Why does England have so many accents when it's such a little place?

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  • 1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    Because everything is compact and small, it's bound to happen for a country as big as Alabama and has 67 million residence.

  • Zapata
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Here's some news that will surprise you .....EVERYWHERE has different accents, not just England. For example, Ireland has many accents and is even smaller, with fewer people.

    • Luke
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Not my country

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  • Kate
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I assume you are in America. America has more accents than any country I know. I have real trouble even understanding people from the deep south or backwoods.

    • Luke
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      I've never set foot in America. I'm Australian.

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  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It's the same in most of europe. That's because during several centuries ("the middle ages"), most people barely ever left their own village. Language-research in the most southeast province of the netherlands revealed 550 distinct dialects.

    Some countries have managed to homogenise the way people talk, through things like education, conscription, clergy and mass-media - often even by forcefully suppressing minority-languages

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  • Clive
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    What does this have to do with travel?

    But since you ask, because it's been around so long.  Back when the fastest way to get anywhere was by horse, and most people couldn't afford even that, every little place evolved its own way of speaking.  And those still continue as it's less than 200 years since there have been trains.  Maybe in course of time, TV and radio will standardise it more, but it hasn't been around long enough yet.

    Of course we have a standard written form, but that's only because William Caxton had to pick one when he started printing books in the 1400s.  And he picked on London dialect because that's where most people who could read were.

    While we're at it, this is not at all unusual for Europe generally, and for the same reason.  French is quite well standardised, because of the Academie Francaise,  but German and Italian most certainly aren't.  Both countries didn't become one until 1870 and Italian is still very much a family of dialects.

    German certainly is and they even have a standard, called "hochdeutsch" and defined by the Duden dictionary.  Learn German and this is what you learn, everyone will understand it, it's spoken on the national news, but hardly anyone speaks it at home.  My German friend, being from the south-west, has a very distinctive dialect and while he will speak hochdeutsch to me, as soon as he speaks to his family, it's straight back into Schwäbisch.  It took me about 3 days to catch on to the differences.  Bavarian is certainly very different - even I can work that out when I'm there.  And he can certainly tell Arnold Schwarzenegger is Austrian just from his accent in German.

  • F
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Accents must have originated before people travelled far. England is about 500 miles at it longest extremities. Before railways (1850 on) , most people would not have travelled far, possibly just to the next village. 500 miles might as we been 5000 or 500 light years.

    However that doesn’t explain why they persist over relatively small distances. I.e London v Birmingham-accents when they are only 100 miles apart.

    It is also interesting how some people pick up accents when they move somewhere and some don’t.

    Scandinavian footballers readily pick up a scouse or Manc accent for example but the French or Germans don’t.

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    • F
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      John O’Groats is in Scotland , the question said England. UK is not the same as England. 
      Longest trip you can make within England is Berwick upon Tweed in Northumberland to Land’s End in Cornwall, 594 miles by road, less than 500 as the crow flies.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Work it out for yourself. Every place that you go has it's own regional accents. 

    • Clive
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      So you don't know.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    because it is a lesbian economy .. 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The state I live in is slightly larger than England. Go south you'll hear southern accents. Go to the city you'll hear a city accent. Go north or west and they have their own accents too. My point is, it don't take much distance to get an accent going.

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  • Wilson
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    I blame the Beatles 

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