Daily Archives: 6, November 2012

Translating Scottish accents

When I was living in Scotland, my ear became attuned to the Scottish accent. My first week there, I had no idea what most people were saying, but was good at smiling, nodding and saying “uh-huh” at what I imagined was the appropriate moments. I listened a lot.

Ewan McGregor has a great Scottish accent.

But before long, I had a more clear, ballpark idea of what people were saying, particularly cabbies and it usually involved the weather. Or football. Or America. Or sometimes all three. And the longer I stayed, the more I understood, until I, too, began speaking in my own strange Scottish-ese (which sounded nothing like a Scottish accent).

I think I could have used the Speech Accent Archive back in the day, this cool little resource that can deconstruct accents anywhere on the globe.

I still adore the Scottish accent, so lilting and lovely, and am always pleased to hear it, however rarely I encounter it these days.