These Are the Best American Accents—According to Foreigners
Use those regional cadences to your advantage, y'all!
For most Americans, one of the best parts of traveling abroad is getting to experience foreign accents. As any nomad knows, nothing soothes the ears quite like the sophistication of a British accent or the romantic lilt of a French one. But if you flip the script, it’s actually American accents that are foreign—and shockingly, our European comrades revere our accents just as much as we enjoy theirs.
Recently, Babbel, a popular app for language learning, polled hundreds of Generator Hostel workers across Europe to determine which American accents are the most favored—and based on the results, it appears that foreigners are enjoying accents from sea to shining sea. Curious to find out where your regional accent ranks among the tastes of foreigners? Check out the results below—ranked in ascending level of popularity, from ones they like to the ones they truly love.
Yes, Minnesota is technically part of the Midwest, but the state has such a distinct accent that five percent of foreigners chose the state’s articulation as their favorite American accent.
Though the Midwestern accent is relatively subtle, it’s still recognized by people far and wide. In fact, some 10 percent of non-Americans made it their top choice, even if the states comprising the Midwest aren’t exactly top tourist destinations.
Not everyone in the United States is especially fond of the thick Texan accent (in fact, one person online noted that it makes them “want to shoot a Texan”), but that isn’t to say that everyone in the world despises the deep drawl. Amongst foreigners, at least, this intonation performs well, with 14 percent of foreigners choosing it as their favorite American accent.
Southern Californian Accent
Southern Californians truly have it all: the beaches, the good weather, and apparently even the adored accents, seeing as 16 percent of foreigners designated the gnarly American accent as their favorite. Of the 43 countries polled, Brits and Swedes proved especially fond of the enunciation, choosing it as their favorite out of all the options.
Good news for Mark Wahlberg: The Bostonian accent took third place amongst foreigners, with 17 percent preferring the sounds of New England’s global metropolis. And if Boston natives want to travel somewhere where their accent is revered, then they best book a flight to Germany, Spain, or the Netherlands, seeing as citizens of these countries love the Bostonian accent the most.
New Yorker Accent
Evidently it’s not just Times Square and Broadway that tourists travel to New York for. With 18 percent of the total votes, the New York accent took second place in the American accent study. And the French proved to be especially fond of the Fran Drescher sound, with some 57 percent favoring the New York state of tongue.
Deep Southern Accent
Of the seven accents identified in Babbel’s study, the Deep Southern intonation ranked highest, with 20 percent of foreigners choosing it as their favorite American accent. However, only one country’s citizens—Ireland—ranked the accent highest; nowhere else did the southern twang didn’t quite make the top spot.