Culture

WATCH: Touring the British Isles by Accent

Dialect coach for "Lord of the Rings" treats us to the manners of speaking in Britain

What is the etiology of human language? There are various theories. The Old Testament story of the Tower of Babel, though interpreted in various ways, tells the story of a unified humanity who speak the same language and build a tall tower in a city to “make a name for themselves.” But God decides this is not to be, and he comes down to confuse their language, so they don’t understand each other anymore, and scatters them around the earth.

Whether and how this speaks to cultural and language differences, it’s also interesting to consider differences in accents within just one language. In this video, created by PJamBarker and based on a BBC Radio 4 feature, dialect coach Andrew Jack offers viewers a tour of the British Isles through the various English accents of its residents. (Jack provided dialect training the Lord of the Rings trilogy and developed the Middle Earth accents for the films, in addition to many other film and theater projects.)

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