You’ve probably heard lots of people saying ‘Oh, they have a British accent!” or “they speak with a British accent”. The thing is, accents from the United Kingdom differ massively depending on where the speaker is from. Sometimes they can even differ from village to village. And, you’ve guessed it, accents in the UK can be English, Welsh, northern Irish, or Scottish, but there is no such thing as one British accent.
What people commonly describe as a “British accent” is actually called “received pronunciation”. This term describes “the standard accent of Standard English” and is generally spoken in the south of England. The term was introduced by phonetician Daniel Jones, but it is sometimes replaced by other terminologies such as “BBC Pronunciation”.
Regardless of the way you call it, you can definitely master this accent. Or if you prefer, any other UK accent!
Actively listen to the way people speak
To start sounding more native and have a British accent, your best bet is to watch programmes on the BBC. Try to observe the way their presenters use their mouth, their tongue, and watch the way their lips move. You’ll notice that there are local programmes too, so you could pick up a northern, southern or geordie accent in the process!
Not only should you pay attention to the sounds that are coming out of their mouth, but you should also focus on trying to figure out how these sounds are coming out. Which parts of their mouth are they using when producing them? Try to imitate the way they speak.
You could also record yourself saying the same sentences and compare your version to the original one. Don’t worry about sounding silly, we guarantee that this method really helps!
Words that are pronounced differently in the UK and in the US
Some words are pronounced in very different ways in the UK to the US. Therefore, your first step towards getting a “British” accent is to memorize these words to avoid mixing up their pronunciation.
Watch tutorial videos
Watching videos is a fast and convenient way to learn the ropes of any accent. Many professional voice coaches have published detailed tutorials, they give excellent pronunciation tips and will provide you with useful examples. You’ll be using the right sounds in no time."