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Welsh accent declared ‘the most relaxing’ in the UK

10 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Gwennan Harries, former Wales striker and S4C World Cup co-commentator Photo Huw John

The Welsh accent has topped a list of the UK’s most relaxing accents, with the Essex accent coming in last place.

The survey polled over 1,500 people across the UK, who were asked to rank 15 UK accents from most relaxing to least relaxing.

At joint second place are the Yorkshire and Cornish accents, with Northern Irish and Received Pronunciation (think Sophie Ellis Bextor and her Dancefloor) finishing up the top five.

Liverpudlian was among the least calming options and was towards the bottom of the ranking at 23 per cent.

The research was conducted by Spa Seekers, in collaboration with the University of Sheffield.

Connotations

Dr Chris Montgomery, a senior lecturer in dialectology at the university, told Sky News that no accents “have inherent parts that makes them relaxing”.

“It’s the connotations that they have that people learn over time,” he said.

“With the Welsh accent, people probably go to Wales, they might go on holiday. They come to Wales to the countryside, associate it with being in that place, going to the beach, perhaps being in Snowdonia or the other national parks.”

With Rob Brydon, Charlotte Church, Joanna Page and many others flying the flag for Wales across national TV, UK residents aren’t having to travel either.

The cast of Gavin and Stacey, (left to right) Rob Wilfort as Jason, Joanna Page as Stacey, Matthew Horne as Gavin, James Corden as Smithy, Ruth Jones as Nessa, Alison Steadman as Pam, Melanie Waters as Gwen, Roby Brydon as Bryn and Larry Lamb as Mick, as the comedy returns to BBC television in a one-off special on Christmas Day.

Survey participants were presented with multiple accent “labels” to select from.

Although there are differences among the nations and areas of the UK, the study’s list of accents is not all-inclusive.

Dr Montgomery explained: “Essentially, what you’ve got is a number of different accent names, you’ve got a number of different scales and then people rate on those scales. And then we looked at what the rank ordering was.

Importantly, Dr Montgomery clarified that there is no one Welsh accent. He told Sky News: “We just used the label ‘Welsh accent’. Obviously, there’s a lot of variation in Wales.”

“They say north and south are quite important in Wales in terms of Welsh and in terms of Welsh English.

“But then there’ll be variation in different cities as well. So we just used that one label, and that was really for convenience.”


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Karl
Karl
4 days ago

Which Welsh accent. How stupid is this vote.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
3 days ago

There are many different accents in Wales. We don’t all sound the same. Why are we always listed as if there was only one?

Notttabottt
Notttabottt
3 days ago

Yr Wyddfa*

Riki
Riki
3 days ago

Charlotte Church and Rob Brydon do have relaxing accents – Joanna Page? Not the accent in Gavin and Stacey, that’s way over exaggerated! This is one of the main reasons why all our actors are told not to use their own accent. Hollywood wants to keep the perception we all sound like the King and Queen of England. When the crazy thing is that 99% of England don’t even sound like them, let’s alone Wales and Scotland. And our actors don’t really do enough to push back against it, with only three of them that I know who put their… Read more »

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