Is this American accent???

Native Korean   Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:45 am GMT
I grew up in Seoul, Korea and I've never been to USA in my whole life.
But I often get this comment when I speak English :
"You speak like American. How come you have such a strong American accent?"

So I uploaded my '90-second voice file' on my blog.
Would you listen to it and identify my accent whether it's American accent?
If it is, is my accent close to Californian accent or Midwestern accent or somewhere else?

go to this website:

and just click "american_accent-majestaz.mp3 " then "O"pen it.
Josh Lalonde   Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:07 am GMT
Congratulations, your accent is excellent. How long have you been speaking English? My impression of your accent is that it is closest to Californian English. The last vowel in 'rainbow' is very fronted for you and is a diphthong: [r\enb@U]. I mean by this that your 'o' sounds almost like 'eu' to other North Americans, but I believe this is a feature of Californian English. A couple notes: while your pronunciation overall is near-native, your intonation is a little bit 'off' to my ears. I'm sorry I can't be more specific. Second, there were a few grammatical 'giveaways' that told me right away that you were a non-native speaker. You were perfectly understandable, but if you want to sound like a native, there are a few grammar areas that you will need to work on. If you read through the text and follow your recording, you will see that you dropped a few words; mostly 'the'. I must emphasize again that your English is excellent. Keep up the good work!
Guest   Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:51 am GMT
I'm a Californian and that pronunciation of "rainbow" doesn't sound like the California pronunciation to me... It sounds like how a British person would say it.
Ok   Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:25 am GMT
Both vowels in his pronunciation of "rainbow" sound like diphthongs and overall he sounds American.

Just my 2 worth.
Native Korean   Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:51 am GMT
How about other words?

Do I sound more like Californian or Midwestern guy?
Marc   Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:03 am GMT
to: Native Korean

Excellent accent. Keep up the good work.
Guest   Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:35 am GMT
Dont completely reduce your natural accent otherwise that would put you at a disadvantage. Most people will take you as an American and you know once fanatics know that you are an American they will cut your throat off right away. I mean there would be some hope for you to survive if you showed to them that you are not an American accentwise.
Uriel   Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:41 am GMT
FYI: You don't usually cut somebody's throat "off", since the throat is the front of the neck and to "cut off" something is to remove it entirely. That's an unusual visual!

Throats are generally just cut or slit.
Guest   Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:07 am GMT
Beheading is a better word describe it,imho.
Skippy   Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:58 am GMT
the "rainbow" pronunciation is similar to John Edwards' (North Carolina) but for the most part, it doesn't sound like California to me... You've got a few pronunciations (like 'either' which i pronounce w/ the 'ee' as in 'sheep' but you say it like the 'ie' in 'die') that aren't very Californian... I'd say a rhotic East Coast accent (like middle class Maryland or Delaware)... I dunno. I tried.
Andy   Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:01 pm GMT
Don't you just love these freaky Guests who drop in to share their wisdom with us?. BTW, the "rainbow" bit doesn't sound like any Brit I know.

Guest   Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:19 pm GMT
How do you brits say it? The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary says that it's /r\eInb@U/, which is close to how he pronounced it. I guess you know better than the Oxford dictionary.
Native Korean   Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:12 am GMT
hmmm... so i have british 'rainbow' and the rest of my accent is close to somewhere else in the US?
Murph   Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:03 am GMT
Pretty good accent (or lack of it), I`d say your accent is "average"; the type of accent most likely to be heard on TV or radio here in the U.S.
Your pronunciation of rainbow doesn`t sound like a native speaker, whether British, American, or otherwise. You also need to practice your vowels a bit more, especially the "lax i", & some minor grammar improvements are needed (like mentioned elsewhere). You`re doing well, though.
superdavid   Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:24 am GMT
does anyone detect canadian accent from the voice file?

canadians usually say 'Ai-ther' instead of saying 'Ee-ther'