The British accent has long been considered one of the most attractive accents in the world. According to a recent survey with 37,000 people from 30 countries, the British brogue is the sexiest language in the world, with an overall vote of 25%.
In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons that make this accent so attractive to audiences from around the world. Understanding the psychological factors that make an accent more appealing to a wider audience can help producers choose the right English accent for each of their audiovisual localization projects.
The Role of Accents in Attraction
The voice of a person acts as a second signature and reveals a lot of details about their intentions, their education, background, and character.
It plays a major role in how they are perceived by others, and it can repel or attract potential mates. Many studies have found that when someone’s voice sounds attractive, we think they also look attractive.
Foreign accents are more interesting and sexier because we value things that are less common. This is one of the reasons why so many Americans find British accents charming. It is often associated with someone who is competent, sophisticated, and intelligent. All of these are qualities that people find very attractive.
Is the British Accent Really All That Great?
British English is a language of dialects and accents. Britain’s rich diversity of dialects can be attributed to the fact that English has been spoken in the region for over 1500 years.
This has allowed the language to develop into several regional variations. Migration and invasions have also been driving forces for the development of accents and dialects.
There are approximately forty distinct dialects in the UK today. Many of these have different structures, spellings, and unique local words. Most people are already familiar with dialects such as Geordie, Scouse, Glaswegian, and Cockney. Estuary English and Brummie have their own unique characteristics. BBC English, or Received Pronunciation, is the most recognized British accent and one that most people associate with the UK.
The Perceived Attributes of the British Accent
People associate different accents with negative and positive traits. A good example of this is the Received Pronunciation or RP accent. The accent was used early in television broadcasting and radio and earned the nickname BBC English.
Listen to Angela, one of Golocalise’s English voice artists, speaking with a mild RP accent:
RP English is quite varied because of factors such as the age and social class of the speaker. People often associate RP English with those who have a privileged upbringing. One of the reasons for this perception is that the accent was presented and promoted as a more suitable and correct variety of English.
Non-standard varieties of British English, on the other hand, have covert prestige. For example, a Yorkshire English accent is often associated with being hardworking and trustworthy. Companies that want to promote these values hire voice actors with these actors for their English voiceover projects.
Listen to Joe, a voice artist from Golocalise, speaking with a Yorkshire accent:
The Global Appeal of the British Accent
The influence of the British accent in pop culture can be seen everywhere, from movies and TV to literature and streaming videos. Each accent in the UK has its own unique characteristics and history, affecting how characters are portrayed in the media.
The RP accent is usually associated with higher social class and sophistication, while the Cockney accent is often used to portray the working class in media. Different characters can convey different cultural identities.
Choosing the right English accent for audiovisual localization can add realism and authenticity to the project. The right British accent can also help you relate to your target audience better and deliver the intended message successfully through your work.
GoLocalise can help you make strategic decisions about which accent to use for your projects.
Top British English Accents
Several British accents have gained popularity in pop culture to bring characters to life. There are several distinguishing features and slang that sets each accent apart from the rest.
For foreign audiences, it may be difficult to spot these dialects apart, but for native English speakers, these regional accents are easily recognizable.
Here are some of the top British English accents that can be frequently spotted in pop culture and their characteristics:
- Cockney accent: a pop culture icon
- RP accent: elegance and sophistication
- Geordie accent: friendly, hardworking, and funny
- Yorkshire accent: strong and working class
- Scouse accent: witty and charming
Listen to Howard, one of Golocalise’s English voice artists, speaking with a Scouse accent:
The Downside of the British Accent
Although British English is widely loved by people around the world, there are several negative British accent stereotypes that you should be aware of.
One such example is RP. Although it is only spoken by 3% of the country’s population, it is recognized as the posh accent of those belonging to the upper class and private school education. RP is often associated with snobbery and elitism.
The Estuary accent is another victim of the negative stereotype of glottalization. The accent is often thought of as a bad imitation of the English accent.
The Cockney accent is also usually associated with being uncultured and uneducated. This accent is found in London’s East End and represents the working class of the city.
Many TV shows often use this accent to perpetuate the stereotype of this accent by using it to represent working-class Londoners. Also, the British accent has historically been associated with iconic movie villains.
Best British Accent for Voice-Overs
The British accent has a distinct legacy and a major influence on pop culture throughout the world. RP, Cockney, Brummie, Yorkshire, and other accents have their own significance, so the best English accent for your voiceover project depends on your target audience.
Whether you are producing a TV show or an ad, the right British accent can give your project the authenticity it needs to connect with your audience.
GoLocalise can help bring your project to life with the best native British accent voice artists in the business. Located in London, the heart of British English, we can help you achieve the results you envision.
Contact GoLocalise today to discuss your requirements for your next project!
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