Audio: A Journey Through English (28mins)

Everyone’s got their own distinctive voice and I think mine is very distinctive as it is strong and it is loud.  I’m me, I got brought up like this and this is how I speak and if you don’t like it…

From Radio 4’s Seriously… documentary series, a fascinating journey into English accents and dialects across the length of Britain.

Jonnie Robinson, the British Library’s Lead Curator of Spoken English, takes the longest train journey in Britain and explores how accents change along the route.

Leaving Aberdeen in the morning and arriving in Penzance in the evening, Robinson’s journey reveals the range and diversity of accents as they change every 50 miles or so along the length of the 600-mile journey.

With only the minimum of interruption necessary to provide periodic and interesting background and context, Robinson allows the people he encounters to talk about themselves, their accents and the places they are from.  

The result is not only an insight into regional accents but also a snapshot of the train’s main calling points blended with individual stories and personal reflections.  This brings the documentary a warmth and personality as people discuss their accents, identity, how they view other accents along with positive and negative experiences associated with them.





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