Understand Difficult Accents

The English Language Belongs To Everyone


Understanding some native accents and dialects and also foreign accents takes effort and time. Find out how you can build up your skills to understand a wider range of people and their English.

Some accents which are often considered difficult by both native and non-native English speakers are:

  • Scots, especially Glaswegian (Glasgow)
  • North East of England (Geordie, Mackem/Sunderland)
  • Scouse (Liverpool)
  • Yorkshire
  • Texan
  • Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh)

The main problem for people who find these accents difficult to understand is that they do not hear speakers with these accents often enough. To practise listening to these accents you need to use media or you need somebody to talk to.

If you are on Google +, why not join an English study community (there are a lot) and find a speaker with an accent you would like to listen to. You can then meet on Google Hangouts or Skype. You can ask them questions about typical pronunciation in their area and it can be really helpful for them to know what outsiders find difficult to understand about their accent.

Other than that, there is so much media available from anywhere in the world in English.

You might need to use the pause and rewind buttons a lot but it can be worth it to take a look at another culture you might not see if you only study using textbooks and the CDs that come with them.