Scottish accent is difficult to understand? Dear english speakers, i have a question for you, please answer me if you can, i would appreciate. I have a friend who wants to go to study abroad, in Scotland (she has a low-medium level of english) and she is a little bit worried because some people told her scottish people have an incomprehensible accent,,, even american english speakers told her it's hard for them to understand scottish. Is it true? It is so hard to understand? Is a good place to learn the language? Thank you!!!
Nov 5, 2012 9:34 PM
Answers · 11
I am Scottish, and it is nice to hear that your friend loves Scotland and wants to come and study here. All accents ( not just Scottish) can be difficult to tune into at first - on the other hand, it is said that the people of Inverness ( a Scottish city) speak the most perfect English in the UK....and if you think of Sean Connery ( Scottish actor) then you have an example of a perfectly understandable Scot! ( Of course there are thicker accents too ) Our universites attract many foreign students... so we must be doing something right ( they certainly don't come for the weather!) I am happy to talk to her if she wants to test my accent out! :-)
November 5, 2012
It seems to me that it depends on what her native language is and what accent she is used to listening to in English. No accent is inherently harder to understand than any other one, it just depends on your experience. But I think that all English accents will be fairly difficult to understand for someone with a low-intermediate level in English. Native speech is very fast and complicated no matter what accent it is spoken with, so I would warn her to expect difficulty in any case. (Not that she shouldn't go because of that. Many things worth doing in life are difficult at first.) So I am not sure whether or not Scottish people will be particularly difficult for her to understand. I don't find it difficult, but I have a totally different background in the English language than she does. She could look up the Scottish accent on Youtube to see what she thinks of it, I suppose. But I would say that she should be prepared not to have 100% listening comprehension no matter what English speaking country she visits, and not to worry about Scotland in particular.
November 5, 2012
I'm a native English speaker and never have I heard a harder accent to understand than the Scottish accent. A lot of people think the Irish accent is hard to understand but the Scottish one is much worse. Last year I went on holidays to Spain and met a group of Scottish lads. We were sitting around a table in a restaurant talking. We were talking for about half an hour and I spent the majority of the time sitting there nodding. I understood about 50% of what they were saying and spent the rest of the time trying to derive the general meaning of their speech. Although saying this I have no real problem understanding Scottish people on the tv, it was probably due to the fact that they were young men and were using a lot of slang I was unfamiliar with. Its exactly what Jill has said though, the more time you spend around them the easier it gets to understand them.
November 5, 2012
I think that the more you are around the Scottish accent, the more you will understand it. I think that she will learn to understand it, but I would not recommend it if she thinks she will not be safe or comfortable in Scotland.
November 5, 2012
I have been in Glasgow for 10 months. Scottish accent is difficult,but,Scottish speak by english accent.Therefore,I advise your friend to come to Scotland. They are freindly,sociable and love foreigners. I know many Spanish in Glasgow and they are happy here.
November 13, 2012
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