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04th Feb 2021

The Irish accent is among the least annoying in the world according to a new study

James Fenton

The Irish accent has been named as one of the least annoying accents in the world after a new study by business training website

Researchers asked 500 people to listen to native speakers from Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, America and Great Britain read five-minute passages from a book before stopping when the accents got on their nerves.

The results showed that people could listen to Irish women speaking for four minutes and 32 seconds, compared to just 90 seconds for Americans. The least irritating accent was found to be Scottish while the most annoying ones were American, South African and New Zealand.

Speaking about the findings, Chris Mulhall, language Lecturer at Waterford Institute of Technology explained that if people have an emotional connection with an accent, they are most likely to warm to it. “If someone goes to Spain, for example, on holidays and has continuous experience with the Spanish accent that relates to them enjoying themselves or a positive engagement with another culture. When they hear the Spanish accent they will begin to think of their holidays and that will bring about a positive emotion,” he said.

(header pic: Shutterstock)

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