American Accent Training by Ann Cook - Any successful story?

Ashley   Tuesday, July 15, 2003, 18:41 GMT
hey all,
I'm from Minnesota, USA, people say that Minnesotans have accents, what does it really sound like to people?
Jim   Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 00:25 GMT
I wish I could explain it fully. When I talk about Japanese, I sort of know pretty well what I'm on about but I don't know Chinese. All I can do is try to describe how the English of native speakers of Chinese sounds to me. So to try to make things more clear let me rewrite this post how it would sound dropping the consonant at the end of a syllable. No offence intended.

I wi' I cou' explai' i' fully. Whe' I tau' abou' Japanese, I sor' of know pretty we' wha' I'm on abou' bu' I don' know Chinese. All I can do is try to descri'e how de English of nati'e speaker' of Chinese soun' to me. So to try to ma'e thing' more clear le' me rewri'e this pos' how it wou' soun' dropping the consonan' at the en' of a syllable. No offence intende'.
Karen   Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 04:29 GMT

You are right. Most Chinese (Cantonese speakers) speak English like what you have described, but they don't see the problem and difference. (Very sad!)

This is a funny real story : I called a company to confirm the name of their sales manager:

Receptionist : "eye"
I : "eye" for "E"?
Receptionist : No, eye for eye cream
I : "so, that's E"
Receptionist : NO! EYE FOR EYE CREAM (very rude)
I : "that's E" (we kept repeating the same Q&A, I really wanted to shout to her if I did not tell her who I was at the beginning)

Finally, I asked her in Cantonese, "are you talking about EYE CREAM?"

She said, NO! I am talking about ice-cream. (in cantonese)

I really wanted to yell at her.
Tony   Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 05:21 GMT
In British English whats the difference between "Bart" and "But". I find it hard to differentiate between these vowels in those two words. In my mother tongue there is only one "A" (uh) sound and was never aware that there was more than one way to make a "A" (uh) sound. Also schwa is a mystery to me since I speak Spanish and when a word in a sentence finishes in a vowel and the word following it starts with a vowel there is no "linking r". Can anyone give me some advice on how to link words with the r since when I speak I cant do it. I think I might try American English instead since they always produce the "r" and they dont do it when there is no "r" there in the first place. Example: Americ([a] i)s a continent
Britrish English Americ[er] is a continent
Tony   Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 06:15 GMT
Is a nice oddity though. I have no idea how native English speakers do it. Its so automatic. How do they know the next word ends in a vowel and include the "r" so effeciently?
Ryan   Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 17:30 GMT
It's the same way that all English speakers say "an apple" instead of "a apple." In our heads we unconsciously figure out that the next word is going to start with a vowel and then make the adjustment linguistically. However, the British "linking r" is probably even tougher than that as there are not any set combinations like "an apple."

Not even every English Briton does this. I read somewhere that people from Newcastle don't do the linking r most of the time.

sara   Tuesday, July 22, 2003, 18:38 GMT
in reply to the minnesotan accent, i used to live in minnesota and when i moved to milwaukee, everyone told me i had an accent. they told me to go watch "Fargo". ?! heh anyway, my stepdad tells me it's norweigan and we tend to say minnesoota (minnesota) and baygel (bagel), and instead of saying 'yeah' we say 'yaa'. i'm assuming there's more but this is all people will tell me.
also, it's a minnesotan thing to say, 'would you like to come with?' instead of 'would you like to come with us to the store?'.
when someone asks how far away something is, we usually reply with a time instead of mileage. ex: "How far away is Wal Mart?" "I dunno, 20 minutes."
maybe it's just me.
Karen   Monday, July 28, 2003, 13:49 GMT
I have sent an email to Ann Cook because I'm interested to enrol telephone / online accent training course. After 3 weeks, still not hearing any news from her! Does she really have an office? Or she is the only one working in the company?
Ashley   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 12:57 GMT
You'll learn how to speak like an american if you practice, a lot of stars change their accents :)