London Accents: RP | Cockney | Multicultural London English

London Accents: RP | Cockney | Multicultural London English


Tom – Hello and welcome to a very special lesson
because today I’m joined again by Joel and Lia. Hello! Tom – Alright now today we’re looking at accents
in London. Now these guys are absolute experts when it comes to accents in London and you
guys have asked me so many times for a special video looking at different accents around
Britain and so we are going to focus today on London. So we’re going to look at received
pronunciation (RP), we’re going to look at cockney and we’re going to look at multicultural
London English. Ok, so who’s going to do what? Lia – So I’m going to take the RP accent.
So everything I say for the examples is going to be said in received pronunciation. Joel
– I’m going to take MLE which is multicultural London English, so yeah everything I say will
be in that accent. Tom – And I’m going to do the cockney accent. Now shall we just quickly
talk about what is multicultural London English? Where does that come from? So multicultural
London English is probably the newest of these accents. I don’t know exactly when it came
about, I think it was twenty or thirty years ago. Basically it’s heavily influenced by
African, black African communities and Asian communities that have come to London and it’s
sort of a blending of Cockney and this this multicultural language. So it’s a fairly new
accent but now it’s probably the most widespread of all of these accents. Tom – Yeah absolutely,
I think you described it earlier as the ‘rebirth of cockney’ Lia – Yeah it’s kind of like the
new sound of London. All young people, inner city London born and bred sound MLE. Tom – Right,
I’m going to be doing cockney. Cockney is the traditional accent of the East End of
London. So there’s a church in East London and if you were born within the radius of
that church you are a cockney and therefore you have a certain accent. This accent isn’t
maybe a widespread as it used to be and maybe it has blended into the MLE accent that Joel
was talking about there but yeah it’s still..I mean anyone from London might have a cockney
accent these days. In fact it’s kind of spread out as well so as people from the East End
have moved out of London they’ve gone to outside of London it’s kind of spread and become something
else, it’s estuary English. Lia – and it’s with that older generation as well. Tom – Yeah
definitely, it’s a slightly older generation. Lia- And I’ll be taking on the RP accent which
is also known as BBC English. It’s received pronunciation and it’s often known as sort
of the correct way to speak English. But that’s not necessarily true. Tom – Yeah of course
there is no right or wrong way to speak English there’s just your accent. That was the first
thing I learned on my teaching course when I started to teach English was that it doesn’t
matter what accent you have you just teach with your accent and you guys learn whatever
accent you want to have and speak with whatever accent you want to have. I think old course
books used to have RP. It used to be you could only hear RP but these days, thankfully, there’s
a variety of accents that you are going to hear so we want to reflect that today. Lia-
Excellent. Tom – Alright, so there’s the sentence. Our
first sentence, let’s hear how it’s said in RP. Lia – ‘I want a bottle of water’. Tom
– In cockney ‘I want a bottle of water’ Joel – And in MLE they say ‘I want a bottle of
water.’ Ok, alright so the features there. i don’t know if you picked it up. So the /t/
sound, we are particularly looking at the /t/. In RP how is it said? Ts are pronounced
in RP. In contemporary RP there are sometimes dropped a little bit, it’s unlikely you’ll
hear someone say water but you will hear water. So ‘I want a bottle of water’ it’s actually
more likely to be said ‘May I have a bottle of water?’ because with RP comes sort of correct
manners Tom – Well structures yeah definitely but then that was reflected in the MLE, right?
The /t/ sound there was also dropped. Sometimes is, sometimes isn’t. Joel – Yeah it’s sort
of interchangeable. I think whereas, you’ll come on to this with cockney in a moment doesn’t
have any /t/s MLE sort of takes a bit of both. It sometimes pronounces /t/s, sometimes doesn’t
so you might say ‘Give me that water’ or you might say ‘Give me that water.’ You can do
either. Tom – So if you want to emphasise then maybe you would use the /t/. Joel – pass
me the bottle T – Right yeah so but then in cockney you are dropping the /t/ so it’s a
glottal /t/ so we’d say ‘water’ or ‘daughter’ as well so dropping that /t/ it’s right out
of there, gone! L – Perfect. T – Sentence number two, let’s hear how that would be said
L – happy birthday T – happy birthday J – happy birthday. T- What was going on there? L – Nice,
i noticed in the MLE that it’s kind of like quite strong on the consonants. Whereas with
the cockney you roll over that /h/ and just go straight to the /a/ ‘appy birthday’ T – Quite
punchy J – Yeah in MLE you don’t drop /h/s like you would in cockney so you would say,
again it’s a mixture so you keep the /h/ like RP does but you drop the /th/ like cockney
T – Yeah which we are going to get on to All – Woah! L – Slow down! T -But yeah in cockney
I drop the /h/ so generally its ‘appy birthday L – Hell bent T – Hell bent yeah so you are
dropping the /h/ right out of there. L- He was saying hell bent. Yeah and in RP it’s
just, say all of the, just say all of it. Happy birthday. T – Happy birthday, yeah.
Nice! L – happy birthday Tom T- Thank you very much. T – Number three, let’s hear the
RP. L – My mate’s really tall.’ T – ‘My mate’s really tall.’ J – ‘My mate’s really tall.’
L – And an additional one here ‘My mate is really tall.’ So pronouncing the /t/ in mate
is not unusual. Mate would be contemporary RP and mate would be RP. T- Ok, interesting.
So a slight difference there. Again a slight mix. People are kind of fusing the accents
together? L – Yeah definitely and also the younger generation of RP. So say your parents
are quite strong RP and you’re sort of you know, you are living in London and you’ve
got of sort of a friend from everywhere, you just start dropping them. So it wouldn’t be
cat, cat. But you are still RP. T – Yeah no absolutely yeah. That definitely works. The
feature we were looking at there was the /L/ sound at the end so in RP in tall you use
the dark L right? So it’s ‘tall’ L – Yeah T – Whereas in a cockney accent it’s ‘tall’
so it’s almost like a /w/ sound I guess L- and what is it for you? J – Similar. I think
it’s the same in MLE as a cockney. You drop the /L/ at the end you say ‘tall’ but the
vowel is slightly tighter but the /L/ is the same. T – Yeah at uni we had a friend called
Paul and he was from south-east London. And we’d be like ‘Paul, come here Paul’ it was
just really fun to say. L – ‘Paul, he’s really tall.’ T – This one time he was asleep and
we all wanted to wake him up so we all just went ‘Paul. Paul! It must have been strange
for him anyway. J – This is an interesting thing that in cockney the words ‘pull’, ‘pool’
and the name ‘Paul’ are pronounced the same so it’s pull, pool and Paul. Whereas in RP
it’s Paul, pull and pool so it’s slightly different. L – So Paul the person, pull and
swimming pool. J – Yeah, it’s all different but in cockney and probably in MLE it’s all
the same. T – So yeah we could get deeper into this, there’s so much to talk about but
yeah amazing. L – We’ll do a part two. T – As I said, these guys are accent experts. J – Oh
stop it! T – Alright number four L _ ‘I live in South London.’ T – ‘I live in South London.
J – I live in South London. T – Alright so the feature here is that /th/ of south. In
RP what are you doing? L – South. /Th/. South London. T – Whereas in cockney I’m putting
an /f/ there so south. The ‘outh’ is a larger vowel sound there and then the /f/ south / north.
There’s a /f/ sound. J – Same in MLE it’s south. T – Yeah it’s kind of similar, isn’t
it? Ok so those are sort of four of the main features. There’s so much more to explore
here. In terms of your accents guys. How do you L – Identify? T – Yeah how do you identify?
what do you do? L – So I would identify as someone who has a midlands RP. So I’d say
I have received pronunciation but with a midlands twang and that’s because I was born in Warwickshire.
So, I might say ‘laugh’ instead of ‘laugh’ or ‘bath’ instead of ‘bath’ and that is a
whole other video because there’s midlands and then you’ve got Birmingham and there’s
so many accents going on in the midlands specifically West Midlands where I was born. So yeah I
would say I’ve got quite a neutral Midlands RP. T – Ok, Alright and Joel what about you?
J – Kind of similar to Lia but not the Midlands. So a neutral contemporary RP. I would say
‘bath’ and ‘laugh’ instead of ‘bath’ and ‘laugh’ which Lia would say but other than that I
think are accents are pretty similar. T – Yeah definitely. Joel you do a lot of voice over
work, right? So you have to play around with accents quite a lot. You have to know the
features of different accents, that must be really challenging right? J – Yeah it is difficult.
I think mainly the work that I do, people do want RP so I think there’s still a slight
bias to saying we like this accent because it’s neutral. But yeah you do have to sort
of do lots of different accents and know your mouth and what it’s doing. T – Yeah. I think
for my accent it’s changed a lot and it really depends on the situation. I was saying to
you guys earlier if I’m with my mates and I’m at football then I’m full cockney. Like
I’m going ‘come on you ….’ L – beep! T – But then if I’m with my grandma I’m RP as anyone
‘Hello grandma. how are you?’ You know, so it rally depends. I don’t know why i do that
L – It’s like being a chameleon in life. You do it to sort of survive. T – Well you adapt
to your surroundings, right? Absolutely. I think being a teacher here and living abroad
has sort of neutralised, not neutralised my accent but has changed my accent because yeah
you need to be understood and maybe speaking clearly whatever the accent is, speaking clearly
is maybe the most important the thing. L -The key yeah definitely. T – But yeah it’s an
interesting one. And I definitely identify with all three I think. You’ll find me doing
little features of everything. L – I don’t know, I find accents can be so entertaining
and so interesting. T – Yeah definitely. And it’s all about identity, isn’t it? You really
are displaying where you are from geographically, who you are socially, your age L -Everything.
T – There’s so much in there, it’s fascinating. J – We love accents. T – There guys have done
some amazing accent videos so I’ll link those just below. But guys, thanks again L -Thanks
so much. We’ve also got you on a video on our channel. T – That’s right so what’s that
about? What did we do? L – What did we do? J -We did a video all about the different
communities there are in London.So if you are interested in knowing where the communities
are in London or you are moving to London yourself it should be quite helpful. T – This
is super fascinating. I loved this one. Looking at different nationalities. So where is the
big Korean community in London or Italian community or whatever. This maybe the best
video of all time, I don’t know. it’s a good video. So yeah make sure you go and check
that out guys. But thank you so much for joining me guys. If you would like more accent videos
then let me know in the comments below. Which accents would you like me to do? And maybe
you guys can come and help me again. l – We’d love to. Awesome, bye! J – See you! T – See
you guys bye!