Native speakers, How can I get an American accent?

april   Monday, January 26, 2004, 20:20 GMT
i live in america, east coast, there are many different accents here, it just makes people unique. eventually if you lived here you would pick up a form of an accent though.
Ci   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 14:48 GMT
You shouldn't care about having an American accent. Pay attention to accuracy, fluency, grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary but having your original accent that is quite charming. Studies show that people who has changed their accent can even have psychological problems as not knowing who they are. Be proud of your good English pronounced with your country's accent as I do with my Brazilian one!
Antonio   Friday, January 30, 2004, 13:39 GMT
Just try to imitate any actor or actress you know, pick up their accents, it's no big deal.
Marcus   Tuesday, February 03, 2004, 19:40 GMT
Actually it's impossible t pick up an accent even more if you are an adult just try to improve your english pronunciation and intonation
Tremmert   Tuesday, February 03, 2004, 20:16 GMT
I think with training you can imitate any accent, although it may never seem as natural as your 'natural' one.
Lavoisel   Tuesday, February 03, 2004, 20:52 GMT
Marcus, if you can't pick up an accent, why is it Tom managed to pick one?
silver   Thursday, February 05, 2004, 08:19 GMT
If it pays, more speak american........ MONEY TALKS
CREAM   Thursday, February 05, 2004, 08:21 GMT
Irish sounds lush
frecnh man   Thursday, February 05, 2004, 08:38 GMT
the most important is to be understandable
Khatiya   Friday, February 06, 2004, 02:35 GMT
I live in New York, in Brooklyn, where everyone is expected to sound like this:

"Oiy wen tchoo da stou datday an bought sum beahs" Translation: I went to the store today and bought some beers.

I guess it does kind of sound like you have a hamburger in your mouth doesn't it? I like the British accent because of the words they use. Alot of americans know those words but dont use them. For example, take the word "clever". 99% of americans know it, but 90% of them don't use it that often, or only use it in extremly formal situations. However, I like the way this word just seems to roll off the British tongue.
to Khatiya   Friday, February 06, 2004, 04:51 GMT
"I like the British accent because..."

Uh-oh! I can see it coming now. Brace yourself.
Alex_2   Sunday, February 08, 2004, 00:53 GMT
Hi, I have read all the postings throughout the thread. First, I have to state that I should mark myself as Alex_2, having seen an Alex' posting before though I wrote some postings and signed them merely as Alex.

I find marvellous the idea that a perfect English with a marked accent would be much better than a certain marked accent with an unsufficient English. Right. As a European, I never would like to acquire an American accent in order to preserve the European identity, and then, I do not find them 'pretty' enough, sounding too strange to the European ear. None of you called it by its proper (scientific) name: Twang. Maybe, that's the thing you called "thick accent". Third, anyone should be as he or she is but not as he/she would, that's fair. Fourth, a foreigner must have an accent that would mark him or her "positively" while speaking to native speakers. I hope that my general profile would be positive enough in this way.

As for books on accents, may I recommend a book by Professor John Honey 'Does Accent matter? -The Pygmalion Factor', 214 pages, reprinted many times in Britain. Expectedly, the same accents may be of different value in Britain and/or the States. In Britain, however, G.B. Shaw wrote in 1912: "It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making another Englishman hate or despise him". But it is not the reason to abstain from learning the "General British" right due to the reason that "the European cultural influence in the world were nil", thanks to Lord.

Thank you very much indeed to some speakers for very valuable ideas.
CEYEA   Sunday, February 08, 2004, 06:40 GMT
Play a recording of an American movie star that you like. Then record yourself saying the exact same thing. Note the differences then do it again and again until there are no differences. Then use a new recording until you are comfortable with any combination of words. Talk that way day and night until you drive all your friends and family crazy. Keep going until you get it right. Hang out with people who are native speakers of the accent you want to have. Tell them your goal and ask them to correct you and help you refine your speaking..
Alice   Sunday, February 08, 2004, 16:16 GMT
Americans do use the word "twang", it's used to describe the nasal sound found in some accents. It's a sound often associated with the vocals in country/western music, and it's dislaked by many. The president speaks with a "twang-ish" accent, and it's often mocked.
Alex_2   Sunday, February 08, 2004, 16:35 GMT
I meant "General British" = the BBC English. However, they claim in phonetic text books that "at present there is no General American" [= obsolete], but I think in this case there would be no communication possible. So, one must have something of common sense to follow all the pieces of advice received, anyway.