English with a Scottish accent… is it difficult to understand?


25 Sep, 2017

One of the most common questions that new students ask at IH Aberdeen is ‘Will my teacher speak standard or Scottish English?’ It seems to be a common perception for students when they are choosing a place to study... that the Scottish accent is difficult to understand. But is this really true?

Is the Scottish accent really so different?

One amazing thing about the UK, is that for such a small country, we have so many different accents!

Every UK city has an accent and its own dialect, words and expressions. Some people will speak more standard English and some will speak in dialect. And Scotland is no different.

The Scottish accent is Friendly

In fact, in a recent survey of the UK’s favourite accents, the Scottish accent featured twice in the top 10!

The number one favourite accent is ‘Received Pronunciation’, which is the classic standard English, also known as the ‘Queen’s English’.

However, in second place, was the Edinburgh accent, said to be associated with ‘culture and intelligence’. Australian, Irish and Yorkshire accents made up the rest of the top 5. But the Glasgow accent featured at number 9, which means there are 2 Scottish accents in the top 10!

London and South East English accents did not feature in the top 10 at all…

Also, a recent customer survey rated Scottish accent as second most appealing, with customers thinking it is a ‘friendly’ accent.

So is the Scottish accent difficult for students? Who better to ask than our students!