British English

As Lewis the Lion has travelled, he has noticed that there are many variations of English spoken across the world and indeed across the U.K. itself.  Sometimes the dialect (words, grammar and accent) changes according to where you live or your social status.

E.g. In the South of England, you may talk about having  your breakfast, lunch (at midday) and dinner (in the evening). Whilst in the North of England, you may talk about having your breakfast, dinner (at midday) and tea (in the evening).

Generally we think of standard British English as the language of the Queen. She also has a particular accent called ‘Received Pronunciation’ or ‘R.P.’ for short and often newscasters also speak with this clear accent.

Why do you think it’s important that you can communicate in standard English?

Can you say the following sentences in your best ‘Received Pronunciation’ accent?  Try to sound as posh as the Queen as you can!

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain

How kind of you to let me come

In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen

These sentences are famously spoken and sang in the film ‘My Fair Lady’ where a London flower girl has elecution lessons to learn how to talk properly. Click here to see a link.


Rich language variations across the United Kingdom

You have probably noticed that sometimes people speak differently according to which part of the UK they are from. We are lucky to have such a rich language heritage! Often people like to hear the different accents from across the UK. Do you? Which accents do you like? Here are some that you might know of :

London – Cockney

Birmingham – Brummie

Manchester – Manc

Liverpool – Liverpudlian or Scouser

York – Yorkshire

Newcastle upon Tyne – Geordie

Stoke-on-Trent – The Potteries or Stokie

Bristol – Bristolian

Devon – Devonian

Cornwall – Cornish

Scotland – Scottish

Ireland – Irish

Wales – Welsh

Do you know any others? How many accents can you mimic?

Go to this website: BBC Voices to find out more.

Did you know that good language learners or linguists are often good mimics too?

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