Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a dialect of English. Do you know or can you guess which dialect this is?


16 thoughts on “Language quiz

  1. It reminds me of Scottish dialects … But outside the UK we don’t often have a chance to hear different English dialects, so I don’t know 🙂

  2. North east England, but exactly what i couldn´t say. I´d think more likely northumberland than north lincolnshire, but I can´t go any closer.

  3. I’d say it’s some variety of very northern North Yorkshire, though I can’t place it exactly.

    There are many north Yorkshire features in it, but I would have placed such words as “brattlin” (= rushing noisily) even further north. That “lairk” for “look” is pretty distinctive and ought to be a decider (if I knew just where it was distinctive of!).

  4. The strange thing is that while she’s rolling her Rs, her English is not completely rhotic. beard, curled, world, turn are pronounced without (or with a very subtle) R, but hair is pronounced with an R.

  5. I think what halabund pointed out shows it to be a special register within a dialect. Perhaps she does not roll her r’s in conversation, but she does in storytelling.

  6. I’m also going to say Yorkshire, on the basis of the following overwhelming and conclusive evidence. She didn’t use “the” in the sentence “so he clinked (??) up on throne…” which is rather distinctive. The only place I’ve heard that before is in the Monty Python skit, Four Yorkshiremen.

  7. Lancashire dialect- around Preston perhaps?. I’m guessing from the fact that some Lancs dialects retain some “r” sounds.

  8. I was thinking Rutlander, but… Oh, well… I’ve been mostly wrong here, so… 🙂


  9. Simon, did you remove my comment after d.m.falk? I said it was Cumbrian. It said “awaiting moderation”. Just wondering.

  10. Hmm. Thanks for that, Simon.

    The BBC’s description “The Bible – in Cumbrian dialect”, though, is a typical example of sloppy — and patronizing — journalistic editing (it’s only local radio; we don’t have to be accurate). It isn’t the Bible at all, of course, but a humorous anecdote based on an episode in the Bible.

    These “regional tales and verses” — often distinctly pawky in tone — can suffer from being written and performed by people who do not, in fact, speak “broad” in their everyday lives, but “put it on” for the printed page or the microphone and place heavy emphasis on archaisms.

    A better BBC sound file, in my view, can be heard at

    where the speaker, though she concludes with a “dialect verse”, speaks naturally with a modern Cumbrian accent throughout the interview.

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