The Top 10 Accents Liked by Americans

Learn about the top accents which Americans find favorable, and why they like those accents

By Ofer Ronen in Call Centers 04/11/24

Many Americans are not regularly exposed to people with different accents, and find it challenging to interact with accented speakers. They would rather avoid people they perceive as having a heavy accent, as they find it difficult to understand and trust them.

Because call centers are increasingly outsourced to countries outside the United States, this can be problematic. To resolve this, companies are starting to employ digital accent softening solutions, of the type provided by, to make their agents’ accents easier for callers to process. Nonetheless, there are certain accents which Americans consider more pleasant than others. While they might still be challenged in understanding those accents, they tend to trust people with those accents more.

Here are the top 10 accents for which Americans have a positive bias for.

The Foreign Accents Americans Like the Most

The online language-learning marketplace Preply surveyed 1,000 people in an effort to determine which accents Americans find most favorable. 

The following ten ranked highest.

  1. British – Some 69% of those surveyed liked this accent, with its unique mix of consonants, vowels, and pronunciations. This combination produces a lyrical rhythm considered crisp and melodic.
  2. Australian – With a 54% favorable rating, the Australian accent is likable mostly because it’s largely understandable. Australian is generally a blend of various Irish and British accents.
  3. Irish – Liked by 36% of respondents, this accent is characterized by a more expressive modulation, with a more up-and-down intonation. It generally has a lilting, musical quality.
  4. French – Nearly tied with Irish, the French accent was viewed as pleasant by 35% of those taking the survey. With its complex system of nasal consonants and vowel sounds, French has a rhythm that’s different from its Romance Language counterparts.
  5. Scottish – The Scottish accent conjures images of kilts and bagpipes. It’s a mix of Lowlands Scots and Standard English and possesses a unique rhythm, giving it a particularly different sound.
  6. Italian – A quarter of those taking the survey liked the Italian accent, marked by its vowel sounds and stress pattern. Most Italian words end with vowels, for example, and most Italian accents emphasize a word’s second-to-last syllable.
  7. Spanish – Some 23% of respondents liked the Spanish accent, which calls for clear enunciation of syllables and distinct pronunciation of the trilled or rolled “r” sound.

The Top Three American Accents 

Many Americans think of other nations when they consider accents, however, there are distinct accents within countries as well, sometimes referred to as dialects, including ones within the United States. With that said, here are the top three American accents, according to the survey:

  1. Southern. This accent was liked by 41% of respondents. While there are a number of dialects in the American South, the classic Southern accent is heard in coastal or lowland states such as Louisiana and Mississippi. This accent is characterized by slower speech patterns and drawn-out vowels.
  2. New York. Some 30% liked the nasal quality, elongated vowels, and hard “g” sounds of this accent, which often stresses a word’s first syllable. People with this accent often randomly add or drop the letter “r” when speaking.
  3. Midwestern. While many people in the Midwest don’t think they have an accent at all, 24% percent of survey takers liked the Midwesterners enunciate. Such characteristics include pronouncing “cot” and “caught” the same and pronouncing all “r”s.

The Takeaway

Americans tend to be uncomfortable with certain “foreign” accents because their ears aren’t as trained as others to hear them. This can be especially problematic for offshore call centers, as agents who speak with a heavy accent can be perceived as less credible or lacking intelligence. Digital accent softening solutions are helping to resolve these concerns.

By Ofer Ronen in Call Centers 04/11/24