correct though and it’s your choice which one you choose if you want to speak with this accent. Some people even switch and they can pronounce a word both ways in a conversation, depending on the situation.
Ok this is the end of the tutorial part. Now, let’s move on to the top film tip today. It’s an old one but a good one!
Top Film Tip
Top FilmTip this week is Harry Potter. Now I know the films are not new but the talent of actors and different accents make it a perfect choice to compare different accents. Let’s take the three main characters Harry, Hermione and Ron.
They have 3 slightly different accents but you could say that they come under Standard Southern British English. Let’s start with Hermione (Emma Watson), she speaks in a rather posh way, rather like classic RP or received pronunciation. Ron, on the other hand, speaks in a more Estuary English way and Harry, well Harry speaks something in between. The other one to look out for is Severus Snape played by Alan Rickman. He loves saying ‘Harry Potter’ and he also speaks in a Standard Southern British way. So my top tip this week is to watch or rewatch the Harry Potter films to check those accents. Please leave a comment if you want to find out more about the accents in Harry Potter.
In this video I wanted to show you how British English is developing as we are moving away from labels like RP. I mean RP is still probably the most desired British accent for people across the world.
However, today I wanted to show how we speak now and in the future. Because as they say, the future is now!
Stay connected remember and bye, bye…...
Would you like to learn how to speak like a British Prime Minister? Would you like to know what the Oxford RP accent is? Then stay right here. I’ll answer these questions and I’ll show you 5 features of this accent, plus who speaks it. Now, I have a quiz question for you very shortly.
Hello it’s Jon, your pronunciation and accents coach and right here you can get a better British accent. Now, onto that quiz question.
How many British prime ministers throughout history have studied at the University of Oxford. Is it? a.11 b.28 or c.46.
No cheating now and I’ll tell you the answer at the end of the video so keep watching!
Alright, firstly, some background to this accent.
What is the Oxford English RP accent?
So, Oxford is both a town and university right? However, the Oxford accent of the people of Oxford is not the same as the Oxford RP accent spoken at the university on campus. Especially in the early to mid 20th century, the accent spoken at the university was clearly an accent which showed the world you had the best education and you have the accent to prove it. As it was the accent spoken by the middle and upper classes anyway, it seemed fitting to have its own variation of RP called the Oxford RP accent. You could also say that it is ‘affected’ which as the Oxford Dictionary put it is ‘designed to impress’. So, it is rather a label than a distinct accent in itself, as it still comes under the broader term of RP.
However, there is a complete set of jargon that the students and staff use at the university of Oxford and I’ll give you an example. If you would like to become Head of the River and compete in a rowing race. You can compete in the ‘eights’ or ‘summer eights’.
I’ve put a link to the full glossary of terms used at the Oxford archives for you to browse through as it is quite extensive.
So who speaks with the accent? Well, Boris Johnson the Prime Minister and David Cameron, the former PM, are good examples. They both speak with an RP accent and they are both former students of Oxford University. I have links to videos featuring both of them to show you.
In a minute we’ll look at some of the characteristics of the accent, but first let’s see where the starting position for RP is.
Feature 1 - Oral Posture
So every accent has a starting position of where the parts of the mouth should be. This is the oral posture of RP. Let’s start with the jaw. The jaw is moved up and slightly forward and tongue is raised up. However, some sounds will be produced from the back and some from the front.
There should be about a 1cm gap in your mouth.
Now, let’s look at how to pronounce some vowel sounds which are characteristic of this kind of accent.
Feature 2 - Key Vowel Sound 1 - the up vowel
For this sound you have to find it at the back of the mouth, as if you are going into song. Uhhhhh! Check out how I say undergraduate, Uxbridge and London in this sentence:
“I was an undergraduate at Brunel University in Uxbridge, London, before I went to Oxford.”
It’s not true by the way!
Feature 3 Key Diphthong sound 1 - the oh sound
The first diphthong is created at the front of the mouth and you will just see the lips closing to form a rounded shape.
I’ll give you an example. I’ve put an interview with David Cameron in the description below and at 20 seconds, you’ll hear him say:
“All that has followed”
Feature 4 SSSSS not SHHHHH
Let’s look at the word negotiation. The more modern way of saying it is negotiation with a sh sound at the first ti. The more classic RP way is to say negotiation. It takes a lot of practice to get this right if you are not used to it. Check the clip of Boris Johnson saying negotiations, listen to the sound of the ‘oh’ vowel and ‘s’ sound:
“We need to see a bit of oomph in the negotiations”
Feature 5 Throw in some Ancient Greek or Latin phrases or references.
Although this is more connected with the words rather than accents, if I were you I’d brush up on the classics.
Take this quote from Cicero that Boris Johnson used:
“The health of the people should be the supreme law.”
The Latin version is underneath.
salus populi suprema lex esto
It’s quiz time answer
So, at the beginning of the video, I asked you how many Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom went to the University of Oxford. The answer is b.28. Isn’t that incredible.
Now that’s it for today. Before I go - do you have any questions for me? Have you ever been to Oxford? Or studied at the University? Let me know in the comments below.
And don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more videos on accents and the perfect place to get a better British accent. You could also give the video a thumbs up if you liked the content.
So finally, if you want to be the next British PM then try speaking with an Oxford RP accent. Although it does help if you actually went to Oxford University in the first place, and before that you went to Eton. I’m just saying.
That’s all for today and now please rise for the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, which is………….
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!
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.