eharmony research reveals the most attractive accents.
- Nearly half (45%) of Aussie women believe a foreign accent can make someone seem more attractive – the proportion of men holding this view is slightly lower (39%)
- Young adults (aged 18 to 24) are particularly partial to an overseas accent, with 61% believing it’s an attractive attribute
- Almost a third (30%) of online daters say an international accent makes potential matches seem more interesting
- Overall, the most popular accent was a tie between British English and French (both 41%), with Italian next (32%) followed by Irish (30%)
- A French accent is seen as the most romantic (56% of the vote) but was pipped by British English for ‘most sophisticated’ (33% versus 42%)
- Homegrown heartthrob Chris Hemsworth (44%) beat international rivals for most attractive celebrity accent, yet the Australian accent was considered ‘bogan’ by nearly half (44%) of those surveyed
When it comes to accent attraction some countries are worlds apart, according to new research by eharmony about online daters’ perceptions of which inflections are most charming, smart or downright annoying.
While eharmony’s survey results reinforce some celebrated stereotypes – a French accent is still the ‘language of love’ – there were surprises amongst the top placings (detailed below).
Allure of an accent
Accents have been declared an advantage or asset by those looking for a potential partner, with 42% of all survey respondents saying they boost attractiveness. A small proportion (8%) even sheepishly admitted to exaggerating their own accent in a bid to seem more attractive.
International accents were also positively associated with online love-seekers’ perceptions of likeability (29% agreed), friendliness (30%), being interesting (30%) and wanting to get to know someone (29%).
Which accents win the swoon stakes?
According to eharmony’s findings, French is the most attractive foreign accent (39%), followed by British English (30%) and Italian (29%).
French (56%) also takes gold for most romantic, with Italian (41%) and Spanish (16%) trailing behind, but British English is the clear winner across multiple measures, including most intelligent (44%), most honest (32%) and most sophisticated (42%).
Most friendly international accent was awarded to Irish (33%) which was also number one for most humorous (40%), followed by Scottish (30%).
How does the Aussie accent rate?
While many (61%) survey participants felt accents varied from state-to-state – with nearly half (48%) saying Queenslanders have their own special vocalisation – the majority (69%) felt the Australian accent was perceived internationally as friendly and laid back (70%).
The Aussie twang scored lower on the measures of being considered sophisticated (14%) or exotic (21%); and 44% branded it ‘bogan’.
Most attractive and annoying celebrity accents
Who would we gladly listen to read the phone directory? Deep and distinctive vocals ranked highly in the survey results on most attractive male celebrity accents. Chris Hemsworth’s Aussie drawl was top pick (44%) followed by the late Sean Connery’s guttural Scottish (42%) and Morgan Freeman’s dulcet tone (39%) in third. Most attractive female celeb accents belonged to Margot Robbie (40%) and Emma Watson (38%).
Celebs whose accents were considered most grating were Kim Kardashian (42%), The Nanny star Fran Drescher (38%) and Arnold ‘I’ll be back’ Schwarzenegger (24%).
Twenty-eight percent of all survey participants said they’d open to online dating with someone overseas in their search for a life partner, with a higher rate of willingness amongst males (33%) than female respondents (24%).
eharmony psychologist Sharon Draper said:
“When looking for a partner, people are heavily influenced – both consciously and subconsciously – by first impressions in making initial assessments about levels of attraction and potential compatibility.
“Accents are one of many first impression factors and, as the surveys shows, a significant proportion of the population openly admit to being enticed by foreign accents.
“Countless studies have theorised on why people are attracted to certain accents – some contributing it to our social and cultural associations(basically stereotypes that certain nationalities conjure), while linguistic experts say some languages’ rhythmic intonation are easier on the ear.
“A word of friendly, but cautionary, dating advice to anyone contemplating ‘putting on’ an accent to woo someone – this is a risky tactic which could backfire and is difficult to sustain long term and may bring about trust issues far too early in a relationship for it to truly flourish.”
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.