According to a recent study, Irish accents were voted among the least annoying in the world to listen to.
A study by a business training website discovered that the Irish accent was amongst the least annoying accents in the world to listen to.
The language study also found that most people, on average, can listen to an Irish person’s accent for three times longer than an American one.
The Irish accent – the least annoying accent in the world
When speaking about why the Irish accent is so popular, language specialist Yelena McCafferty said, “Northern Ireland and Ireland are both musical nations, so perhaps it’s the musicality of their intonations that is so endearing to others.
“People are attracted to accents that are familiar, and it’s only natural we tend to trust somebody who speaks like us.
“It makes us think that the person is from our own community, which is important for us on the subconscious level. When we hear someone for the first time, we make assumptions because it’s our survival instinct”.
The Knowledge Academy – a business training website
The study released in 2021 was conducted by The Knowledge Academy, a business training website based in Belfast.
The study asked 500 people to listen to a five-minute extract from a famous book narrated by native English speakers from Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, America and Great Britain. Researchers concluded that the Irish accent was one of the least annoying in the world.
They discovered that, on average, people were more willing to listen to an Irish narrator for four minutes and 32 seconds, while the majority of listeners tended to tune out after just 90 seconds of listening to the American narrator.
Other interesting findings of the study were that the Scottish accent was the least irritating, while the American, South African, and New Zealand accents were among the accents to be found the most annoying.
Why the Irish accent is so popular – an accent that is warmly received by those who hear it
Chris Mulhall, a language lecturer at Waterford Institute of Technology, believed that people typically tend to favour accents that remind them of a positive experience that they have had in the past.
“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,” explained Chris.
Going by Chris’s logic, perhaps so many people have had positive experiences with Irish people that that is why they find the accent amongst the least annoying in the world.