English Accents around the World

Scroll down for examples of accents.

How do accents differ?


In rhotic accents, speakers pronounce the ‘r’ sound in words, wherever it appears. In the standard American accent and many regional British accents including Scottish, speakers would pronounce the ‘r’ in words like ‘car’ and ‘park’.

In non-rhotic accents, like the standard British RP, speakers don’t pronounce the ‘r’ unless it is followed by a vowel. So, speakers would not pronounce the ‘r’ in words like ‘car’ and ‘park’, but they would pronounce it in words like ‘carrot’.

Vowel sounds

Some accents have distinct vowel sounds that differ from others. For example the ‘a’ sound in words like ‘bath’ and ‘dance’ varies between accents. There is a big north/south divide in Britain with the pronunciation of the ‘a’ in many words. Accents also differ the pronunciation of dipthongs.

Consonant sounds

Accents may vary in the pronunciation of consonant sounds. For instance, the ‘t’ sound may be pronounced differently in standard American and standard British accents, and a lot of accents drop the ‘t’ sound completely. Similarly, the pronunciation of the ‘th’ sounds (as in ‘thin’ or ‘this’) can vary between accents.


Rhythm is created by the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in speech. Some accents have a more evenly-paced rhythm, while others emphasise certain syllables more strongly. Some accents, influenced by African American Venacular English (AAVE) and Caribbean English, have a distinct rhythmic pattern compared to others.

Stress Patterns

Accents can differ in the placement of stress within words and sentences. For example, some accents place primary stress on the first syllable of words, while others place the primary stress on the second syllable. There are numerous examples of this in standard American compared with standard British accents.


Standard American English (SAE): AD-dress

Standard British English (SBE): ad-DRESS



SBE: GAR-age


SAE: CON-tro-ver-sy

SBE: con-TRO-ver-sy


Intonation refers to the rise and fall of pitch in speech. Different accents can have distinct intonation patters, which can affect the overall melody of speech. For instance, some accents (like standard Australian) have a rising intonation at the end of declarative sentences, which can sound like questions to English speakers with other accents. Welsh English accents are considered particularly melodic due to their intonation patterns.

Some International English Accents

This is not an exhaustive list

A Tour of American Accents

Three Australian Accents

20 Different British Accents

All Aboot Canadian Accents

Great Caribbean Accents

The Ghanaian English Accent

The South Indian English Accent

Guide to Irish Accents

Kenyan English Accent

The Maltese English Accent

The New Zealand Accent

The Nigerian Accent

The Singaporean English Accent

South African English

International Podcasts for English Language Learners

BBC Learning English Podcasts from the UK

Voice of America (VOA) Podcasts from the USA

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Podcast from Australia

Canadian Broadcasting Service (CBS) Podcasts from Canada

Kiwi English Podcast from New Zealand

Learn English with Everest Podcast from Ireland

If you’re interested in accents, have a look at my post on ‘English Accents and Dialects: An Introduction‘, ‘English Accents Around the UK‘.