Yorkshire, in Northern England, is the site for many historical events, such as the Wars of the Roses, and the source of the Yorkshire terrier, Yorkshire pudding and the distinctive Yorkshire dialect. Several varieties of the dialect exist and each is specific to the different towns and villages in Yorkshire. For the sake of authenticity, people interested in learning a Yorkshire accent for a performance or for personal interest must choose a particular dialect. With research and constant practice, you can learn to deliver a convincing Yorkshire accent.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Visit a website containing audio interviews of speakers from different parts of England. For instance, visit BBC's "The Voices Recording" page, the British Library's "Sounds Familiar?" and the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) (see Resources).
Use the search tools provided to find interviews featuring residents of Yorkshire. On BBC's "The Voices Recording" page, for instance, choose "England" from the location menu and "North Yorkshire" or "South Yorkshire" from the "Region" menu then click "Go." On the British Library's "Sound Familiar?" page, roll your cursor over the map to "Yorkshire and Humber" and click one of the figures. Follow the instructions on the site to play an audio clip. Note that you must have a compatible media player to play audio clips from some sites, like the BBC and the British Library; however, this is not a requirement on other sites, like the IDEA.
Listen to various clips to hear what a Yorkshire accent sounds like. Note that the accents vary slightly depending on the part of Yorkshire from which the speaker comes.
Begin to practice saying what you hear after you become familiar with the accent. Play a clip and pause the player after every sentence. Practice repeating the sentence with the same inflections as the speaker. Replay that sentence until you can say it like the speaker.
Practice with as many audio clips as you can find until you feel confident with your rendition of the Yorkshire accent.
Tips and warnings
- Consider visiting a site with videos of people with Yorkshire accents, like YouTube. You may find it easier to pick up the accent by watching the participants speak.
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