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  1. #1
    Muz9 is offline Newbie
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    Default What does my accent sound like?

    Hi folks,

    I am just curious whether I have a noticeable accent or not. If so, please tell me where you think I am from. Listen to this small audio clip (only about 30 seconds). It is about a random story which I found online.

    YouTube - My accent

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What does my accent sound like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Muz9 View Post
    Hi folks,

    I am just curious whether I have a noticeable accent or not. If so, please tell me where you think I am from. Listen to this small audio clip (only about 30 seconds). It is about a random story which I found online.

    YouTube - My accent

    Thanks in advance
    It's funny you should choose The Rainbow Passage, as it is designed to test connected speech ability in speakers, including accent. It has almost every sound found in English (the glottal stop and /ʒ/ as in measure are missing) and it contains some rarer features, such as syllabic 'm' in 'prism'. Good choice of passage!

    As for your accent, it sounds like your own accent, and more generally someone from The Netherlands.

    If you wanted us to pin it onto a native accent I would say it is more 'American English' than 'British English' (RP specifically) as a lot of the words you say don't use diphthongs that RP would use. However, this is a very overgeneralised way to describe it.

    Your speech is very intelligable, indeed more so than some native speakers I hear!

  3. #3
    Muz9 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: What does my accent sound like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    It's funny you should choose The Rainbow Passage, as it is designed to test connected speech ability in speakers, including accent. It has almost every sound found in English (the glottal stop and /ʒ/ as in measure are missing) and it contains some rarer features, such as syllabic 'm' in 'prism'. Good choice of passage!

    As for your accent, it sounds like your own accent, and more generally someone from The Netherlands.

    If you wanted us to pin it onto a native accent I would say it is more 'American English' than 'British English' (RP specifically) as a lot of the words you say don't use diphthongs that RP would use. However, this is a very overgeneralised way to describe it.

    Your speech is very intelligable, indeed more so than some native speakers I hear!
    Thanks for the close observation, it will be useful. I think native-like speech is virtually impossible unless you have great mimicking abilities or if you live inside the country where it is spoken for at least a couple of years. The longest period I have ever been in an Anglophone country was only 3 weeks.

    My environment is also not really stimulating me to speak in one kind of dialect of English. In secondary school they taught me British English but I never really been fond of this dialect (it sounds so artificial / unnatural if I try to speak like that) and in the meanwhile I used to watch a lot of American movies and TV series. Most of the people I have had the opportunity to speak English with so far were mostly non-native speakers from all over the world, so now I am kind of stuck with a strange international accent.

  4. #4
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What does my accent sound like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Muz9 View Post
    My environment is also not really stimulating me to speak in one kind of dialect of English. In secondary school they taught me British English but I never really been fond of this dialect (it sounds so artificial / unnatural if I try to speak like that) and in the meanwhile I used to watch a lot of American movies and TV series. Most of the people I have had the opportunity to speak English with so far were mostly non-native speakers from all over the world, so now I am kind of stuck with a strange international accent.
    Well, the number of speakers of English as a second language exceeds the number of native speakers, so the international accent is certainly not strange!

    My personal opinion is that foreigners should speak in their own accent. Trying to mimic an accent would be obvious to someone who spoke that accent, the same way a native British speaker cannot accurately speak with an American accent. As long as there is understanding, communication has been successful, and that is the important thing.

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