Ok, here we go just trawled through this thread: I, myself, have a generic middle class south east English accent, born in Surrey, then a village outside Portsmouth from 4 - 12 y old then to a village near Canterbury in Kent. To mix things up even more my mum was pretty nomadic along the south coast with Scottish parents (one Edinburgh one Glasgow, neither of whom I met) and my dads from paisley nr Glasgow as are both his parents but he's lived down south for about 40 yrs. To top it off I spent seven years working in tourism mixing with Brits and Irish from all over the shop. Fortunately the only "accent" slipping I seem to get is using the word aye in lieu of yes when talking to Scots!
Now however I'm an English language teacher and its strange to see the difficulties that some nationalities have with certain sounds as follows ( these are stereotypes so please don't take offence anyone)
Italians when trying to tell us they are hungry always sound like they are saying angry
Germans often have trouble with the v & w
Spanish s & sh, v & b, a like cat & u like cut
The "German" word that I often get told to attempt is a Bavarian or Austrian dialectic word which means squirrels tail and it's pronounced something like wah-cats-erl-shah-fern
Finally as for the whole I say you say factor, bear these two gems in mind:
In bars across the uk it's not uncommon to hear "Can I bum a fag?" Meaning "Could I please have a cigarette off someone without paying for it, nor being obliged to return one at a later time?" As opposed to across the pond where it would mean "Could I please perform certain acts upon a homeless individual?
Or in America if a woman dropped her pants and displayed her fanny she'd still have her underwear covering some of her dignity, whereas in the Uk she'd have everything round her ankles and be displaying her private lady parts!
If you can fill the unforgiving minute,
With sixty seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a man my son.