This study aimed first to determine whether there is a delay associated with processing words in an unfamiliar regional accent compared to words in a familiar regional accent, and second to establish whether short-term exposure to an unfamiliar accent affects the speed and accuracy of comprehension of words spoken in that accent. Listeners performed an animacy decision task for words spoken in their own and an unfamiliar accent. Next, they were exposed to approximately 20 minutes of speech in one of these two accents. After exposure, they repeated the animacy decision task. Results showed a considerable delay in word processing for the unfamiliar accent, but no effect of short-term exposure.