At 3:45, I really found it very difficult to understand her accent. The youtube transcript shows the very out-of-world things.

Should I practice with BBC documentaries for both Aussie and American accents?

  • Competent native speakers (particularly, Brits, who are routinely exposed to a wide variety) don't generally take much notice of regional accents, just as most people don't care whether the book they're reading is set in Times New Roman, Ariel, or Helvetica. Your example isn't "real" (it's at best a clumsy parody), but if you genuinely want to become familiar with any strong regional accent you might find it easier if you start by listening to BBC speakers who've "toned down" their natural accent, until your ear becomes more "attuned" to the characteristic variations from "Standard English". Jul 10, 2016 at 14:57
  • If you want a to hear a "real" Scottish accent, listen to the presenter on youtube.com/watch?v=_FSWlfcg6oA. But don't expect to understand any of the examples of the Glaswegian accent and dialect - most native British English speakers wouldn't understand them either! Yvonne Strahovski's supposedly Scottish accent is just a (very poor) joke.
    – alephzero
    Jul 10, 2016 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


The host, Craig Ferguson, is Scottish. Now, he has an accent too. I presume it is a Scottish one, but it's very mild/toned down because I find it easy to understand what he is saying. I'm sure it would be incomprehensible otherwise.

The guest, Yvonne Strahovski, said "I even tried yours once", referring to Craig's Scottish accent. Craig then gets her to try a Scottish accent. It is neither American nor Australian.

I have very little experience listening to Scottish accents, so I find it difficult to understand the accent. I'm not the only one. But I think this is what she says using that accent:

After the noon ladies. That's how I talk in a Scottish accent. It's a little bit like that.

Judging from Craig's reaction, it was horrible.

Regardless of the accent, if you want to get good at listening and understanding a variety of accents, you should try to consume as much media as possible that have that particular accent. If possible get things like movies that have professionally done subtitles. The subtitles found on Youtube are usually unreliable.

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    The reason we all have trouble understanding Yvonne Strahovski's "mock Scottish" accent is because it's so bad. And God only knows why she thinks Scots might say After the noon instead of [Good] afternoon. I'd take her preceding I went to drama school, and I learned a whole bunch of accents with a huge pinch of salt. Jul 10, 2016 at 14:31
  • Belay that - I bet she's just getting confused with "Och aye the noo", which translates as "Oh yes, just now" (a stereotypical "Scotticism" which virtually never occurs except as parody). Or perhaps she's actually enunciating Ach the noo (meaningless in totality, but many Scots do say Ach! instead of Oh!). Jul 10, 2016 at 14:43
  • It was bothering me too. I think she's mispronouncing "top o the morning". I think she was trying to come up with a Scottish saying, but confused it with a supposed Irish one instead.
    – Em.
    Jul 10, 2016 at 14:56
  • No matter how bad her accent, I can't see that she's trying to say Top o' the morning. Apart from anything else, you'd virtually never hear that in a Scottish accent (again, except in parody), because it's quintessentially Irish. But most non-Brits know so little about cultural and linguistic variation within the United Kingdom that it's quite possible she's mixing up Scots and Irish in her mind, and that's why the definite article crept in there). Jul 10, 2016 at 15:03
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    @AnubhavSingh FF is being witty. To take something with a pinch of salt basically means to be doubtful of something. To take something with a "huge" pinch of salt means to be very doubtful. It's funny because a pinch of anything is small. So we have to be very doubtful that she actually learned a whole bunch of accents.
    – Em.
    Jul 10, 2016 at 15:37

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