When you think of the British, you imagine poise, sophistication, and royalty. Well what you have in mind may come as a shock when you see for yourselves.

You will be bombarded with accents that you are unfamiliar with; nothing close to your idea of the British English that we have learned in school or been exposed to in movies and elsewhere. It could be confusing or even totally bewildering because they may not even actually sound English. This is because the UK is very rich in its dialect with countless accents shaped by thousands of years of history.

Firstly, we have the Geordie accent. Geordie normally refers to both the people and the accent of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in Northeast England. It is one of the oldest and best loved British dialects, but it is slowly dying. If you understand Cheryl Cole and comedians Ant and Dec, then you’ll have no problems.

Then we have the Cockney accent. It is commonly spoken in the east end of London and is as well as has been associated with the working class.

Scots have an amusing accent. They roll their Rs regularly and collapse their words so that they sound like they have been cut off in the middle. For instance, ‘cot’ instead of ‘caught’ and ‘not’ with ‘nee’. So instead of saying you ‘didn’t do anything in Edinburgh’, it sounds more like ‘didnee do anythin’ in Ednbrah.’ The most famous is the Brummie English. It is totally, and irritatingly ununderstandable. This accent has made headlines claiming to confuse a computer software. The residents of Birmingham have been left frustrated because the authority’s computerized phone system cannot understand the Brummie accent. It is voted in a lot of areas, the most hated accent in the UK if not the world.

Estuary English is an accent that can be heard around Southeast England, East Anglia, the Midlands and North. It is what you might know as the ‘London Accent’. This is the accent that other people around the world would know as the ‘proper’ English accent. The queen’s English. The accent that pops into your head when you hear the phrase ‘English Accent’. It is slightly similar to General American in the US. In this way of speaking, it includes a glottal stop instead of a ‘t’ in words like ‘little’ and ‘what’. It is a sort of classless accent that is apparently very fashionable. If you have never heard it before, listen to people like Adele, Jamie Oliver and the late Amy Winehouse.