What Is The Difference Between An Accent And A Dialect?

Are accents and dialects the same thing?
Are accents and dialects the same thing?

The terms "accents" and "dialects" mean different things. People of the same language can either have a different accent or may speak a different dialect. Here is a more in-depth look at the differences between the two:


Everybody has an accent, no matter which part of the world they come from. An accent is a way in which different people pronounce the same word. Although people may speak the same language, their accents may be different. People relate accent with regions where a person comes from. However, it is important to note that an accent can be acquired. Therefore, the accent is just a modification of how certain words are pronounced and still can be understood by the people who know the language. An accent is associated with factors such as the location of the speakers, their socio-economic status, ethnicity, first language, and their social class.


A dialect is a sub-group or variety of a language. It is different from the main language by vocabulary, diction, and grammar. For instance, Mandarin and Frookien are dialects of the Chinese language. Some of the vocabularies may have or may not have the same meaning in both dialects. Dialects are variations of the main language which come about when a population from different regions learn to speak the language but in the process include some words from their native language along with its vocabulary and grammatical rules. The main language becomes modified and formed into a dialect. Formation of dialect may result in the formation of new words or the modification of the old words. A dialect is not the same thing as a language. 

Same Dialect, Different Accents

The process of forming a dialect from the main language may also lead to the acquisition of a new accent. However, it is possible that when a person speaks in the dialect of a given region, they will likely speak in the accent of that particular region. But when a visitor speaks the same dialect of that particular region, he will most likely do so in a different accent. Therefore a different dialect has a greater impact than a different accent. This also happens to people who have emigrated to a different from their country to another country. They may develop a dialect from the main language or speak the same language in a different accent.


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