Americans tend to have a thing for European accents. Perhaps it’s the allure of the countries they come from or the beauty of the people who flaunt them, but European accents (and a French accent, in particular) really strike our fancy. But what do Europeans think of our accents? And which regional American dialect is most appealing to them? Babbel teamed up with Generator Hostels to find the answer to this crucial question.
Our team of linguistics experts came up with seven archetypal United States accents: Bostonian, Deep South, Midwestern, Minnesotan, New Yorker, Southern Californian and Texan. We then asked more than 400 Generator hostel staffers from 43 different countries to pick which accents they found most and least attractive.
Here are the American accents voted most attractive by European hostel workers:
1. Deep South (20%)
2. New Yorker (18%)
3. Bostonian (17%)
4. Southern Californian (16%)
5. Texan (14%)
6. Midwestern (10%)
7. Minnesotan (5%)
That’s right. Europeans find the accent of Americans who live in the Deep South the sexiest, followed closely by the New York accent.
These rankings indicate overall attractiveness, but the accent in the top spot changes depending on the country of the survey respondents. Brits are most attracted to the Southern California “valley girl” accent (30%), as are Swedes (50%). Like, totally!
New Yorkers’ accent, on the other hand, appeals most to the French (57%) and Italians (19%). When it comes to other accents: Fuhgeddaboudit.
Germans (30%), Spaniards (27%) and the Dutch (26%) are most taken by the accent of Boston, Massachusetts. They’ve clearly never tried to pahk the cah there.
Despite picking up one-fifth of the vote overall, Deep South was rarely any individual country’s favorite accent. In fact, Ireland (31%) was the only one that ranked it number one.
Was nearly every country in agreement that the Minnesota accent is the least attractive? You betcha! In fact, the British, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch hostel workers all voted Minnesotan the least sexy. Only the Swedish and German employees disagreed, ranking the New York and Midwestern accents, respectively, as the least attractive.
If your accent didn’t make the top of the list, don’t stress about it. Attractiveness is subjective, after all, and there are more important traits to take with you abroad, like speaking the local language.