Do I Have An Accent?

carlos   Monday, April 14, 2003, 16:43 GMT
I am very proud of my strong Spanish accent
Das Behälter   Monday, April 14, 2003, 17:22 GMT
I missed that posting after mine. After it went into the archive I was never able to see it again. The "a umlaut" is made by holding the left ALT key while typing the numbers 0228 from the KEY PAD, then relase the ALT key.



Release ALT

-I guess I might have a muddled accent, but it is not very noticeable. It is a little west coast Californian and a little Hawaiian. It is very slight however.
Jim   Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 01:10 GMT

You're proud of your accent. Good on ya! Some people go in for what they call "accent training" to make them sound more "clear" maybe "plain" or "bland" would be better words. We need more people like you to stand up and say "I am who I am, I'm from where I'm from and this is my accent, like it or lump it."

The original thread starts out by asking advice on American accent training for receptionists at an Indian call centre. I think they should talk to you, Antonio, and be proud of who they are instead of trying to pretend to be someone else.


Maybe you have an RP accent. I think it's the same case the RP accent is as much an accent as a Texan one. The RP accent may sound plain to an RP speaker but not to a Texan. The difference is that the RP accent isn't a strictly regional one. There is a social dimension to accent in addition to the regional one. The RP accent is a class accent, a well educated accent but it's still regional in that it is pretty much based on the accent of Southern England and is only widely used in Britian.

Everyone who speaks English does so with an accent. There is no such thing as a weak accent in an absolute sense. The strength of an accent can only be measured in relative terms with respect to a given standard. I think you should be proud of your accent and shouldn't go trying to change it.
Jim   Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 01:27 GMT
P.S. thumbs up to you to Carlos. Stay away from those "accent trainers".
Jim   Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 01:28 GMT
Typo: "... to you to ..." should be "... to you too ..."
jal   Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 07:10 GMT
TDS: I plan to visit a few cities Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin are definites.

My fathers side of the family is italian and I love to hear them talk because of their accents. I also have a swiss girlfriend and like her accent. People I have talked before have come out and said I have an accent before but not a strong one. I don't think I have an accent. I think European accents rock but they have to be authentic and I don't think you can naturally develop an accent as I have friends from other countries who have been in Australia for 15 years and they have retained their accent. So perhaps in another life time I will have a european accent :P

I feel so strange when speaking German to a native German speaker like I am ashamed of my accent. I am interested to know what people from other countries think of the Australian accent. Anyone want to swap accents? :)
Antonio   Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 13:07 GMT
This one is a very interesting thread.

I´m very proud of being English and Brasilian. I feel that as a dual citizen I am able to understand better culture in general. I mean, I have a broader view of customs. Such view people as those who have had contact with other cultures usually have.
How can you like better your or any given country, if you have never been to any other?

I know people who for years have lived in a foreign country and retained their accents. I think they rather don´t want to lose it. Maybe just to be "close" to their origins, or simple to show they aren´t "local".

Sometimes having an accent is an advantage. If it isn´t strong and does not cause misunderstandings, I´m sure it will be an asset.
As I mentioned, I wouldn´t say I have a foreign accent; but certain "external" influences. That´s okay to me.

I suppose that my only trouble with my accent, if I went back to UK today, would be that many people might take me as snobbish. I wouldn´t like that. So relaxing my accent and sounding more alike Estuary English, for instance, would make me sound more friendly.
Does anyone here have this problem like me?

Jim: I only mentioned RP because Justin mentioned people speaking with the same accent even when they are from different regions within the UK.
What about you?

Justin: From where are you mate?
Having or not an accent depends, without a doubt, of one´s point of view, but I can agree with you if you say you have a 'plain' accent. If everybody around you speaks with a heavy and local accent, and if you sound more 'standard', I would say you have a plain speech.
Although 'plain' usually means 'RP' to us (british) - and fairly derided in these days -. No doubt RP, AmE, or standard accented English (foreign) are much more comprehensible than say Geordie and Cockney; and so called 'plainer'.

PS: By the way Jim, do you think those people who are trying hard to acquire a true Am or B accent will ever make it?

Hugs to you all
corner   Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 16:18 GMT
As far as I am concerned, I don't like how my English sounds. I have a terrible foreign accent and I'd like to swap it so that it sounds more British. The problem is that mostly it's difficult to understand me because of my nasty accent and so I understand all these people who search for an accent trainer. If I want to be understood as much as possible and you have to communicate with a big variety of people, I will have to part with my accent and acquire a RP English. I don't know if I'll achieve it actually, but at least I'll make an effort.
Bierfee   Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 22:00 GMT

I believe that it is possible to adapt an authentic accent. I think the best way to do so is a stay abroad.
Russell   Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 23:29 GMT
The Australian is gay!!!
mjd   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 00:45 GMT

A good example of someone who has lived in a foreign country for a long time and still retains their accent would be my dad. He came over to the U.S. after marrying my mom 30 years ago, yet he still has his Portuguese accent according to my American ears as well as friends and relatives back in Portugal. His friends claim they hear no trace of an accent on him at all.
Justin   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 01:02 GMT
Atonio, Jim

Sorry I took so long to reply to you.

I'm from Northampton a town smack bang in the middle of England but I've lived in Birmingham for 5 years and recently moved to Coventry. I don't have the "standard" Northampton accent nor do I sound "posh". It's hard to explain...
I suppose Jim is right in a way, maybe my accent does sound quite southern, but my county Northamptonshire has a few slightly differing accents. And again, Jim is right as every now and again, the Northampton accent pops out on some words and I can spot it, but others can't as these are very subtle changes.

I have a good friend who is half French-half English. He has always lived here, but had the first 14 years of his education at a French school in the UK and only speaks French at home. I'm guessing he has a similar accent to you Antonio as he hasn't been corrupted (lol) by his surroundings, so has a southern accent too.
Antonio   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 13:39 GMT
First... I´ll never go to a Steak House... That´s why the Brasilian invention 'churrascaria' /shw-hras-ka-ry-a/ (barbecue house) is one of the best ever. It is just... It was brought to my attention, by friends who recently came from NZ AU and Florida, that some witty brasilians opened some churrascarias in those countries. At last you foreign citizens will learn how to eat meat! ;-)

So you have portuguese origin too. Now I know how you know portuguese.


You moved a lot, Justin. I only lived in Chelsea, London; in two addresses but always in the same district. I have visited your home county though.
Northampton sounds different so I think it´s nice to tell others you are from there.
Antonio   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 13:52 GMT


I like the Aussie way of speaking. But I haven´t met many of you, and most of those I´ve met were tossers... I don´t mean all aussies are unpleasant as those I knew are, okay. It just happened with a specific group of people, and which were the only contact with aussies I ever had personally - I met many on the NET -

I would really like going to Australia and New Zealand too. The kiwi accent sound very heavy but is totally different from the autralian one. From the 'samples' I have heard, it seems that inside the country the australian accent is quite different from that heard in the coast. right?
The open "a" sounding like the english "i" is very peculiar to the aussies. and the nasalisation too.
mjd   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 21:18 GMT

Aqui no meu estado de New Jersey, as comunidades portuguesas e brasileiras têm churrascarias também (particularmente a cidade de Newark, NJ). A melhor refeição brasileira......naturalmente uma feijoada com um bocadinho de caipirinha ou guarana para as crianças.

Já assitiu o filme a "Cidade de Deus?" Toda a gente dizem que é óptimo.