Ever wondered why, no matter how many words you memorise, you still often have difficulty understanding native English speakers when they are conversing with their friends and family? It may just be that you have not learned the special terms used in that particular region.
Just as with any language, there are colloquial terms and expressions that are unique to certain geographical areas and distinct from the language spoken by the majority of the population collectively. If there are enough differences from the general population then linguists will classify the differences in language as ‘dialects’.
However, in some cases there is no clear delineations separating regional variations in terms and expressions, and only a few items of vocabulary vary. In some cases, they might not be considered distinct regional dialects, and instead might be classified as ‘sociolects’ – terms used for a specific social group.
Whatever the case, this is a fun quiz to see how such a small group of islands such as the British Isles can vary so widely in even everyday terms for common objects, people and activities. It is fun to do to see how many of the terms you can recognise, or to see how strange-sounding some of the expressions are if you’ve never heard them before. If you visit or stay in a particular place for any period of time, perhaps you will pick up some of the local dialect too!
The British-Irish Dialect Quiz