Is English A Sexy Language?
<<I have to agree with Ren, Uriel! :) These accents are a bit of a turn-off for me (sorry any Aussies and SAers, it's just an opinion!)
I disagree with Sander about German - it's not sexy at all to me, but Dutch is, for some reason. French is the sexiest, though. >>
Candy and Ren, I wonder if British people take a negative view of Australian and South African accents because they are close enough to yours that you merely find the differences annoying? They are so different from mine that I hear them as refreshingly exotic instead.
I find German slightly whiny (not a turn-on), and French does nothing for me -- I think it sounds better on women than on men ... (sorry greg! Don't tell Yann.)
And Damian, you Scots sound sexy even when you're writing. ;) That cute little Billy Boyd doesn't hurt your image, either; neither does John Hanna. Loved him in Circus Circus and Sliding Doors. Funny as hell in the Mummy -- pity Arnold Vosloo had to do all his dialogue in ancient Egyptian. Oh, well -- he more than made up for it by running around in that little diaper!
The sexiness factor of a language differs for me by what sex speaks it:
German (husky, low voice)
British English (ok, I like Estuary!)
I find Scottish, spoken by a man, quite kittenish. Could be quite sexy depending on body language.
I can only speak for the Aussie accent but I imagine one of the reasons why Australian might not sound good to English ears (as as Kiwi) is that we schwa vowels more so than the English (NZ > Australia) and so it might sound lazy or simple to their ears. Or is it this twang that we have?
I have the opposite problem, while I don't mind some English accents, RP and Tony Estuary Blair (and some other accents) sound highly snobbish to me and leaves me with the impression that these people are no approachable.
I have this theory about languages and cultures that basically, familiarity breeds contempt. The closer they are to your own, the more the little differences grate on your nerves, bcause you unconsciously expect them to be the same, and it aggravates you when they aren't. With cultures and languages that are very different from your own, you have no expectations, so you make fewer value judgments about them.
I suppose we sound twangy to the British as well.
<<Candy and Ren, I wonder if British people take a negative view of Australian and South African accents because they are close enough to yours that you merely find the differences annoying? They are so different from mine that I hear them as refreshingly exotic instead. >>
I think that's quite true, Uriel! A lot of English accents annoy me too - as Ren mentioned, South London ('Sarf Lahndan') is horrible IMO, as is Brummie (Birmingham).
"Australian English "
Having some sweaty Aussie coming up to you and saying, in that terrible accent, "G'Day! Stick another shrimp on the barbie, mate!" is not very "sexy" is it?
"I have the opposite problem, while I don't mind some English accents, RP and Tony Estuary Blair (and some other accents) sound highly snobbish to me and leaves me with the impression that these people are no approachable. "
I don't know why Tony Blair speaks with an English accent, considering the fact that he's Scottish. Maybe he just doesn't like his own Edinburgh accent.
Thanks for those kind words...quite honestly I don't think many Scots are conscious of the "sexy" image of their accents...I know I'm not but it's flattering to know that it has that effect on other people. I can't really appreciate how it comes over to people from outside Scotland.....I'm surrounded by mostly Scottish accents all day so I don't even think about it but I admit to being a wee bit smug when a recent poll on accents here in the UK as a whole put Scotish accents right up at the top.
There again, it depends on WHICH Scottish accent as they do vary from one region here just as they do down South of the Border. Here in Edinburgh we generally think the Glasgow accent is crap, but as the two cities (Scotland's largest...but we are the capital!!) are mega rivals in as many ways as we can think up, then that's sort of natural I reckon. They think we have a "superiority complex". It's not a complex at all...we ARE superior! :-)
John HannaH (don't drop your Hs Uriel......you might get mistaken for a Cockney! - but it's not at the beginning of the word..it's at the end so you're OK I guess!) actually comes from East Kilbride which is over Glasgow way, just to the south. I didn't know how old he was until I checked the website...I didn't realise he was 43 though! He will mostly be remembered for quoting WH Auden's "Stop all the clocks!" eulogy at the funeral of his male lover in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Adam: Nobody in Scotland regards Tony Blair as Scottish in spite of his 100% Scottish name Blair. OK, he went to Fettes College here in Edinburgh AFTER school down in Durham (England) ...a choristors' school!....then went on to Oxford uni.....in England. He is the MP for an English constituency (Sedgefield, in County Durham). He has no trace of Scottish in his accent at all, rarely comes up here as far as we know so how can you possibly say he "doesn't like his Edinburgh accent"! If that bloke has an Edinburgh accent then I was born and brought up in Outer Mongolia...with an accent to suit.
At least Tony Blair doesn't have a Boltonian accent.
Consider yourself blessed, Tony!
I know, I couldn't remember if there was a final H in Hannah and I was too lazy to look it up, so I took a shot and I was wrong...(sigh)...it won't be the last time, I'm afraid.... Forgot about 4 Weddings and a Funeral, actually. Good flick, but Andie McDowell was terrible, I thought.
Andie McDowell.......lovely Scottish name. She seemed to say "Hi!" all the time.... and show all those teeth...... She advertises on TV here...not sure what...something feminine...is it De Lorean or something? I'm not sure what that is to be honest...something nice n' girlie I suspect! :-)
She was originally a model, and I believe she's in some make-up commercials here. She's originally a Southerner, and if you listen, you can pick up some traces of it in her voice. Actually, I think that either she has let her Southern accent become more pronounced over the years, or I just wasn't paying attention to it before, because I remember long ago being surprised to find out where she was from.
By the way, if you want to find Americans of pure British descent, the South has the highest percentage of them. I believe it's one in four. So it's no surprise that she has a "lovely Scottish name".