If you look closely at what it is that is different between various accents of English, you'll soon realise that it's mostly the vowels. We are accustomed to vowel variation, as there is so much of it in the English-speaking world. However, if you start messing with the consonants, you're in serious trouble.
So, if you want to make yourself more intelligible, I'd suggest working on how to pronounce your consonants and consonant clusters. If you're Cantonese, don't forget to pronounce those final stops in words like "luck" or "put" (though, to be quite honest, many native speakers of English glottalise their t's).
I am by no means saying that vowels are irrelevant, though.
Re "If you look closely at what it is that is different between various accents of English, you'll soon realise that it's mostly the vowels."
I essentially agree with Ved here. A couple of consonanat variations which do come to mind are the New York r sound as in bawl paw?rhk (Ball park), which is unique to that place, and the nasal n sound found in much of the American South as in mah faem:li aen~ mah s@n~ (My family and my son). Nasal n sounds also exist in French and Portuguese but they are actually different types of nasal n's than the one of American English and written differently in the International Photetic Script.
I don't know much about consonant variation in England although I read once that 'daughter' was pronounced "dofter" in Cornwall or at least as late as the 1950's it still was. I've heard a few Britishers whose r's sound more like l. This may be an emerging linguistic change. For example, I remember a British talk show host in New York in 1974 announcing the name of a Puerto Rican kid on the show whose name was Ricardo but the way he pronounced it sounded like Lih-kawdo to me.
Wow that is quite good western prespective from Ved & Brennus...
<RP sounds gay>
Well this has been doing too many rounds in various threads...
I had to bury 2 good shirts because some of my UK and US returned friends said it is positively Gay!!!
Is this the death of RP then...
But if the whole of europe or atleast if EU & UK is comfortable with RP, I would definitely want to give it a try...
Also unlike native English speakers it aint easy for folks like me to remember to many accents... For eg Gen American & RP
But an important question I have now is are EU & UK folks as comfortable with american accents (not necessarily Gen American)?????
We like WestCoast US accents
Hi European thanks...
More views or votes please :)
So the world is sooner going to accept Gen American (it being neutral to Americans and as well as to those from The Continent)
Americans generally pronounce "sonic" with a flat "a" sound (sAH-nik), although many New Englanders and Westerners pronounce it in the British fashion. while most Americans would be able to understand the British pronunciation fairly well, in some parts of the midwest, the "o" vowel is so flat that the word "block" nearly rhymes with "black."
You have to remember that 'block' and 'sonic' fall
into the category of 'cot' words. It is well
known that the vowel in cot, and in the one in 'caught'
for the few Americans who pronounce them differently,
changes significantly from place to place.
How do Europeans view a northern American (not vowel shifted) accent, like in Minnesota?
They don't know where minnesota is, let alone what someone from there sounds like.
I can tell you that from my perspective you sound like an idiot.
Does this mean that none of you attest to existence of a neutral accent?
Well lot of accent reduction courses are abound in the WEB. Some material as well for example