Your Accent!

Steve   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 17:11 GMT
Let’s make this thread about English accents! Not just native English accents, by the way, but also accents of people from non English speaking countries. This is an area that fascinates me and I’m sure many of you also find it interesting. I got the idea for this from the Canadian accent thread but I thought it would be a good idea to expand it to all English accents.

So, what kind of accent do you speak with? Do you like your accent? What kinds of accents do you like or dislike?

I myself speak with a Boston accent. The best way to describe this is that it’s an American East Coast accent except the letter “R” is replaced by an “ah” sound. So the word “artist” becomes “ahhtist” and the word “car” becomes “cahh.” Interestingly, an “R” is often added on to the end of words that end in a vowel, so “idea” becomes “idear.”

I like my accent but I will admit it’s a dead giveaway as to where I’m from. While in Nashville, TN once I had a hard time communicating. Once I had to ask for a glass of water three times because the waiter couldn’t understand my pronunciation of water.

Hehe so anyways, what about you? And remember, everyone has an accent!
Smith   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 17:58 GMT
In my American accent ''caught'' and ''cot'' are pronounced the same and so are ''merry'', ''marry'' and ''Mary''. I pronounce ''water'' as ''wahter''.
Words in the Boston accent   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 18:09 GMT
In the boston accent these words are pronounce this way

Damian   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 18:48 GMT
Lowland Scots home: Edinburgh (Scotland) UK
Banimibo-ofori JACK   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 19:26 GMT
Accent, accent accent !is the
word so many learners of English would like to say something about. A good many of them, like me, wishes to improve on the way they pronounce, but are often faced with 'what is the best accent to cultivate?' American and British accent are recommended here, because they are spoken by a wide range of educated people world wide; New Zealand are now adopting the US accent, though we know there are diversities in them like New York accent, LONDON accent, etc. It's up to us , who are learners to choose, and for me I think a scouse will do, regardless that I 'm a Nigeria guy of 26.
Jim   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 23:40 GMT
"American and British accent are recommended here," ... true and false depending on who is is doing the recomending.

"New Zealand are now adopting the US accent," ... I doubt it.

"what is the best accent to cultivate?" ... one's own I suggest. I don't believe in any such thing as "the best accent to cultivate". Learners should strive to make their pronunciation as clear as possible. What they don't need is the so-called "accent reduction" that many schools pretend to offer.

Anyway, I speak with an Australian accent and, yes, I like it. My favourite other accents are those of the British Isles, Africa and Newfoundland.
Jim   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 23:45 GMT
''What they don't need is the so-called "accent reduction" that many schools pretend to offer''

Jim, I don't think they pretend to offer it. Perhaps they don't need it but the schools don't pretend to offer it anymore than they pretend to offer foreign language classes.
Steve   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 23:54 GMT
I like my accent as well. However, you can’t deny that some accents can hurt you in certain situations, such as job interviews. People are often prejudiced against a particular accent because they associate it with certain unfavorable economic or social circumstances.

For those reasons, I’ve trained myself to be able to speak with a General American accent, though I never use it. But I think that at least in America it’s a good thing to have.
VW   Monday, July 12, 2004, 04:05 GMT
It has been pointed out to me (on more than one occasion) that I've got a bit of a Chicago accent (for fellow Chicagoans, I grew up on the south side where it tends to be a bit stronger) so I did a bit of research, thought back to Linguistics 101 and came up with this:

Caught and cot are not pronounced the same.
Merry, Mary, and marry are pronounced the same.
The 'oh' is flattened a bit to sound more like "ah" as in on=ahn, block =blahck, hot=haht. (This is where words are occasionally mistaken for other words if I'm traveling where the 'o' seems to flee in the other direction, I remember trying to buy a pair of socks somewhere once and they were convinced I said 'sacks')
Sometimes I’ll add a soft ‘y’ before an ‘a’ such as snack = snyack (classic Northern Cities Vowel shift stuff) which is apparently amusing to some friends of mine who are not from the area.
Naturally, in formal situations I make an effort to correct some of these things, but when I’m out with some friends casually speaking, I’m thoroughly unconcerned with the fact I apparently have a noticeable accent.
Jim   Monday, July 12, 2004, 05:40 GMT
To the person using the same name as me,

Was that a mistake: your using the same name as me? Or are you a Jim too?

I guess if the school seriously believes that "accent reduction" exists then they're not pretending to offer it. If, on the other hand, they realise that there is no such thing as "accent reduction" then they are prtending.

There is no such thing as accent reduction. Everyone has an accent. It's impossible to speak English without one. All they really offer is accent change.

I wouldn't trust a school which pretends to offer something that they know doesn't exist. I wouldn't trust a school that is too naïve to know that accent reduction doesn't exist.
Damian   Monday, July 12, 2004, 05:51 GMT
At university in Leeds (England) I shared a house with 4 other guys and for the past year one of them was a New Zealander. There is NO trace whatsoever of US in his accent. I have also met two other NZ people in the past 3 years.....again NO trace of US in their accents. In fact, to me they are indistinguishable from OZ accents but they assure me there definitely is a distinction. I need to examine them these differences more closely. I am able to tell the difference between US and Canadian to a certain extent but I have to listen carefully...words like "without" and "shout" are the giveaway.

IAnyway, think it would come as a great surprise to NZ people to be told that they are adopting US style accents. You have to wonder why they would want to do that anyway. The accent they have is really cute to my ears.
mjd   Monday, July 12, 2004, 06:01 GMT
Yeah, they definitely don't sound American in New Zealand.
Damian   Monday, July 12, 2004, 06:22 GMT
My typing is a bit "all to pot" right now ... I just read my last posting :-( Well, it's just gone 7:20 am here and I am only 10% awake really. I really need this mug of coffee! Good morning World!
javier   Monday, July 12, 2004, 09:29 GMT
The truth is that I don't know if my bad pronunciation is because of my accent or because I cannot do the sounds that don't exist in Spanish.

You know, Espanish accent is bery estrange :)

Take care
Juan   Monday, July 12, 2004, 10:11 GMT
<< Espanish accent is bery estrange>>

No, the English accent is very strange. What's up with having no vowels before an s at the beginning of a word. It's unpronounceable. Totally weird.