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South African English accent ranked world’s 12th ‘friendliest

Despite South Africans being known for their friendliness and warmth, our accent is viewed less favourably among English-speaking countries, with a new survey ranking it the world’s 12th friendliest.

According to online casino company only 1 in every 100 survey participants or 1.6% identified the South African accent as the most friendly-sounding — a big drop since 2019 when it was considered the second most attractive accent worldwide.

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The survey found Americans had the most friendly English accent in the world with one in five (or 19.5%) stating the American accent as the friendliest. Despite the Canadian accent being the most closely related to general American English, with similar rules for pronunciation and accent, it received 10.8 fewer percentage points than the American one — with just one in 12 selecting it as the most friendly accent (8.7%).

The British accent is considered the second most favoured accent, with one in seven identifying it as the most friendly (13.6%). This corresponds with a recent study which found the British accent to be the most likeable globally, with 45% of respondents stating they enjoy hearing their native language spoken with a British accent.

The Australian accent came in third place, with almost one in 10 (or 8.8%) respondents considering it to be friendly. Despite the close resemblance to the Australian accent, New Zealanders ranked 15th overall with just 1 in 100 respondents identifying the Kiwi accent as the most friendly.

Amid reports that six in 10 people believe that others had made subconscious judgments about them based on their accent or how they speak (62%), with accent bias dictating job prospects, level of attractiveness, intelligence and even friendliness, delved further into the perception of different accents across the world.

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