No, not diacritics. How people sound. I’ve just read Jakob Nielsen’s latest alert American English vs. British English for Web Content. There’s a section called “Spoken English.”

This includes the remarkable observation about “Irish” being a regional accent of the United Kingdom that should be avoided because, like Scots, Welsh, and Northern English, it’s “hard for foreigners to understand.” As for “Midwestern or Northeastern American accents” having “less of an upper-crust connotation,” well, obviously Jakob has no consideration for the impact such a comment can have on the price of real estate in New England.

Instant Irish Accent Spray

Oddly enough, some of those very accents appear to be very reassuring in some cases, according to some research, and if you’re in the financial services industry, Scottish accents in particular seem to do the trick.

Of course, not having an accent myself, I’m no expert …

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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