It is fascinating how Russia, being the world’s largest nation by land mass, does not have a particularly wide range of accents and dialects. On the other hand, the UK, which is significantly smaller, has a rich tapestry of accents and dialects.
The sharp contrast between the relative homogeneity of the Russian language and the vast range of linguistic diversity under the umbrella of British English can be explained by comparing the histories of both nations.
The Soviet Union saw various groups of people migrate internally throughout the former territory, which is why, for instance, there are many Ukrainians living in Kazakhstan, or Armenians living in Russia. These internal migration patterns, which combined with the Soviet policy of standardised universal education, restricted the growth of regional linguistic variations of the Russian language.
The UK never had a government that strictly enforced the universalisation of the English language.
Prior to the Second World War, there was no extensive communication between populations of towns and cities throughout the UK, which enabled the various accents and dialects to evolve and flourish across Britain and Northern Ireland.
The most notable accents of the UK are:
Received Pronunciation (also known as RP, the Queen’s English, Standard English or BBC English) — this accent is not necessarily associated with a particular town or city (although it is most commonly heard throughout Southern England), but rather it is typically associated with the middle and upper classes, educated speakers and formal speech.
Cockney — (explored in detail by John Hare in his article) this accent, which is essentially extinct, comes from East London and is generally associated with the working class.
Essex — Essex is to the North East of London. Brum — this accent comes from Birmingham. Scouse — this accent comes from Liverpool. Mancunian — this accent comes from Manchester. West Country — this accent is heard throughout the South West of England. Geordie — from Newcastle. Yorkshire — from Yorkshire. Southern Welsh and Northern Welsh. Glaswegian Scottish — from Glasgow. Edinburgh Scottish — from Edinburgh. Northern Irish. East Coast Irish — this is the accent associated with Dublin. South Western Irish.
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