Accent samples - Guofei Ma

Tom   Tuesday, August 12, 2003, 23:26 GMT
Here's Guofei Ma's sample:

Even though I had read the transcript, I couldn't understand the words between "dressed" and "party".
Tom   Tuesday, August 12, 2003, 23:28 GMT
Also, your "then" sounds a bit like "den".
Guofei Ma   Tuesday, August 12, 2003, 23:44 GMT
Sorry about the unclear reading of "dressed myself for the dinner party". I felt like sneezing when I was reading those words.
Guofei Ma   Tuesday, August 12, 2003, 23:45 GMT
Tom, thank you very much for uploading the file. I hope we don't take up too much of your disk space.
mjd   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 00:25 GMT
Guofei Ma,

I can definitely hear the British influence over your accent. Your "then" does sound a bit like "den." This is typical of many Asian accents.
Guofei Ma   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 01:23 GMT
Hello, mjd. I suppose I should move my tongue closer to my teeth the next time I say "then". As you noticed, my accent is a combination of British and Asian. Don't you think it is quite a considerable achievement to have held off all American influences after living in the United States for four years?
Guofei Ma   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 01:29 GMT
Mjd and Tom, I forgot to thank you for telling me about my improper pronunciation of the "th" in "then". It's quite odd that no one ever told me about this and the fact that English is my mother-tongue makes this seem even more odd.

I am currently working to remove all Asian characteristics in my English pronunciation and to preserve the British influence, though I have no intention of picking up an American accent because I pride myself in being a citizen of the island-nation off the western coast of Europe.
wingyellow   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 02:06 GMT
Guofei Ma,

I did not realize that you are a girl. I love your accent. It is very good and sounds like coming from a very educated person. And I have no problem at all with the "" part. How did you obtain such an accent?


Sometimes, I just wonder why you can speak like a native speaker but not hear like one. A normal american has to listen to many accents, especially black accent, which is quite different from dictionary.
wingyellow   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 02:28 GMT
It is clearly "dressed myself for the dinner party". How did you learn a British accent in HK?
Ryan   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 04:06 GMT
That was definitely a British RP accent. I would not have been able to tell that you had an Asian influence to your speech except for your pronunciation of the 'th' sound as 'd,' as Tom stated.

I could understand your accent clearly, but that's only because I'm quite familiar with British accents even though I'm American. People who are only familiar with American accents probably would not be able to understand it as well.

Guofei Ma   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 18:06 GMT
Wingyellow, I thank you very much for your comments. I went to an ESF (English Schools Foundation) school in HK and picked up the British accent from my teachers and some of my classmates. I also listened to BBC News on the Internet or Radio almost every day.

By the way, you are seriously mistaken. I am a boy but I am 13 years old (actually, almost 14) and my voice has not changed yet. As for online privacy and all the other under-13-child-protection rules that are enforced online, you don't need to worry about me because Guofei Ma is actually an alias, not my real name.
Guofei Ma   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 18:12 GMT
Rest assured about my online safety despite my age. I am very, very, conservative and my parents know about my assumed alias. Moreover, I don't participate in any online forums or discussions except this one, in which I am interested because of its interesting discussions concerning the English langauge.
wingyellow   Wednesday, August 13, 2003, 22:53 GMT
Well, but you sounded like a thirty year old female English teacher to me. It was not like a kid. Though when you change sound, you will speak like Hugh Grant. I have a classic audio book. Whenever the character of an old noble woman speaks, the reader shifts to this accent.

Yes, your accent is more like Hugh Grant than RP. RP is kind of dictionary pronunciation. And yours sounds like more educated. No wonder you strive to keep it. I would do so if I were to have such an accent.
Richard Li   Thursday, August 14, 2003, 00:39 GMT
Who's Hugh Grant?
Guofei Ma   Thursday, August 14, 2003, 01:04 GMT
Good morning, Wingyellow (evening for me):

Thank you for all the compliments. I don't think my accent sounds half as noble or educated as you make it out to be. By the by, do you think your own accent is more British or American?