Non-UK and Ireland dopers, Can you tell an Irish accent from a Scots one?

Well can you?
I find it strange in alot of American tv shows how they have a character who is meant to be Irish but he clearly speaks in a Scottish accent. Sean Connery is the best example of this. In The Untouchables and in The Longest Day he’s meant to be Irish but he clearly is speaking in a Scottish accent.

Yes, though I can’t really describe how. I have an unfair advantage though – my dad and his brothers were born and raised in Ireland, and immigrated here in the 40s and 50s. Those still alive still have thick brogues.

I can, but in the past I couldn’t. After spending half a month in Ireland, two months in Edinburgh, and another month in England, I could vaguely tell the difference between different UK accents. Having a best friend from Scotland also helps, although by the time I met her I knew enough to find her accent rather odd (she’s from Scotland but grew up England, so her accent’s somewhere between Edinburgh and Cambridge).

Incidentally, I love the part in Glorious where Eddie Izzard talks about how English people in movies all have posh accents regardless of where they’re supposed to be from.

I can, but that’s because the owner of the barn where I keep my horses is Scottish. Despite living in the US 30+ years, he still has a nearly indecipherably thick accent. It’s a unique sound, and there’s no mistaking it for anything other than Scottish. Irish accents are far easier to understand, and for lack of a better description, are more lyrical sounding to me.

Good grief, yes. There’s a definite difference between a burr and a brogue.

Yes. I think there’s quite an appreciable difference.

It depends.

If the speaker’s accent is very thick, then it’s easy to tell.

If the speaker’s accent is more mild, I have a harder time, especially with the Scots accent. Usually if the speaker is Irish, I figure it out quickly enough. If I am unsure, it usually turns out that the speaker is Scottish.

We knew when Mr. Connery’s accent was off, dearie, we just didn’t care. swoon

I love listening to either accent, but I’d say it’s only the last few years of paying attention that I can tell the difference. And I’d still need more than just a sentence or two, if it’s a quick commercial, like the aussie-accented Geico lizard everyone seems to think is british sounding, nah I’d probably not be able to tell.

It probably takes me a little while, but sure, I can tell. There’s a clear difference. But American movies are no guide to go by, any more than BBC programs are a guide to American accents.

To be fair there are a few accents in parts of the north-east of Ireland, in Counties Antrim and Down, that sound somewhat Scottish even to my ear. I can still usually tell.

I can, but I’m a serious Anglophile. I listen to British radio at work, so I have close to 40 hours a week of exposure to British accents.

Which is the burr and which is the brogue? And can you differentiate between Irish, Scots and Northern Irish.

I’ve been asked by quite a few of my fellow citizens if I’m from Scotland or even England. From what I can tell its because of my careful pronunciation of words :dubious:

My grandfather moved, late in his life, to be with family in Donegal. And he took the opportunity to start speaking Irish again - he’d always had an enthusiasm for the language, in a literary rather than political way, but spending most of his life in Meath meant that it was mostly restricted to reading since school days in Cork. He said that adjusting to the language in Donegal was like learning another, specifically that it was just as unfamiliar as the few times he’d heard Scottish Gaelic spoken. There’s no reason to see accents when speaking English as any less varied, and any less spread across a spectrum which includes the Antrim coast being only a (giant’s) stone’s throw from Kintyre.

I’m pretty confident with a strong accent.
Bear in mind that there are several of each (e.g. Lowland Scots / Highland Scots / Drunk Scots :slight_smile: ).

I have literally had to translate between a Scotsman and a Geordie (NE England) both speaking English, but with heavy accents.

I have had considerable success spotting educated Europeans speaking accurate English; their Dutch, German, Swedish, French, Italian + Spanish ‘lilt’ is just noticeable.

Yes - it’s pretty obvious. But I lived in Scotland for a year. That’s like asking if you can tell the difference between, say, a Texas, Georgia and Tennesee accent - most folks may just hear “Southern” but anyone with a modicum of exposure hear them as being worlds apart.

Yes, although it may take me a few minutes to be certain.

What I have more trouble with (read: couldn’t tell you with any certainty at all) is Yorkshire vs. Scottish. And, around the world, New Zealand vs. Australian? Fugeddabout it. Y’all sound the same to me, sorry.

I think Irish vs. Scottish is more like Boston vs. Georgian. Neither one pronounces their “r” much, but that’s about all they have in common. But if all you’re listening for is an “arrr” sound, you won’t hear it in either, and may think they’re the same. I’m sure we all have specific sound markers we’re listening for, consciously or not.

Yorkshire specifically, or the North in general?

Apparently not - the GEICO gecko is very definitely a working-class Londoner (not a Cockney), not an Aussie.

I am dumbfounded by the question. It is like asking can you tell the difference between a Frenchman speaking English and a German speaking English. I can’t imagine mistaking one for the other.

Depends on how much of an accent they have. A strong southern Irish accent doesn’t sound anything (to me) like a highland Scot. Get a lowlander who’s been in Hollywood for a while next to a Northern Irish who’s been in Hollywood for a while, and I could probably tell they are different but wouldn’t know which was which.

I was in a bar at a ski resort many years ago (Crocodile Dundee was still around) when I heard two Irish fella’s chatting to each other. Some brainless little ski bunny came bopping up to them and blurted “I just love your Australian accents!”. They said ugly things to her. :slight_smile: