Learning North-of-England Accents
WHAT WILL YOU DOWNLOAD?
The download contains fifty-seven (57) minutes of systematic instruction in MP3 sound files. You’ll also get a printable PDF of the instruction manual. It contains summaries of the audio lessons and full transcripts of the drill words, phrases, and passages.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
You will learn the general North-of-England accent as it sounds in many parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire. You’ll still hear some folks refer to it as the “North Country” accent. This audio also briefly shows the differences between this and the Liverpool (aka “Scouse” or “Merseyside”) accent.
- Lesson 1 teaches you the resonance or voice placement of the North-of-England accent. In other words, it shows you how to move and shape your mouth to create the accent’s sound focus.
- Lesson 2 gets you to use the specific style of downward lilt or pitch glide heard in most parts of the North.
- Lesson 3 teaches the unique North English pronunciations of major vowels and consonants. Many of the vowels only sound accurate when integrated with the pitch glide learned in Lesson 2. Also, some are distinctly different from those of RP or Cockney. The dropping of the post-vowel R is similar to what’s done in most of England.
- Lesson 4 puts it all together with several drill passages. Firstly, it reminds you about the voice placement and lilt. Further, it drills the pronunciation phrase by phrase before leading you into a conversational speaking pace.
MORE ABOUT THE NORTH-OF-ENGLAND ACCENT
For years, most people outside the UK wouldn’t have had a clue that this accent was native to England. But some started noticing it in the late 1960s when Harold Wilson, with his Yorkshire accent, became Prime Minister. Similarly, the Manchester accent got international exposure in the 1970s and later. This was due to the broad syndication of Granada TV’s soap opera Coronation Street. Of course, there was one obvious example of Northern accent widely heard outside England in the ’60s. It was the Liverpool speech of the Beatles and other Merseyside bands of the “British Invasion.” However, Liverpool’s sound is distinctly different than most other Northern accents. In addition, many consider the Beatles’ pattern to have been more specialized than the typical Liverpool accent.
NORTHERN ENGLISH FOR TODAY’S ACTORS
- Among often performed plays set in or around Manchester is Christmas is Miles Away by Chloe Moss. There are also two Manchester-area plays involving teenagers. They are Hangmen by Martin McDonagh (who usually sets his plays in Ireland) and Punk Rock by Simon Stephens.
- In addition, most of the characters in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys would have Yorkshire speech. In the same vein, the musical Billy Elliot’s characters would have the closely related Durham accent.