English Accent Training: How Slang Terms Can Define Individual Speech

One of the reasons our long running idioms series has proven to be so popular  is that it helps bridge the gap between the formal English often emphasized in the initial stages of English accent training and specialized slang of the business world. Every profession has a plethora of slang terms unique to itself, which in turn quickly establishes whether the person speaking is a knowledgeable professional in their chosen field. There is distinction between slang terms for various business disciplines and the slang terms or local dialects common to a specific region of the U.S. and other countries. These may be even further defined across various age groups, ethnicities, and men versus women.

English Accent Training: Local British Dialects are Fading

No matter how you incorporate a local dialect into your English accent training or how frequently you use business slang terms in everyday conversations with your coworkers, you will most likely speak in a manner similar to those around you. But what if the adoption of a particular local dialect caused you to lose touch with the roots of your native language?

This is the exact situation many Britions find themselves with regard to the slang they currently use. A recent Travelodge survey of 2,000 British adults found that they understand European based phrases better than  traditional British slang. 80% of those surveyed readily identified the Spanish and Italian greetings hola and ciao respectively, while only 3 in 10 people out of the group understood the meaning of the phrase “ey up”, a friendly greeting commonly used in Yorkshire. Moreover, 75% of the surveyed group didn’t know the meaning of the London phrase “whotcha”, which is equivalent to “what’s up?” in American English.

A similar pattern was seen with farewell phrases. 5/6 of those surveyed knew the French phrase ” au revoir” and the British expression “ta-ra.” Only a third of the group recognized the common parting phrase in Yorkshire “sith-ee”. An ignorance of common Yorkshire phrases might lead one to believe that the British have a general distaste towards the Yorkshire accent. However cricket announcer Geoffrey Boycott is well known for his Yorkshire accent and is generally thought of as having a pleasant sounding voice.

English Accent Training: Preserving British slang

Paul Kerswill, Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of York, said “Britons need to maintain the phrases that survive to ensure they continue to be a source of local identity. A lot of people feel a sense of pride in their speech, and we should celebrate that.” In the interest of preserving British slang and highlighting slang terms in various British dialects, Travelodge has developed helpful lingo guides for newcomers. Below are common English accent training terms used in Newcastle, a city located in Tyne and Wear in northeast England. Newcastle natives speak a dialect known as “Geordie”

Barmcake: a variety of breadroll

Tar’ra: goodbye

Butty: a sandwich

Guttle: a drink

English Accent Training: How to Learn More

This is just one of many blog articles intended to help educate and inform the public about various aspects of English Accent Training. If you’re interested in learning more about English accent training, check out our free Accent Reduction screening. Within 48 hours you will receive results regarding your accent on a severity scale of 1 (very heavy) to 7 (very mild) accent. If you’re looking to start on your English accent training, we have office and online starter program options! Within 12 English accent training sessions, all clients have demonstrated accent reduction of 50% or more.