->'''Rose:''' If you ''are'' an alien, how comes you sound like you're from the North?\\
'''Ninth Doctor:''' Lots of planets have a North!
-->--''Series/DoctorWho'', [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E1Rose "Rose"]]

When aliens [[AliensSpeakingEnglish helpfully speak English]] (or any other Earth language), an issue comes up - what sort of accent do they have?

As is the case for any language, "unaccented" English doesn't exist. When you don't notice someone's accent, that's because they're speaking with a very familiar accent - either your own, or a "broadcast standard" like American Broadcast English in the US and Received Pronunciation in the UK. So what sort of accent would an alien, a being with a wholly unearthly language background, have?

In movies and television, the most common answers are the most pragmatic: ''The accents of the actors playing the aliens'', or if any of those accents would stand out too much, ''The accents of the audience''.

Those are the easiest solutions, and viewers [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief often don't think about it]] as long as the accents are unremarkable to them. Have an actor speak with a strong and identifiable accent, though, and the same people who wouldn't think twice about an alien talking like a Londoner or a Midwesterner start wondering why the extraterrestrial sounds like someone from New Orleans, [[Series/{{Farscape}} Sydney]], or [[Series/DoctorWho Manchester]]. You also see this reaction when shows reach other countries and new viewers are puzzled (or amused) at the entire rest of the universe speaking like Brits or Yanks.

Naturally, ignoring the issue of accents isn't the only option. After all, if the aliens have learned how to speak English, they could have their own accent, shaped by their alien language (and possibly their alien mouths). On the other hand, if the aliens work very hard in their language classes, then they might learn to speak with a particular human accent, perhaps that of their teachers or one of the broadcast standard accents. Going the easier route, if [[TranslatorMicrobes translation technology]] lets humans understand aliens speaking their ''own'' languages, then what accents the translator uses are entirely arbitrary; this could be the accent of the manufacturer, one of the broadcast-standard accents, or just an option changed with a turn of a dial.

Now, '''representing''' some of these choices is trickier in certain media than others: writing "he spoke with a Rigellian drawl" is vastly easier than making up an accent and coaching actors to use it [[OohMeAccentsSlipping reliably]]. That doesn't stop some television or movie productions, though. After all, it's always possible to cheat by boldly [[WhatTheHellIsThatAccent mangling an accent]] or exploiting a foreign actor's own ''real'' accent when most of the audience is unfamiliar with it. Still, getting this week's guest star to properly "talk like an alien" may be easier said than done...

Again, this isn't simply an English-language trope - every language has accents, and the same issues come up in ScienceFiction works in those languages.

Not to be confused with the [[TropeNamer trope-naming]] ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode, which can be found [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E4AliensOfLondon here]].



[[folder: Audio Play ]]
* Present in ''AudioPlay/ThePrincessThieves'' where all the characters, despite most beings from other dimensions, speak with British and American accents.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* Justified in ''ComicBook/TransformersGeneration2Redux''. While several Transformers have accents from various Earth countries, it's because those specific Transformers were either created and "raised" entirely in those various countries, or resided in one long enough to pick up the accent.

[[folder: Film ]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Most, though not all, [[TheEmpire Imperial]] officers in the first three films have an English accent.
** The Clone Troopers in the prequels all have New Zealander accents, because [[LamarckWasRight the man they were cloned from had one.]]
** ''Possibly'' [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in the ExpandedUniverse, where he trains them.
* In ''Film/AlienFromLA'', the underground Atlanteans are actually aliens who are also apparently Australians. One character even tells Creator/KathyIreland "You know, in Australia, my voice is as annoying as yours."
* In ''[[Film/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians The Lightning Thief]]'' the ''Greek'' gods all have ''British'' accents.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/BetweenPlanets'' had intelligent "dragons" inhabiting the [[ScienceMarchesOn swamps of Venus]]. Unable to ''speak'' human languages, they can still ''learn'' them and use [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocoder hand-operated vocoders]] to synthesize the sounds of speech. One dragon thus "speaks" with a pronounced Texan drawl due to having a Texan teach him English, and an important character in the book is a Venerian dragon who is a highly respected physicist (not to mention a member of the aristocracy of his species)...who learned English from someone with a pronounced Cockney accent.
* Played for [[RuleOfFunny humor]] in Creator/RobertSheckley's ''Mindswap''. The protagonist is sitting in a bar on an alien world with no idea where to go next, when he's approached by one of the world's aliens, who offers to help. The alien is from a country to the south, so he speaks English with a stereotypical Mexican accent, and also speaks fluent Spanish.
** Justified in-universe as being an example of Metaphoric Deformation, where the mindswapper's use of internal metaphors to deal with the alien experiences breaks down under the strain, and they start to see aliens as being humans.

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]
* Everyone in "Frank Herbert's ''{{Series/Dune}}''", the 2000 [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci Fi Channel]] miniseries, spoke with a Czech or other Eastern European accent, and the fictional language spoken in the book is an "Inglo-Slavic hybrid" with butt loads of Arabic and Farsi loan-words.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' is generally the most recognizable example of this trope to Americans, since it depicts a universe with a wide range of accents, all of them British and Irish. This is explained in show with the idea that the Doctor's TARDIS translates all alien languages for its passengers.
** Series One started off with this, namely the page quote at top. [[note]] As "The Last Day" minisode demonstrated, Gallifrey natives do indeed have this accent [[/note]].
** The Time Lord Drax has a Cockney accent so thick that even the (Fourth) Doctor comments on it. He explains he picked it up in Brixton.
** Spinoff ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' also uses this trope, since many of the aliens originated in ''Doctor Who''. One example is Mr Smith, Sarah Jane's extraterrestrial supercomputer.
** Daleks speak in [[UsefulNotes/BritishAccents Received Pronunciation]], which can be quite hilarious at times with their [[CreepyMonotone shouty monotone voices]] and AccentUponTheWrongSyllable speech quirk - in the very first serial, "The Daleks", they pronounce 'vegetables' (pronounced in most casual British accents as something closer to 'veg-da-bles') as 'VEG-E-TA-BLLLLES', and it's wonderful to hear. Humour value aside, this was a neutral accent to hear on television in the 1960s, but they carried on doing it long after everyone else in ''Doctor Who'' and on television in general spoke in more naturalistic accents, making its non-neutrality and affectedness very obvious. This contrast is especially striking in the episode "Dalek", where the Doctor (who generally spoke RP in his early incarnations) is [[ChewingTheScenery screaming]] at the Dalek in broad [[OopNorth Manc]] while the Dalek responds in the Queen's English.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': Captain Jean-Luc Picard is the quintessential Frenchman. With an English accent. And when he goes home to France, everyone ''else'' in France has an English accent too.
** In the ExpandedUniverse there ''is'' the language "Federation Standard", which has never been fully explained but is presumably a language to encumber every member of the Federation, regardless of series. It's probably (but not necessarily) based on English. One can assume other regional languages have become merely points of culture to people like Picard.
** Explained in-universe that French became obscure by the 24th century (episode "Code of Honor").
** For the first few seasons of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Marina Sirtis affected a fake "alien" accent based on an Israeli woman she knew. Unfortunately, when her mother (played by Majel Barrett-Rodenberry) showed up, she used her natural accent. The writers rationalized that Troi's accent came from her human-but-well-traveled father. But when ''he'' showed up, accentless, for a flashback, Marina finally gave up.
** This trope becomes more noticeable when it's subverted. For instance, ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'' has David Warner playing probably the only Klingon ever to have a British accent rather than an American accent.
*** Not to mention the fact that Christopher Plummer spent the whole movie quoting Shakespeare with his own personal accent, making him a Klingon with an (ostensibly) Canadian accent.
** The original Sarek was American Mark Lenard. In the [[Film/StarTrek 2009 film]], he is played by English actor Ben Cross. As a result, Sarek inexplicably becomes English in the Abrams Verse.
* Most of the characters in the 2000s ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' speak with American accents, but there are a handful of characters who speak with other recognizable accents -- British, New Zealand, and Irish in particular. Why they should speak this way is never explained, as it's otherwise implied that human civilization is linguistically homogeneous. In one episode, Baltar claims his "British" accent to be a result of him, an Aerelon, attempting to affect a Caprican accent -- when he uses his "natural" tongue, it's a heavy Yorkshire accent. See UsefulNotes/BritishAccents.
** They may not be exactly "linguistically homogeneous" either. Writings in French and Chinese have been spotted in the background, and French loan words such as ''elan'' and ''esprit de corps'' are used. The surname Inviere is said to be "Old Gemenese" for "resurrection".
*** The keyword being "old" - the Twelve Colonies had a bunch of different languages in the past, but everybody seems to speak "English" now.
* Relating to the above, the spinoff prequel ''Series/{{Caprica}}'' showcases the Tauron language, based on (or perhaps more likely [[TranslationConvention represented by]]) Ancient Greek. Since it takes place fifty years before ''Battlestar Galactica'', it's not clear whether the other languages all die out later or if they are simply never seen in ''BSG'' because everyone speaks Caprican (which is presumably what is being represented by English). It's also useful to note that Gemenon appears to be a sort of more-religious "sister planet" of Caprica, which might be why their language might have died out earlier.
* Of course, Japan has all aliens, magical beings, etc. speak Japanese as they speak English in English-speaking countries, but one episode of ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger'' challenged WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief when the Heavenly Arch Saint Magiel, the building-sized highest-ranking member of a group of magical beings from the FluffyCloudHeaven-like dimension of Magitopia, insisted on not being addressed with a certain [[UsefulNotes/JapaneseHonorifics honorific]] by the BigBad (building-sized leader of the Scary Pit Hell-like dimension of Infershia.) Usually, Aliens of London draw the line at speaking the same language and don't go as far as to be particular about being treated according to specific social niceties of the culture they've ''never experienced.'' The American equivalent wouldn't be AliensSpeakingEnglish, it'd be Aliens Insisting On Being Addressed As 'Ms.' or Aliens Being Offended By Being Called 'Gringos' or something like that. Finding a slightly less ''distinctly'' Japanese way of having the two characters disapprove of each other would have helped sell the premise a bit better.
** While ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' doesn't quite have an example that bad, it too repeatedly runs into this trope as a number of [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters Of The Week]] have accents for no reason. Mora/Morgana of ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' is the most obvious, as she was a regular character. The fact that the show has repeated [[OohMeAccentsSlipping problems with accents]] since production was moved to UsefulNotes/NewZealand only complicates things.
* The language spoken in ''Series/RedDwarf'' is officially called "Earth", but sounds an awful lot like British English.
** It's actually a blend of British and American English. Englishman Lister uses several American terms in "Legion" (for example, he says ''sneakers'' rather than ''trainers'') whereas American Capt. Hollister uses several British terms (and 'vacation') in Series VIII.
** Rimmer apparently speaks with a "broad Ionian accent," according to the novels, but Chris Barrie plays him with a standard English accent. Whether that ''is'' an Ionian accent, or whether Rimmer sounds different in the alternate continuity of the novels, is never quite made clear.
* Notable in season 9 of ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Zod (From Planet Krypton) is played by Callum Blue (From London), while most of the other Kryptonians speak with an American accent. Of course, Jor-El ALSO speaks with a British accent, and Zod was depicted similarly in ''Film/SupermanII'' with a notable British accent. One could infer that since the Kryptonians with English accents always appear to be elite members of their society, this might be an upper class accent. The American accent tends to be more prevalent amongst the military grunts in the warrior caste.
* Since ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' was produced in Australia, a large percentage of the cast have some variation of an Aussie accent.
** Claudia Black also used a distinct accent for Aeryn Sun, causing problems for other actors playing Sebaceans.
** Lampshaded in one episode where Crichton needed to impersonate a Sebacean, he asked if the translator microbes would translate accents.
** This trope actually worked for ''Series/Farscape's'' premise, as John Crichton was an American astronaut lost in the Uncharted Territories (clearly the outback of the galaxy), [[FridgeLogic so it would make sense]] that the aliens spoke in accents different than his own. And since many of alien species, unlike the people of Earth, regularly make contact with other aliens and travel to other star systems, it makes sense that their accents are more similar to one another than to a human from Earth.
* Speaking of Claudia Black, she played Vala on ''Series/StargateSG1'' with her native Australian accent. Similar to the above ''Next Generation'' example, it was {{Hand Wave}}d that she had gotten her accent from her mother when Fred Willard was cast as her father and, of course, used his American accent. So apparently there's some alien planet out there where people have Australian accents. (The show didn't last long enough after that to give Vala's mother a chance to show up.)
* While ''Series/BabylonFive'' gave each of its alien ambassadors noticeable accents, the other members of their respective races didn't share them -- which implies a great deal of regional differences on those planets, similar to Earth culture.
** While Londo Mollari sounded like an over-the-top Russian nobleman, his aide, Vir Cotto, sounded like he was from New Jersey (or perhaps Northern Virginia, where actor Stephen Furst is from). While Mira Furlan's (real!) Croatian (Slavic) accent brought an exotic air to Delenn, Bill Mumy's Lennier merely had a clipped, precise mode of speaking not too different from any other incarnation of TheSpock.
** Londo's actor Peter Jurasik is on record as saying: "Because I'm the first Centauri, so I make him talk any way I want. So, I made the accent up, a kind of amalgam of a number of different accents. I used a little of my Slovak grandmother, and I mentioned Ireland I love the rhythms of Irish. So I mixed it up and made it my own.".
** One of the TV movies featured a Centauri woman with a thick French accent.
** An interesting thing to note was that older alien characters had thicker accents than younger ones.
** Attempted aversion by the wonderfully talented William Forward who played Lord Antono Refa in seasons two and three. Forward made every attempt to emulate Jurasik's bizarre creation.

* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Most voiced characters have some variant of UsefulNotes/{{British Accent|s}} based on whatever FantasyCounterpartCulture they're from.
** The orks speak with extremely pronounced cockney accents (with the occasional Irish, Scottish and TalkLikeAPirate thrown in for good measure). How pronounced it is depends on the medium, in some they grunt, yell and use the occasional human loanword, in others they're perfectly able to hold conversations with humans (admittedly, these conversations consist mostly of threats and insults).
** The Tau have a vaguely Asian-accented speech due to their {{Animesque}} design.

[[folder: Toys ]]
* In several of the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' continuities, giant robots from another planet, some inactive for millions of years, have accents mimicking a variety of present-day Earth cultures; the majority speak American English, but ''[[Anime/TransformersCybertron Cybertron]]'' Jetfire and ''[[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 G1]]'' Outback are distinctively Australian, for example.
** In his bio, Jetfire is said to have picked up his accent while stationed on [[MythologyGag Nebulon]], which means we have an entire planet of Australians now.
** And the entire populace of the planet Gigantion have incredibly fake Scottish accents.
** In [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers the original series]], most of the robots had a straightforward, almost accentless tone, but Ironhide, Wheeljack, Prowl, Jazz, Rumble, and others had accents ranging from soft-but-noticeable to thick-yet-somehow-suits-the-character-so-we'll-let-it-go. Yeah, Ironhide is from the Texas part of Cybertron.
** In his very earliest appearances, Optimus Prime has just a hint of drawl in his accent.
** Not to mention Tracks and his Thurston Howell III, upper Connecticut accent.
** Also pops up in the [[Franchise/TransformersFilmSeries films]], when [[BlackDudeDiesFirst the first Autobot to die happened to be voiced by a black man]]. [[note]]In their defense, Jazz's death is due to HeroicSacrifice - he bravely stands his ground against Megatron to protect the fleeing humans, even though he knows he stands no chance against the Decepticon. Also, the choice was explained: ''somebody'' had to die, and we've got five Autobots. They didn't want it to be someone who'd died before, which cuts out Ratchet, Ironhide and (several times over) Prime, who'd do his usual die-and-get-better duty in the sequel. And Bumblebee is the ''franchise mascot.'' That leaves only Jazz.[[/note]] In [[Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen the second film]], Skids and Mudflap are two idiotic robots who seem to have based their mannerisms on hip-hop culture. Specifically; they're wiggers. There's also an Australian 'Bot.
** In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' Blitzwing has three separate German accents, the Jet Twins have Eastern European accents, Jazz is still black (but in a fairly different way, more {{Beatnik}} than JiveTurkey, and also is the first Transformer to wear pants), and, as usual, uptight bad guys are always British.
** ''[[Franchise/TransformersTimelines Timelines]]'' throws in [[ComicBook/TransformersShatteredGlass Shattered Glass]] Blaster who sounds... something approaching German, while [[ComicBook/TransformersWingsOfHonor Wings of Honor]] Ironfist is vaguely Australian.
** On the other hand, in the Japanese adaptations (dubs and original animated series like ''The Headmasters'', ''Victory'', etc) many of the Autobots and Decepticons have [[UsefulNotes/JapanesePronouns different speech patterns]], although this is because of the age of their respective voice actors, rather than a stylistic choice (The notable example is Megatron, since he use ''washi'' for addressing himself in the original series, due of [[Creator/SeizoKato his voice actor]] being older).

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/StarOcean'' - the aliens, from Earth and with quasi-European names, all speak English in their voice clips, while the audio for the Fellpool, the alien race all the main characters are, are quite Japanese. Text is homogeneously Japanese, of course, which can probably be blamed on TranslatorMicrobes.
* Zinyak of ''Videogame/SaintsRowIV'' speaks with a posh British accent. He's also a fan of British literature and theater and will even read the entire first chapter of ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' on the classical music radio station that he [=DJs=].
* Similar to the movies above, most of the Imperials in ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' speak with English accents. They are commented on in-game due to defections from both sides (both on having and the lack of the accent). The Imperial Agent PlayerCharacter (who is, obviously, Imperial) is told to "lose the accent" in their very first conversation, and spends most of the rest of their time on Hutta, along with a reprise when infiltrating some rebels on Balmorra, putting on a not-tremendously-convincing Republic (read: American) accent.
* The Beta from ''VideoGame/GreyGoo'' all talk with an accent that comes across as a blend of Australian and South African.

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' when [[color:#929292:uranianUmbra]] uses the phrase "Bob's your Uncle" and then reveals that she isn't sure she used it right. Turns out that her British accent is a deliberate affectation or "quirk", something all trolls do to an extent. Tavros does this with Spanish, and Vriska to a limited extent with Italian, both of which are straighter examples. Justified in that [[spoiler: they helped ''create'' the Earth, and thus the Spanish and Italian languages]].

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', where French is actually extinct (except among gargoyles, apparently). Yet several characters speak it at various points... Making it just another inconsistent joke in the series (similar to how there aren't any wheels in the year 3000... except for the thousands of wheels that they have, that is)
* The British Isles have a huge variety of dialects. Hence, it's a RunningGag on ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'' that when the heroes encounter an alien or weird creature, it will speak with a funny regional accent. If it's thick enough, one of the heroes will initially think it's an alien language.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', [[ActionGirl Hawkgirl]] speaks with a Cuban accent, matching her voice actress Creator/MariaCanalsBarrera. It set the precedent for future actors to play Thanagarians, most of them being of Cuban or Latin American extraction.
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', Tak has a British accent while none of the other Irkens do. [[LaResistance Lard Nar]] has one too, though we only have one other Vort to compare him to.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'''s "Chronicles of Meep", the aliens speak with different accents depending on which translator they are using. The translators are shaped like mustaches, and the accent fits the stereotype of that 'stache.
* ''WesternAnimation/RoswellConspiracies'': The Banshees all have some sort of Irish accent. In the pilot it's mentioned that they first settled (on Earth) in the British Isles, so presumably they settled in Ireland, [[JustifiedTrope which is where the legend comes from]].
* Garnet in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' is the only one of the Crystal Gems we've seen so far with a British accent. What's even odder about this is [[spoiler:neither of [[FusionDance Garnet's two halves]], Ruby and Sapphire, have a similar accent]].