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Top 10 Hardest UK Accents To Imitate

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Kimberley Payne Can you Adam and Eve it? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 hardest UK accents to imitate. For this list, we’ve focused on core UK accents that can prove particularly awkward to copy. So clear your throat, warm up those vocal cords and let’s see how many of these regional wonders you can recreate. Special thanks to our user RichardFB for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Hardest UK Accents To Imitate



Can you Adam and Eve it? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 hardest UK accents to imitate.

For this list, we’ve focused on core UK accents that can prove particularly awkward to copy. So clear your throat, warm up those vocal cords and let’s see how many of these regional wonders you can recreate.

#10: Cockney


With the sheer size of London, it’s no surprise that the city boasts multiple accents. But none are quite as famous or as difficult to master as good ol’ cockney. Everyone recognises how it sounds and most can copy a few key phrases, although the rhyming slang does confuse the issue for some. But Dick Van Dyke’s infamous portrayal of Bert in “Mary Poppins” proves that cockney isn’t exactly easy to grasp.

#9: Mancunian


It’s not usually listed as a particularly prominent UK accent, but it is difficult to do right. Thanks to a barrage of popular comedians, entertainers, and a certain Britpop band, the Manc accent has become much more well-known. In fact, if you did want to try and add it to your own intonation, you could do worse than to listen to a back catalogue of British rock music for inspiration. Or, just watch a few episodes of Corrie.

#8: Ulster English


Everyone loves a good Irish accent, but there’s so many variations that it can be tricky to separate them. And Ulster English brings a whole new dialect, on top of a very distinct tone of speaking. And because it’s so distinct, it’s immediately obvious whenever it’s done badly. The unpracticed will often find themselves slipping into other accents, and generally getting more and more frustrated.

#7: West Country


Our next entry touches on various regional twangs, each as difficult as the next to recreate. From Bristol to Cornwall, these accents are actually widely used on TV - especially by some of our favourite comics. Stereotypically, the West Country ramble is obviously associated with farmers, but it’s not all hayfields and combine harvesters. The hard-hitting crime drama “Broadchurch” also put the accent onto prime time telly.

#6: Scouse


As one of the most recognisable British accents, the Liverpool tone is also one of the most often imitated - but that doesn’t make it any easier to copy. Another favourite for TV comedians, there are famous Liverpudlians throughout British popular culture, so there are plenty of examples of how it should sound - from Paul McCartney to Steven Gerrard. But Harry Enfield’s still a stand-out resource for anyone who’s not from the city.

#5: Glaswegian


Trying to nail a generic Scottish accent can be challenging enough. So, throw in regional deviations and it’s even more complex. At best, most people channel Mel Gibson by shouting “freedom” as loud as they can, but anything else and it all goes a wee bit wrong - and a bit Groundskeeper Willie. Still, at least there’s a long list of famous Glaswegians to study for this particular sound, including the controversial comic Frankie Boyle and the Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi.

#4: Received Pronunciation


Closely linked to ‘Queen’s English’, Received Pronunciation is arguably the most stereotypically, quintessentially British accent of all - even though it’s rarer than a lot of today’s other entries. To your average Brit it’s essentially labelled as a ‘posh’ accent, supposedly in line with how the Royal Family speaks - and it’s typically associated with the South of England. Often a go-to tone whenever American shows include a British scene, it usually takes professional training to get it just so.

#3: Birmingham


An accent with the unfortunate distinction of having previously been rated as Britain’s least intelligent, the Birmingham (or Brummie) sound seems to be constantly copied. But anyone who tries to feign it usually falls short. In fact, the accent is so difficult to understand that when Birmingham City Council set up an automated phone service, even it couldn’t comprehend the local inflection at first. However, with shows like “Peaky Blinders” pulling in massive audiences, opinions could soon start to change.

#2: Welsh


It’s another that can split into lots of local variations, but for anyone who’s not from Wales, most Welsh accents are almost unfathomable. With vowel sounds unlike anywhere else, general Welsh languages and dialects seem an ongoing fascination for the rest of Britain - and the rest of the world. Naturally, that interest leads to lots of (mostly unsuccessful) attempts to imitate the Welsh way of speaking. But, even if you do perfect the accent, pronouncing the place names is a whole new challenge.

#1: Geordie


Newcastle: A city famous for Ant and Dec, Alan Shearer and for having its own reality TV show, it’s no wonder that the North East accent has become so popular, or so synonymous with the UK. But, while it’s often considered as one of Britain’s friendliest accents, it’s not the easiest to get to grips with. For any one who is trying to forge it, it’s usually the case of a few ‘canny’s here, a ‘toon’ or two there, and a ‘why aye man’ to finish. But true Geordies will spot the copycat a mile off.
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