Do you wish you had a different accent?

Logan   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 11:43 GMT
My perspective of some accents (no offense intended, these are just my own thoughts):

Australian: nasal and twangy
American: nasal with a lot of r's chucked in
Canadian: 'Softer' than the American
RP English: Stuck up.
Yorkshire: I knew some people with this one, I like it.
Scottish: hard to understand but quite cool
Irish: same as scottish
South African: hard to describe, I find it interesting.

French (Strong): Hard to understand.
French (Weak): Quite pleasant to listen to.
Spanish and Italian: See French.
German: Usually easy to understand, can sound weird if too strong.
Russian: Can sometimes sound 'harsh', a little hard to understand.
Polish: A much nicer sounding version of russian.
Dutch: Similar to German, but more gutteral.
Finnish: Sometimes hard to understand.
Swedish: Bork bork bork (sorry couldn't resist, I like this one tho)
Hungarian: Difficult to understand.
Indian: Very difficult to understand.
Chinese/Korean/Japanese: If strong this is very difficult to understand, especially when it comes to 'r'. Otherwise I'm quite use to hearing these accents, ie find them easy to understand.
Kabam   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 11:59 GMT
Thank you Logan. it's always interesting to know how natives find the accents. :)
By the way, I don't see an accent as an illness. The fact is I love to hear English, especially when spoken with a British accent (almost all of them) and that's why I want to get an accent that sounds British.
Kabam   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 12:05 GMT
Thank for this additional information about Canadian spelling, McNight. Didn't see your message before. Sorry.
e.l.   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 15:23 GMT
Speaking Scandinavian is singing a song. Annother american accent is : r r r r r r r r.
Clark   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 18:55 GMT
Kabam, j'écoute maintenant a la première site de web tu as mis, et maintenant la chansseuse est Celine Dion. Et elle chante en anglais. J'écouterai a la site de web prochaine.
Clark   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 18:56 GMT
Ah, ce sont les memes sites de web !
Boy   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 22:23 GMT
Indian: Very difficult to understand.

Thanks for your information.
Allijee   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 22:35 GMT
I'm a native English speaker so here's what I think

R.P accent --- Stuck up, (stereotyped as someone educated)
Scouse (Liverpool) ---- soft Liverpool accent is nice to hear, but a hard liverpool accent is terrible. Americans would mistake this for Irish. Sounds hectic.
Geordie (Newcastle) ----- Sounds like a soft Scottish accent, easier to understand than general Scottish accents. Sounds relaxed.
Yorkshire (Leeds, Sheffield) - clear to understand, sounds friendly.
Mancunian (Manchester) --- similiar to Yorkshire accent, but wierd difference.
Yorkshire (Bradford) - sounds like a Yorkshire accent with a lot of Pakistani influence.
Cornish (Cornwall) ---- similiar words pronounced the same as the Irish and Americans, but sounds piratey.
Cockney ---- Terrible sound to my ears, sound working class.
Brummie ---- Sounds dopey (look at Ozzy Osbourne)

Scottish ---- Rough,
Irish ---- sounds funny, "what do you tink of this filim?".
Welsh - sounds funny too, some sound hectic.
Australian ---- some accents sound similiar to "cockney" of England with a bit of Irish influence and nasal twang.
New Zealand --- sounds similiar to Australian but softer
South African --- doesn't sound like a native English accent, but a foreign one. Sounds very similiar to a Norwegian-English accent.
American ---- Standard American accent sounds robotic. New York accents sounds alright, Southern American sounds pretty cool on women, but dopey on men. (cannot differentiate between others though, sound too far too similiar).
Canadian ---- sounds very similiar to American accent, with a bit of British influence? Softer than American, less robotic.
African ---- African countries that speak English sound cool, like South Africa but different.
Pakistani - hard to understand. sounds funny
Indian - similiar to Pakistani. sounds rushed.
Singapore - sounds similiar to the American accent, but with some words not pronounced right.
Hong Kong - People in Hong Kong seem to be able to do better "British" accents than "American" accents.

Funny thing is that while some accents might be nice to others, to some it sounds terrible. Depends on were that person is from.

Boy   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 22:44 GMT
I had a talk with an American girl, she didn't get my accent. She had a strange look while listening. It was quite embrassing for me. As for her accent, sounds like, having no accent, but simple and clear, just like you pronounce words correctly by learning a pronunciation. She spoke very softly but fluently. By the way, I don't know too much about variety of accents within Americans. Maybe, she had a particular accent.


We all have accents. I appreciate your this thought but this is a fact native speakers have a problem with understanding non-native accents.
If I speak English with my class-mate, he'll understand me correctly, but I'm not so sure about native speakers. That's a worry for me. I want to change my natural accent while speaking English.

My elder brother speaks English very well. He speaks it with a natural accent. He is understood by native speakers. He has a soft and clear voice but this is not the case with me. I have a strong accent or maybe call it a rough voice. I don't have a beautiful voice. Sometimes, my siblings don't get me while speaking my native language. I can't speak words louder and clear. My mouth pronounces them half or just short as you can call it.
Heaven   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 23:57 GMT
Maybe, you need a speechtherapie.
mjd   Friday, June 27, 2003, 00:04 GMT
It's always interesting to me how certain sounds in foreign accents are difficult for us to pronounce, despite the fact that as humans, we all have the same capability of being able to pronounce them.

The 'rr' in some Latin languages is difficult for me to pronounce.
niki   Friday, June 27, 2003, 00:52 GMT
>>>It's always interesting to me how certain sounds in foreign accents are difficult for us to pronounce, despite the fact that as humans, ""we all have the same capability of being able to pronounce them. ""<<<

Yes, we all have the same capability of pronouncing different sounds. But after a certain age, it becomes harder and we lose this capacity little by little. A one year old baby can produce any sound : the French 'R', the English 'R', the Spanish 'R', the 'h', the spanish 'g',..etc. However, by learning his mother tonague this baby loses a little bit of this capacity.
As long as he does not master his mother tonuge (at 3 an average child knows about 900 words. He uses plural and has an idea of the past, present and the future) he can learn 2 or 3 languages without any difficulties and without mixing them.
Of course, many children arrive into a foreign country around 10 and they soon pick up the language and the right accent. But they don't have the ease(at the beginning) of a 2 or 3 year old who grows up speaking 2 or more languages.
I have this experience with French kids of 3 months to 3 years in a private kinder garden. When they have heard English from an early age (around 4-5 months) and have been exposed to Engilsh by listening and singing nursery rhymes, Watching cartoons, games, plays, ...etc, they don't consider English as a foreign language but as a language of fun, playing, chanting, ...etc.
They don't need to know every word of "Paddington" in order to enjoy watching it. They just understand it. They just feel it. They almost never say "I /ad/..." (like their parents) instead of "I /had/...".
Now, try to make a 7 year old French girl who has never watched or heard anything in English to watch "Paddington". The first thing she says is "Mais, je ne comprends rien ! Qu'est-ce qu'il dit ?" meaning "I don't understand anything ! What does he say ?"
The 2 year old never says that. Firstly, he can't formulate this sentence yet. Secondly, he doesn't master his mother tongue. That is to say his brain is still blank and can absorb more than one language easily.
chantal   Friday, June 27, 2003, 00:57 GMT
interesting topic !
That reminds me a book in my local library and turned out to be a very interesting read.
Title : A bilingual child in a monolingual society
Autor : Elizabeth DESHAYS
chantal   Friday, June 27, 2003, 01:03 GMT
>>that reminds me a book I borrowed from my local...........<<
'author' not 'autor'

In French
L'enfant Bilingue
Autor : Elizabeth DESHAYS
Kabam   Friday, June 27, 2003, 01:31 GMT
Clark, oui c'est le site de Radio France. Mais les deux liens mènent à deux radios différentes. Essayent plutôt de les écouter au début de chaque heure comme ça tu devrait tomber sur les informations.

Clark, yes that is Radio France's website. But the two links leads to two different radios. Try to listen them again rather at the begining of each hour. This way you should [come across?] the news.