The ‘Alaskan Bush People’ Have a Distinctive Accent — But Is It Real or Fake?

'Alaskan Bush People' viewers can't quite place the Brown family's accent. Is it real or fake? Details on their distinctive accent.


Aug. 15 2019, Updated 12:18 p.m. ET

alaskan bush people accent
Source: Discovery

The Alaskan Bush People are going strong in their 10th season with the Discovery Channel. We're getting to see the lives of the Brown family in Washington State as the kids get older and forge families of their own, all while working on expanding their residence into a compound where they can all live together.

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But action aside, it's hard to ignore the titular Alaskan Bush people's accents; some fans even find it so distracting it gets in the way of their enjoyment. 

So, what's the Alaskan Bush People's accent all about? Keep scrolling to find out. 

alaskan bush people accent
Source: Instagram
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What kind of accent does the Brown family have?

Fans are a bit confused by the family's peculiar accent (some compare it to "British") and aren't quite convinced that they should have one in their region of Alaska. "It's hard for me to watch Alaskan Bush People because their accent doesn't exist outside of their family & they only speak English," one person wrote on Twitter.

What makes the accent even more curious is that sometimes the kids will post on social media and not seem to have their accent at all. "Where's the Bush accent?" one person wrote in the comments. "I actually understood what she said... Are the TV 'accents' fake, too?" After all, their accents wouldn't be the first time the family was put under the spotlight for staging their show.

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“We never realized that anybody in the family had an accent,” Billy Brown once said on the show. “We didn’t realize it at all — I don’t guess we heard it, and then all of a sudden, everybody’s talking about ‘their accents' [sic].” Added Bear Brown, "I don't hear anyone in my family to have an accent."

Here's what a linguist has to say about the family's accent.

There are two other theories as to why the Alaskan Bush People speak the way they do. One of them has to do with the fact that the children were raised without the contact of many other English-speakers.

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alaskan bush people accent
Source: Instagram

"They don't enunciate properly due to, as others have said, a combination of dental problems and a lack of social interaction," one person wrote on reddit. Another said, "They all have pretty bad speech impediments, probably from homeschooling and little social interaction with others."

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Others say the kids share speech patterns with other young people throughout the States. "Like most younger people in the western USA, they show a tendency to pronounce alike the vowels in the words 'cot' and 'caught,' 'sod and 'sawed,' 'Don' and 'dawn,'" says one linguist who's researched the "accents of people from North Carolina to California."

"Among the younger Browns, the first vowel in each of these pairs moves further to the back of the mouth and tends to be made with the lips rounded," the fan continued. "The effect can sound something like British English ("an imitation of Sean Connery" one of the harsher critics of the Browns has said)." It's not, however.

"It is simply the normal merger of a vowel further to the front of the mouth ("o" in "cot," etc.) with a vowel further to the back of the mouth ("au' as in "caught," "daughter" etc," he explains, "but it is made in a different way than most younger people in the western USA make the merger."

Watch the Alaskan Bush People, Sundays at 9 p.m. on Discovery.

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