How to talk like a REAL Londoner


Hi, everyone. I'm Jade. What we're talking about today

is the London accent, and it's called "Multicultural London English"

by linguists, but I'm going to call it "Real London English".

It's the accent that a lot of people speak... Speak, like, if you come to London and you're

just walking around the street, you're going to hear this accent a lot. Yeah? And I made

a different video about this accent, all the words that you can use to sound like this,

all the slang and stuff. I made... That's a different video. But in this video I'm going

to talk about the grammar, because you know what? A lot of people when they hear this

kind of accent, they say: "Oh, that's... That's lazy speech or they're not speaking correctly."

But actually this is a variety of English. It does has its own rules of pronunciation

and grammar. It's not like people just make it up themselves and they're all just sounding

a bit wrong. You know, it's a... It's a style of English, like you've probably heard of

RP is a particular style, a posh style of English, this also has rules. So I'm going

to tell you some of those rules.

What I'll mention first is it's a London accent, but the London accent you've probably heard

of is Cockney English, and I would say that not so many people speak with a Cockney accent

anymore if they're... If they're a youngish person, they don't really speak with a Cockney

accent. It's kind of dying or is dead. And this accent has replaced it. But what we see

in this accent is a lot of similar details that we have in the Cockney accent, so I'm

going to tell you all about those similarities.

First I just want to talk generally about the qualities of this accent. What do you

actually hear from this accent? So, the pace of the accent is quite slow, you don't really

rush what you're saying. Although, if it's in a hip hop track or a grime track and you're

listening to music, it can be really, really fast as well. But in general, the pace is

slow. If you can, you got to make your voice lower. You got to speak from not high in your

throat. You got to low... You got to lower what you're saying, speak from your lungs,

speak low. Keep it deep. Also, I'm going to say it's sharply iambic, that means you go

up, down, up, down. When you're speaking it's like there's different steps in what you're

saying; stress, unstress, stress, unstress, stress, unstress. And I think that altogether

it gives this a musical... A musical quality on my ears, anyway, as a native speaker.

It's not... It's not a very harsh-sounding accent. It's... Cockney on the... Cockney, on the

other... On the other hand is a lot sharper and like spoken higher in the throat. Yeah?

And it might be the kind of accent that gets on your nerves. No offence, Cockneys, I'm

just making a comparison between the music of the two... Of the two varieties.

So, bearing this in mind, what are the actual rules of speaking like this? So, a "t" sound

becomes a "d" sound at the beginning of words. So, instead of saying: "that" with a "t" at

the end, it's: "dat"; "there", "dere"; "them", "dem"; "then", "den".

Also, these words here,

I'll say them in proper English: "something", "nothing", "anything". Compare these to Cockney

English: "somefink", "nuffink", "anyfink" because in Cockney English you change the

"ing" to a "k", and you change the "th" to an "f", so in Cockney English it's like that.

"Somefink", "nuffink". But in this accent we're putting a glottal stop in the middle

of the word, so instead of saying: "something", "su-in", "nu-in", "anytin". So, it's quite

different to Cockney English in this respect, saying those words.

But it's the same as Cockney English in that for both varieties, both these different accents

we do something called "h" dropping, we don't say the "h" all the time at the beginning

of words. So, for example, the word "have" becomes "ave". "Ave you seen dat?

Ave you seen dat?" That was the word "that".

"Have you seen that?" Not grammatically-sounded

English, but something that could be said in this variety.

And I mentioned to you just now a glottal stop. Maybe you don't know what a glottal

stop is. It's when we don't say a "t" sound in London accents. So, Cockney English, this

accent, also the accent that I have which is called Estuary English sometimes, quite

a lot I'm not saying "t". I just make a sort of absence of sound, not saying something.

And instead of "t" there's nothing. So, for example, this is: "What you got?"

I said that with t's. I'll say it without t's now. "Wha you go? Wha you go?" "O" with no "t". So,

we're very keen of glottal stops in London. We don't like to say t's that much. Is it

lazy pronunciation? Well, we must all be lazy because you go around, that's what you hear,

glottal stops. And in comments on my other videos people have always left quite funny

comments where they say things like:

"When I came to London I remember standing at the

bus stop, and this guy came up to me and he said: 'Have you got a ligh-er?'"

And the guy's maybe confused, doesn't know what he's talking about.

And finally he realized... Realizes

the guy was saying: "Do you have a lighter?" And then from that realizing: "Oh, maybe 't'

is not said here", so it's something to bear in mind, you people who dislike lazy pronunciation.

What else can we say? Shortened words. So a word like "enough" becomes one syllable:

"nuff". "Brother", when 10 years ago "brother" turned to "bro", but now apparently the same

word has turned to "bra", "bra". What you sayin', bra? What are you saying, brother?

Also the end of words, so this "ing" sound... We mentioned it over here for "somefink", "nuffink",

we're not... We're not saying it. We're just replacing that. Either we're saying

not... We're not saying "ing", "suhin". We're not... We're not using it at the end of words.

"Wanna" and "gonna" non-standard examples of elision where you put "going to"

and "want to" together as one word.

"Gonna", "wanna". "I'm gonna go der later.",

"I'm going to go there later."

So, in this kind of accent we always make contractions wherever we can just

to make all the sounds flow together really. Yeah, just to make it easier for pronunciation

so you can speak quickly.

And the last point I want to make is about double negatives. You've probably heard the...

This is non-standard grammar in English to put two negative words or a negative verb

and a negative in a sentence. So if you... If you've heard the saying: "I didn't do nothing"

is wrong, you're right, it's not standard pronunciation. But in this accent, you would

be expected to always use double negatives. You would be expected to say:

"I didn't do nuhin", rather than: "I didn't do anything." People just wouldn't say that. It would sound

a bit wrong. Double negatives are to be used in this kind of style of speaking.

These... These last couple of things, they're not rules, they're just extra little things

I think you should know. So we use this... I don't know why I'm saying "we", because

I don't speak like this, but I mean I'm speaking as a Londoner. "Ain't". "Ain't" means something

like "am not". "I ain't gonna do it.", "I'm not going to do it." "Innit" is just a way

of showing agreement. For example...

Oo, what am I going to say about "innit"?

That chicken shop is bare... Is bare peng...

No, no, no. That's really bad. I don't know. "Innit" means

"isn't it", and I can't think of anything people say about it. You want someone to agree

with you, you say: "I'm right, innit?", "I'm right, isn't that true?"

And also this is... You know the word "text", the verb "text" for when you send a message

to someone on your mobile phone, well, when I was at school this word came into the language

because before that we didn't do texting. And I remember when I was at school when people

started to use "text" as a verb, it was always the same. It didn't have a past tense. So

if you were talking about the past, you would say:

"I text him. I text him earlier. I already sent the message."

We didn't say: "texted". And what I noticed later is that when, like,

parents and everybody started texting, then it became "texted", but many, many people

still say: "I text", "I text" to talk about the past, and I have to... I have to say that

for me I'm more comfortable using the non-standard way to say: "I text", talking about the past

because it... To me it just seemed like other people came along and just changed the language

when it was already being said one way. Anyway.

That brings us to this one. Sometime... "Anyways" is not a standard word. You won't find it

in the dictionary, it would be wrong. But in this accent you can say "anyways". Anyways,

this lesson's finished now. This lesson's done. Do you get me?

So, what I'd like you to do is go and do the quiz on this lesson now.

I'm not telling you to speak like this.

I'm not telling you to speak like this, but I'm pointing out something

that exists if you come to London. Many people speak like this, so this is for your listening

benefit if you ever come here. Also just for your general interest to know a little bit,

just to even get that idea in your head that just because somebody doesn't speak correctly

like the textbook, it doesn't mean that they're just lazy or sloppy. They still have rules

in the way they speak, so something for you to consider.

I would like you to subscribe here on my engVid channel. Plus,

I would like you to subscribe on my personal channel because

I've got two YouTube channels.

And that's it for today, so I'm going to go now.

Do you know what I'm saying? I'm gonna go.

Gonna get me... Get me some fried chicken from that chicken shop,

so allow that. See you later.