Get an ear for regional accents, study warns


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Lifestyle & Time out, News

Ever mistakenly stumbled across Towie, Geordie Shore or Desperate Scousewives and not only struggled to comprehend their antics, but also their accents? Well you better get up to speed, as your clients might soon be equally indecipherable.

Regional accents are going through something of a renaissance according to recent research in academic circles, apparently getting stronger as people seek to retain a degree of regional identity. Less people are keen on speaking the Queen’s English, it seems, despite the Royals’ best efforts at rehabilitating their image during the last year.

This trend is creeping into the communications of businesses too, according to further research gathered by PH Media Group. Examining the marketing communications of a cross-section of firms, they discovered a 27% rise in the number businesses using an accented voice in the past 12 months.

Regional accents, they suggest, ‘convey a sense of provenance and provide customers with immediate reassurance they are speaking to someone who understands them’. Think  along the lines of Sean Bean’s voice-overs for O2, or the thoroughly down-to-earth Yorkshireman who advertises Plusnet.

I’d beg to differ. The last conversation I had with a Geordie telemarketer would have been better served with an interpreter.

  • http://twitter.com/billgreenwood bill greenwood

    Your last line rings true with me. I’m from London and I sat next to a fellow from Sunderland in a pub once and had to call over a pal from Leeds – which is a good halfway point – to translate his speech for me. I could not figure out a word this cannie lad was saying. And im sitting right next to the fellow. It turns out that the Sunderland chap was working in IT telephone support and had been having lots of problems over the phone with his southern clients.