Do you think it is a good idea to learn english with Matt Groenin

Andrés   Thursday, July 29, 2004, 00:00 GMT
i.e. The Simpsons and Futurama.

I mean the 'simpson's family' or 'fry and leela', because I know that some of the characters on this shows have regional accents...

Homer has a dumb accent, doesn't it?
santiago   Thursday, July 29, 2004, 00:04 GMT
The subject is 'Do you think it is a good idea to learn english with Matt Groening?'

But the subject field has a limit.
CalifJim   Thursday, July 29, 2004, 05:43 GMT
<<Homer has a dumb accent, doesn't it?>>

Friendly reminder: "it" can only refer to things, not people. You mean "Homer has a dumb accent, doesn't he?".

Watching television and listening to radio are excellent ways to learn a language, but don't neglect to do a lot of reading, too.
Andrés   Thursday, July 29, 2004, 18:08 GMT
>> Friendly reminder: "it"...
Yep, I know... Sorry, it was a typo.

I'm talking about pronunciation. Are these shows a good model to imitate?
canaws   Thursday, July 29, 2004, 18:26 GMT
Homer is dumb, he is accent is okay.

As far as I remember most of the characters have a pretty standard pronounciation of English (with the exception of Apu, Fat Tony, Moe, Willie, and maybe a few other side characters), but then again I haven't seen the show in a while.
Your name   Thursday, July 29, 2004, 22:18 GMT
Homer's accent is oke, but his diction is weird.
Your name:   Thursday, July 29, 2004, 22:21 GMT
Ben   Friday, July 30, 2004, 13:44 GMT
Lisa and Bart speak with very standard American accents, as do Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers and Mrs. Krabapple. I'm sure there are others that I'm not remembering, but those are the characters the are featured the most who speak General American.

Homer and Marge speak GenAm, but their personal speech patterns are so weird that I wouldn't use them as models.

Moe the Bartender, Lenny and Carl (Homer's coworkers), Mayor Quimby and a number of other characters on the show speak with strong Northeastern accents. Actually, the number of characters who have East Coast accents has made some suspect that that's where the show is set, but it's partially.

You seem perceptive, though, Andres, in that you identified which characters on both shows have the most standard American accents.
Ryan   Friday, July 30, 2004, 23:27 GMT
Marge and Homer actually have kind of "rust-belt" blue collar accents. Marge especially sounds like she's from Michigan, where I'm from originally. Homer has kind of a stupid version of a typical "factory worker" accent as well. On the other hand, the "Great Lakes" accent isn't really that much of a non-standard accent as some. I wouldn't know exactly where the best American English is spoken. California, not Chicago and the rest of the north, seems to be becoming the new standard, though.
Andrés   Friday, July 30, 2004, 23:32 GMT
>> "rust-belt" blue collar aceents.
?????? What?
Dulcinea del Toboso   Saturday, July 31, 2004, 00:45 GMT
Rust belt = the region around the Great Lakes that is known for factories and heavy industry (in the book _The Nine Nations of North America_, this region was called The Foundary). Typically, the states in this region are Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and probably parts of other neighboring states.

Blue collar = factory worker or someone who performs manual labor, as opposed to "white collar" office workers

So "rust-belt blue-collar accent" refers to the accent of a laborer from that region of the U.S.
Andrés   Saturday, July 31, 2004, 04:49 GMT
So The Simpsons are 'el proletariado'...
Someone   Saturday, July 31, 2004, 08:40 GMT
The accents on the Simspons all sound weird to me. I think the accents on Futurama are much better.
Ben   Saturday, July 31, 2004, 15:48 GMT
Dan Castanaletta (Homer) actually is from the Rust Belt--he grew up near Chicago, which is part of the same "Great Lakes" dialect group. Julie Kavner (Marge) is from Los Angeles, but I believe her parents were from the New York City area, thus giving her a slightly New York-y accent.

The rust belt accent has a more scientific name--the Northern City Vowels shift. What this means is that in that region the vowels all tend to be flattened slightly more than in a standard American accent. Hence the notorious pronunciation of the word "cot," which always sounds like "cat."
Andrés   Saturday, July 31, 2004, 17:44 GMT
IMO Leela and Fry are OK, Bender and Farnsworth I don't know... maybe.
But Zoiberg and the others.... I don't think so.