Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I will be coming from New Zealand and I am slightly concerned that either I won't understand other students or that they might not be able to understand me. I suppose that the most common accents are probably Received Pronunciation, Cockney, and maybe some sort of Scottish accent - am I right? Also, as well as an answer for the University as a whole, I would also like to know the same for Van Mildert.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dionysos4)
    I will be coming from New Zealand and I am slightly concerned that either I won't understand other students or that they might not be able to understand me. I suppose that the most common accents are probably Received Pronunciation, Cockney, and maybe some sort of Scottish accent - am I right? Also, as well as an answer for the University as a whole, I would also like to know the same for Van Mildert.
    This is really quite a difficult question, given that classifying anyone's accent into a single category is usually misleading, and students in the university come from all over. If anyone tells you that x accent or y accent is particularly common, someone else would probably completely disagree with you, based on personal experience.

    But for what I can help with understanding, cockney and scottish accents are *not*common. The only two I could point out as being more common than anything else are RP (as you mentioned), and a variety of Northern English accents - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English...rthern_England - given Durham's location, particularly as far as local residents and staff go.

    Edit: More generally, especially with lecturers, you'll encounter a ridiculous range of accents from countres you didn't know existed. I can say, though that while I tend to be quite bad with accents (I'm RP myself), I rarely have problems understanding people.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey thanks! I realise that my question was a bit too generic and you answered it well! Do you think I will be able to understand/be understood by other people?
    • PS Helper
    • Peer Support Volunteers
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    Peer Support Volunteers
    I doubt you'll have any problems my bf is from new Zealand and he never struggles to understand me or any of his friends and we're Scottish
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    When I was there (even though it was a summer school), a lot of the students were from the north. Even though there were some Londoners and Southerners, I suppose a lot of people are put off from travelling. I live in Birmingham and it takes almost 5 hours to get there via train and it certainly put me off.

    I'd say from what I experienced there was a majority of northern accents.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    there are dozens of totally distinct accents over here, you can travel 30-40 miles and hear it change significantly. you'll be fine though, it's all english.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    I'd say in general the majority of people are from the south and speak with a classic british accent. The local geordie accent takes a bit of getting used to but it takes no time at all really
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by youbonkers)
    I'd say in general the majority of people are from the south and speak with a classic british accent. The local geordie accent takes a bit of getting used to but it takes no time at all really
    Geordie? Not in Durham

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    what other people have said, plus youll probs get a few people thinking youre an aussie - just to let you know :P
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dionysos4)
    I will be coming from New Zealand and I am slightly concerned that either I won't understand other students or that they might not be able to understand me. I suppose that the most common accents are probably Received Pronunciation, Cockney, and maybe some sort of Scottish accent - am I right? Also, as well as an answer for the University as a whole, I would also like to know the same for Van Mildert.
    You won't hear many Scottish accents for the simple reason that the overwhelming majority of Scottish students study in Scotland since they can go to university for free there.

    As a whole, if you go to any set of 'top' uni (which would include Durham) then the students will be overwhelmingly middle class with very generic sounding British accents. I can't see that you would have trouble understanding those kind of accents and I can't see that anyone is going to be able to understand a Kiwi... we have all had practice watching Flight of the Concordes and hearing interviews with Jonah Lomu, lol. Don't be surprised if lots of people think you are from South Africa though - it is very common for people to confuse the Kiwi and South African accents for some reason.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by wibletg)
    Geordie? Not in Durham

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Yes in Durham! I swear all the people in the shops and the staff at my college all have a geordie accent! ...Unless I'm getting my northern accents mixed up again, being a sheltered southerner me
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by youbonkers)
    Yes in Durham! I swear all the people in the shops and the staff at my college all have a geordie accent! ...Unless I'm getting my northern accents mixed up again, being a sheltered southerner me
    Durham is generally a mackem accent there's a very subtle difference!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by youbonkers)
    Yes in Durham! I swear all the people in the shops and the staff at my college all have a geordie accent! ...Unless I'm getting my northern accents mixed up again, being a sheltered southerner me
    People from Durham sound Geordie to someone who doesn't know Geordie but there are differences.

    To the OP I'm from Durham and have about 4 different accents which make up my own and evryone understands me! Don't worry about it most people in Durham itself aren't very broad and you should pick up the slang easily enough and people will have no problem understanding you!
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by wibletg)
    Durham is generally a mackem accent there's a very subtle difference!
    Never even heard of it! I need to brush up on my northern education
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by wibletg)
    Durham is generally a mackem accent there's a very subtle difference!
    It's different to mackem but closer to it than Geordie.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by youbonkers)
    Never even heard of it! I need to brush up on my northern education
    I suppose if you're at Durham you won't generally go out of a certain radius outside of term time - you've probably heard of mystical villages near Durham but have no idea where they are

    (Original post by LeBuche)
    It's different to mackem but closer to it than Geordie.
    True that.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    as far as I can tell (although not for Durham specifically) cockney accents really aren't that common outside of particular London area. I think it's just the impression you get in international media that British people are either posh or cockney.
    Of course this may just be my sheltered life lol, I'm a working class brummie and haven't really met anyone with an rp accent either :/.
    Oh boy is uni going to be a culture shock lol.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dionysos4)
    I will be coming from New Zealand and I am slightly concerned that either I won't understand other students or that they might not be able to understand me. I suppose that the most common accents are probably Received Pronunciation, Cockney, and maybe some sort of Scottish accent - am I right? Also, as well as an answer for the University as a whole, I would also like to know the same for Van Mildert.
    Why do you think Scottish (or "some sort of Scottish accent"), out of interest? If you think it's just because Durham is in the north of England so close to Scotland then this isn't the case. The North East's accents, the most famous of which is Geordie (Newcastle) are not what you can call a kind of Scottish accent. They are distinct.

    Also not really "cockney" (as in **** van Dyke in Mary Poppins style). Regional accents are most strong among the working and lower-middle class, and cockney is no exception. One thing Durham lacks relative to some other universities is working and lower middle class students :p: Also the "real" Cockney accent is only from one part of East London. Although many of Durham's students do come from London, not necessarily this one part of London and most will be so will have Received Pronunciation or Estuary English.

    As an example of a Durham accent see this video (I think she's from Co. Durham or Sunderland, anyway...it's close enough).



    And also the man at the start of this video (it says Geordie in the title, but the man at the start doesn't have a Geordie accent, though to you it will probably sound the same as Geordie just like many in the UK can't distinguish between Australian and NZ accents). Again his accent is not "City of Durham", I think it's more Teesside (20 miles South of Durham), but it gives an idea: -




    You might already know Geordie, which is Newcastle and wider Tyneside. Examples courtesy of beloved children's and teen programme Byker Grove: -



    But most of those are strong accents. I must stress that many in and around Newcastle don't have an accent that strong. Ah divn't like, hinny.

    Not many students will have a local accent, however, though you'll find many catering and cleaning staff, and local people in general, do.

    As for most common accents, I can only speak from my experience which is that most British students are overwhelmingly Received Pronunciation and, and a range of mild, often barely recognisable, regional accents (south coast, Essex, Mancunian/Manchester, Scouser/Liverpool, Geordie/Newcastle, Brummie/Birmingham, Yorkshire...)

    (Original post by OMGWTFBBQ)
    The vast majority of Durhamites are from London and the South. There are basically no Scottish, and a small handful of Welsh and Northerners (almost exclusively from Yorkshire and Manchester - I've not met any Scousers and very, very few from the North East.)
    Probably more than you think/met tbh I think most people, especially those who only met me briefly, think I'm Irish One lecturer in particular, a Turkish guy, was surprised to learn I live near Newcastle as I don't have a Geordie accent. I do, I just don't have a strong one. I'm sure many think people in or around Newcastle all gan roond sayin' like h'way pet! Sometimes accents can be subtle.

    (Original post by youbonkers)
    Never even heard of it! I need to brush up on my northern education
    Mackem is Sunderland. It's quite a well known term for people from Sunderland. Durham is traditionally Pitmatic (Durham), although arguably some of the pitmatic dialect is dying out, as the pits are now long gone. Mackem/Pitmatic are a little...softer than Geordie.

    Ask a Geordie to say "Whose keys are these keys" and then ask a Mackem to say it. You'll probably notice the difference.

    They are two different accents. Just like not all people from the north west have a Scouse accent, or all people from the south, not all people from the north east have a Geordie accent. There's Pitmatic Northumbrian, Geordie, Pitmatic Durham, Mackem and Middlesbrough among others.

    (Original post by EloiseStar)
    When I was there (even though it was a summer school), a lot of the students were from the north. Even though there were some Londoners and Southerners, I suppose a lot of people are put off from travelling. I live in Birmingham and it takes almost 5 hours to get there via train and it certainly put me off.

    I'd say from what I experienced there was a majority of northern accents.
    lol, no way. Perhaps what you experienced, and this might be influenced by it being a summer school (where many students will have gone home during the summer) but the majority of students are from the south, the south east and London in particular. Durham itself has the highest private school intake of all universities too, I think, and few of these will have a regional accent let alone northern one.

    It's difficult to say there is a few distinct, notable accents but one thing to remember is that Durham is a very middle class university and even those from across the north, so from Northumberland to Yorkshire to Liverpool, are likely to have a subtle regional accent (if a regional accent at all).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    So essentially, as long as I learn the particularly unique elements of the dialect such as the vocabulary, I will be alright? Also, I guess it goes both ways as I will have to stop saying jandals, chilly bin, crib/bach, duvet etc. For those interested, jandals are flip-flops or slippers; chilly bin is a portable cooler where you keep beers; a crib or bach is a modest 2nd home; and a duvet is a quilt.
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dionysos4)
    I will be coming from New Zealand and I am slightly concerned that either I won't understand other students or that they might not be able to understand me. I suppose that the most common accents are probably Received Pronunciation, Cockney, and maybe some sort of Scottish accent - am I right? Also, as well as an answer for the University as a whole, I would also like to know the same for Van Mildert.
    english, and then international school (similar to American)
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Has a teacher ever helped you cheat?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.