Lenin's Irish Accent
November 6, 2014 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Did Vladimir Lenin speak English with an Irish accent? The blog of Dublin culture Come Here To Me has some fun digging into Lenin's supposed Rathmines accent. The Dublin Review of Books describes the now extinct "Rathmines accent" a bit more, but says the Lenin story is not "enormously well-vouched". (The Russian embassy in Ireland apparently thinks otherwise).
posted by rollick (10 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Fascinating: I remember being astonished to learn that Chayim Herzog spoke Hebrew with an Irish accent, but of course he did, as he was from Belfast.

I wonder what other surprising places one might look to find an Irish accent.
posted by maxsparber at 2:19 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ahem. Come Here To Me previously on Metafilter.
posted by Diablevert at 2:22 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've heard "D4 accent" to describe a general posh Southside Dublin accent, but I think Rathmines is actually the D6 postal code.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:25 PM on November 6, 2014

So he had that class of an Irish accent that sounds like an English one? It's a subtle tongue the man had, indeed.
posted by Segundus at 3:10 PM on November 6, 2014

A feckin' basic condition for the necessary expansion of political agitation is the organisation of comprehensive feckin' political exposure.

V.I. Lenin- "What The Feck Is To Be Done."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:52 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I deal with a lot of college students who are the children of African or Eastern European families that came to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger. The new generation may speak their own native language at home with their families, but usually speak English with an Irish accent at school, at work and with their friends. On the other hand, I grew up with guys who were born in London to Irish emigrant families and spoke Irish at home but learned to speak English with a North London accent.

I hope this isn't too much of a diversion, but I once went for a job interview at a west-of-Ireland-based firm run by a Pakistani family. While I was waiting I saw one of the bosses go past me, into an office next door, and answer the phone in what I first thought was Urdu until, after a couple of minutes, I realised he was speaking Connemara Irish in his own accent. When in Rome...

You don't hear it as much nowadays, but the Anglo-Irish "Ascendancy" accent, while it definitely aspires to sound English, still sounds recognisably Irish to them that has ears. An English speaker of Received Pronunciation, for instance, would recognise it as Irish (and probably turn their nose up at it) straight away. The all-pervasive "DART accent", it could be argued, isn't so much a "posh accent" as an attempt to sound cosmopolitan and classless, mangling as it does elements of Estuary English, ValleySpeak, and Anglo-Irish (as opposed to Hiberno-English).

Butsurethemaisfiercepartialtotheperiwinkleblue. AmImakingmyselfclearboys?
posted by El Brendano at 5:40 AM on November 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Fascinating; thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 10:58 AM on November 7, 2014

(and probably turn their nose up at it)

These days all kinds of Irish accent other than the Ulster one are highly valued in England and probably guarantee you a job in the BBC.
posted by Segundus at 1:08 PM on November 7, 2014

No argument there , Segundus, the UK media is full of Irish accents (of all kinds) from Graham Norton and Dylan Moran to Brendan O'Carroll and everywhere in between. The RP speakers must hate that. :-)

(Then again they probably think the TV is "frightfully Non-U"...)

And now the news, ready by Vladimir Ilyich McUlyanov...
posted by El Brendano at 4:21 AM on November 8, 2014

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