Native speakers, How can I get an American accent?

Keith   Sunday, March 28, 2004, 09:43 GMT
There are a great many different accents in America. The basic American accent, like people have said before, is basically midwestern. However, those of us who are from different parts of the country definitely speak differently.

I'm from Atlanta, while my parents are from different parts of Georgia. My father has a different accent from my mother, and I picked up (somehow) a slightly different accent while growing up.

In the south, at least in Georgia, there are a few different accents. You've got the low country accent, which is the classic, genteel southern aristocratic sound. There's also the mountain accent, which is MUCH softer and more reminiscent of various British accents, but it's definitely not the Queen's English. There's also a lower-class accent that folks around here call "redneck" or "hick" which is pretty close to what I wound up speaking. And then, there's the Governor accent, which I honestly don't think that anyone learns natively, but every prominent state politician speaks in to sound more "authentically" native.

I don't recommend learning any southern American accent (With the possible exception of the low country tone) as a primary mode of speaking in the US. It's very much looked down upon. People consider southern speakers as automatically stupid and backwards, which is often far from the truth. (Most of the classic literary authors in America are southern. Hemmingway, Faulkner, O'Connor, Conroy, Twain and more.)

In high school, I learned to speak more like the man on the 6 o'clock news. (The national news, meaning Tom Brokaw or Peter Jennings, who speak with a perfectly coached midwestern accent.)
David   Sunday, March 28, 2004, 20:36 GMT
I'm an American and I say that I'm half-Jamaican and proud of it.
Carl   Sunday, March 28, 2004, 20:39 GMT
I'm an American and I say that I want to be European.
Po'd   Monday, March 29, 2004, 15:31 GMT
Your question should not be "how" but "why"...
Hi David   Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 09:52 GMT
i have been in Amsterdam many times, and what i prefered was the jamaican GRASS!!!
Marie   Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 14:18 GMT
Carl, why would you want to be a European?
Cassie   Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 10:37 GMT
American girl wrote:

"Whats wrong with an American accent?Why is the whole world so against Americans?I'm an American and proud of it whoever doesn't like that can go straight to hell."

Erm, this is just a guess, but it might have to do with the fact thacha'll keep tellin' people to "go straight to hell"?
melon   Thursday, April 01, 2004, 08:31 GMT
What are other ways to improve my non-American accent? Should I work in a grocery or chat everyday with my friends? We moved here in Sacramento 8 years ago. e-mail me for effective tips, thanks <>