Recently I entered the theatre scene, much to the joy of my friends. See, ever since I was a kid, I fooled around with accents, picking up what I could. My major breakthrough came when a Russian student transferred in and I made friends with him. About a month later, I was able to call his house and trick his parents...they thought I was one of his old friends. So, anyway, I've several accents down-pat, or at least they're rather convincing. HOWEVER, I've met quite a tackle: the Cockney accent. "Watch Snatch/Lock, Stock,...Barrels/Other movie with Cockney voices in it!" It just doesn't work for me. I mean, I can spit out the dialogue from Snatch great, but without the accent, essentially making it pointless.

So, here I find myself with two options:

1) I ran across a site selling booklets with CDs, http://www.paulmeier.com/booklets.html # . My question is if it site is worth it or not? Can I have a Cockney confirm the sample that they give? If this is worth the money, then I'd be glad to buy it. I'm just not too sure, since I'm a little shaky on approval of some of his accents {I, myself am not a professional, but the New York accent is just...ugh, lacking, is the best way I can describe it. Then again, it's just a short sample, so...}

2) Help from a Cockney. What better way to get help from someone who knows the territory? If they could reccomend me to something to watch or listen to to help me out, that'd be great. This is a stretch, but if they could record their voice, like maybe just five minutes or so from a book or somthing, and digitize it, that'd be excellent. I know it's asking of a bit much, especially someone you only know as "anonymous," but it would be of the utmost help to me.

I don't want to end up as another "Dick Van Dyke Cockney" so please help! Thanks in advance!

Oh, and if it makes any difference, I have an "American Accent," whatever that's referred to as. I've since rid myself of my New York and New Jersey accent, so I guess would could say I just speak American English!


I'm not a Cockney but I was born and bred near London so have heard the accent quite a lot. Do you really need Cockney? I ask as there are not really many people who speak in that accent anyway - certainly not all working-class Londoners. There is a sort of general south/east London/Essex accent these days that most people speak with that is very similar to Cockney but not quite as extreme. That is the accent you'll hear in most movies.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun listening to all the samples. You are right, some are better than others, and I don't think they are recordings of natural speakers of those accents. The cockney one is not bad but I think the 'girl' (should end with a more definite w sound for the l) and the 'party' (the a sound isn't quite there - the glottal stop would normally be quite harsh) are not 100% but it is pretty darn close. That course would probably be sufficient for your needs though and it is not a 'Dick Van Dyke' overexaggerated version. A lot of Cockney men have a sort of throat rumbling/growling aspect to their voice.

This is a very interesting article on the cockney accent and near the bottom there is a link 'Listen to the sound of London' - go there and listen to the newspaper vendor clips for the real deal.

This is a recording of a market trader.

My son's ex-girlfriend had quite a strong cockney/London accent even though living in Essex and we had quite a mean but funny afternoon crying with laughter making her say words that would normally sound different but were coming out in the same way from her, due to the l/w blurring. Yes we are a mean family aren't we. The best example was window-sill and seal. The sill and seal sounded identical. She also told us she had had a dog that we thought was called Deal but it turned out to be Dill. She would say deal and dill in the exact same way. All those words ended in a sort of ee-oow sound.

All of the American accents sounded kind of artificial to me (as did a number of the U.K. ones). Also, many of the "accents" he lists have far greater depth and differentiation than he gives credit for, especially the non-English ones. For example, there's no single Irish or Scottish accent and there certainly isn't a single German/French/Spanish accent either.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hello mate. It's funny that I stumbled across this thread as I was trying to look up movies with Cockney accents in them just to get a bit more practice. I JUST got that book and CD set from Paul Meier yesterday. I started on the Cockney accent as it's my favourite and I love it. The bloke is British and therefore, his forte is with British accents. I didn't really listen to the american ones because I don't really care about American accents...I can already do a couple.

I lived in London for a year and a half and I've been a big fan of British movies for a long time so I'm quite used to hearing the Cockney accent, and I have to say that I think his book and tape is quite good. So you know, you can also order a single accent instead of buying all of them, which is what I did. I think a single set only costs about $20 or so, so maybe look into that.

As for the last comment made in the thread about there's no general Irish accent or German or whatever. Of course there isn't, there are hundreds of different accents in every country that you go to, but the guy obviously isn't going to have time to make all of them, is he? Besides, as long as you can do an accent that makes it sound like you're from there, you've achieved the point.

Best of luck to you mate. I also really liked the story about that guy and his son's x-girlfriend with her dog "Dill" and "Deal". hahahaha! It's hilarious because it's totally true, I just read both names aloud and they sounded exactly the same. Cheers!


Try the Voice Cafe

It has examples of the Cockney accent recorded by native speakers, plus audio phonetic analysis of Cockney.

I opened the site The Voice Cafe my computer was attacked by a Web Attack: Mass Injection Website 2 , but my computer's security system blocked it.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Paul Meier's material is worth it. He teaches at ku.edu and also maintains the archive of accents/dialects called IDEA, where you can get recordings without all material.

http://web.ku.edu/~idea /

Here are a few more sites:

http://accent.gmu.edu /
http://mith.umd.edu/vada /
http://www.soundcomparisons.com /

These sites give you recordings, but are not helpful unless you are a dialect coach. The problem is how much you know about dialect coaching? Just knowing IPA is not enough: there are many people out there who can describe the sounds in IPA, but can't produce/discriminate those sounds. The other important issue: voice quality and voice settings. When we speak, we are not aware of precise articulatory positions, let alone the voice quality!! So, awareness of articulators, larynx, and various facial muscles, tongue muscles, etc is key to get more out of the tapes/recordings.
Hi, my name is Lilija and I am from Ukraine. I've recently come across your post and was pleasantly surprised. In Ukraine I'm writing a research paper on cockney and it would be a great luck to record anyone speaking cockney. Is it possible to ask you about this favour? I would be very grateful! My e-mail is: Email Removed. I'll be looking forward to your response. Best regards. Lilija
Hi, Lilija. Email addresses are automatically deleted by the site to protect you from spammers. If you register with us (it's easy and free) you can get notifications on site or via email if someone replies to your posts, or if someone posts to a thread you are interested in. You can also share your email address with other members via your profile page, or via private messages. If you decide to register, please feel free to ask me, or one of the other moderators, if you need any help finding your way around the site.
This thread is several years old. It was started in 2006, and yours is the first post since 2012. We have not heard from nona the brit or Thethenothere123 in some time. Raindoctor posts once in a while.
One of my colleagues has moved your other post to the Topic of the Moment! section. You can find your post at https://www.EnglishForward.com/English/CockneyAccent/bhmwcj/post.htm .
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.