People with strong regional accents should be proud of their origins – even if they have to speak a little slower, according to Lunchtime Live listeners.
It comes after a Kerry local became an internet sensation after he was interviewed by RTÉ about the recent discovery of a killer whale. (You can embed Shane Beatty’s tweet on this a bit further down).
Some social media users said the man “genuinely needs subtitles” – with one asking whether he was “actually speaking English”.
Cork native John told Lunchtime Live the confusion “isn’t a question of accent at all, it’s a question of how you speak”.
“Speak slowly and allow for the fact that the person you're addressing isn't from your own area,” he said.
He said schools should begin teaching “elocution lessons” again to allow every kind of accent to be understood.
“It will counteract bullying and instil self-confidence in the individual,” he said.
I can’t be the only one. Surely? https://t.co/Wrxq4q9fSU
— Shane Beatty 🎙️ (@ShaneBeattyNews) July 10, 2023
“It’s very important not be afraid – your accent will kick in automatically because that’s what you were born with.”
John said, “accents are a wonderful thing” and everyone should embrace their own voice.
“We have such a wonderful collection and variety of accents in Ireland,” he said. “Every accent is beautiful in its own way.”
'It's all relative'
Sligo native Eddie told the show your accent is perceived differently depending on who you’re talking to.
“I come across with a Sligo accent to people who aren’t from Sligo,” he said. “But if you ask a Sligo person if I have a Sligo accent, it’s a no.
“It's all relative and within the smallest areas, there are totally different accents.
“Sligo town is a completely different accent from the rest of the county, and even the south side or the west side will sound different from the east side of Sligo.”
Eddie said he has noticed the younger generation in Sligo have begun to “all sound the same” as they spend time online.
“They're listening to so many American accents all the time, that it’s becoming a homogenised semi-American transatlantic accent,” he said.
One texter said teenagers in Dublin “all sound the same thanks to YouTube”.
“People are raising their intonation at the end of every single sentence and it's ridiculous and quite annoying,” another texter said.
John said we should “hang on to our accents” as much as possible.
“It’s part of who we are,” he said. “It's part of the culture and beauty of our country.”
You can listen back here:
Main image: Split screen of an old man in a rural Irish pub and a young girl wearing headphones watching videos on a smartphone.