My new accent sample for Damian

Guest   Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:20 pm GMT
Here's my new accent sample I've promised you:
User   Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:42 pm GMT
Wow, that was *so* much better than the last one. If I didn't know better, you could say that you were from England, and I would believe you. You sound just like a native speaker. Good work!
Liz   Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:03 pm GMT
Thanks. :-))
Is it really so much better than the previous one?

I heard the unnatural intonation on some sentences in my first recording, too. I was trying too hard to pay attention to the right intonation. I wouldn't have thought that my natural intonation sounds more native-like. We, Hungarians, have many problems with the English intonation, anyway.

Now, it's time to use my real username, as you know my nationality. I used the letter "L" because I have already mentioned somewhere that I was Hungarian. I wanted you to guess where I'm from, so I didn't use my name.
Guest   Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:04 am GMT
Great work as a non-native speaker. I daily listen to two teenage British girls doing a show on TV and there is not much difference between yours and their accent. I would like to listen your accent as you are speaking spontaneously rather than reading something.
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:57 pm GMT

I'm acknowledging your post opening up this thread and I'm sorry I cannot link up to your recoring until I get round to sorting out my soud device on this PC. As soon as it's sorted I'll listen to your recording with great interest. I'd love to hear your accent in English. I wonder what British accent you model your speech on? Standard RP? Some British accents are really minging - I would guess you ignore those.

There is a British radio serial (apparently it's the longest surviving radio serial in the world as it's been running for over 56 years! It's "The Archers" on BBC Radio 4, an "everyday story of country folk", to quote the original spiel in the website. Anyway, there is a connection with Hungary because one of the characters from the mythical English village of Ambridge now works in Hungary on a farming project linked to the parent farming family business back in England. She sent a young Hungarian guy over work on a short term project on the family farm outside Ambridge and of course he had this "foreign " accent, naturally. How authentic a Hungarian accent it was I really wouldn't know, but looking at the casting credits the part was played by a guy with a thoroughly English name.

All actors learn to "do foreign accents" as part of their training. American actress Gwyneth Paltrow is well known for her virtually perfect RP English English accent (as well as for upsetting her compatriots with her controversial comments from the safety of her English home with her English husband). It's impossible really to fault her assumed English accent.

A similar accolade can justifiably be awarded to another American actress, Annette Bening. She, too, assumes a nigh on perfect English English RP accent, and when I recently saw the DVD of her in the film "Being Julia" I assumed she was English. It wasn't until I saw the usual assessment of the film on the DVD by all the actors/actresses (including Jeremy Irons) I was gobsmacked to hear her speak in her native American accent.

Similary another actor in the film, Shaun Evans, played the part of a young American guy who has this sort of affair with Julia (played by Annette Bening. Julia was an actress in the film, which was set in London in 1938. Shaun Evans' accent was a very, very authentic sounding American accent so I just assumed he really was a real American. It wasn't until he appeared in the assessment slot that I heard his "real life" accent - unmistakably Welsh, and from North Wales at that.

So we had an American performing in a perfect English accent, and a Welshman performing in a perfect American accent (at least it sounded perfect to me). But we should expecvt nothing less as they are professionals after all.

The film has a Hungarian connection in that the whole drama was the creation of Istvan Szabo. (sorry I can't insert the accent in his name).
same   Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:58 pm GMT
soud device = sound device
Liz   Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:40 pm GMT
What British accent do I model my speech on? That's a good question, and it's quite hard to answer. Of course, Standard RP has some influence on my speech. As a student of EFL, I have to speak a standard variety, and I would get quizzical looks if I started to speak, say, Cockney at the university. :-) But I have spent some time in England at several different places (in the north as well, in Lancashire - Bolton? Adam? :-)) No, near Lancaster and in Manchester as well.), so my accent is not clear RP, I reckon. However, I don't want to sound like those in old black and white films. :-))

I just wanted to ask you, as a Brit, because I don't really know how my accent sounds.

I know the archers but I've never been in the habit of listening to it for some reason. It must be interesting, since it's been running for 56 years. Unbelievable! I haven't seen the Hungarian part, so I can't comment on the guy's accent.

I saw "Being Julia", too, about two years ago. I agree with you - Annette Bening did really well in emulating an RP accent. I knew she was American, so I was really surprised how well she did. But I didn't know that this guy was Welsh. I've never heard him speak with his native accent.

István Szabó (or Szabó István, as he is called here in Hungary) is a very famous, award winning director, so he also raised my interest in the film.
Guest   Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:45 am GMT
Guest   Mon Jan 01, 2007 5:51 pm GMT
Great! sounds like a native speaker.
Damian in Edinburgh   Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:40 pm GMT

I now have a new computer system at home and can use it with more freedom than I can at work, and I'm sorry I haven't asked this before now (been mega busy) but can you download your accent sample again, please, so that I can comment on it?

Liz   Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:33 pm GMT

I have uploaded it for you. I've opened a new thread with the title "Liz - accent sample for Damian".

I'm looking forward to reading your comments.

Liz   Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:35 pm GMT
I give you the link if you don't find it: