Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 43
  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,310
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by philadelphia View Post
    A neutral accent would be quite useful, but is IndE a neutral accent? I do not think so.
    I agree with 2010 that there's no homogenized single Indian accent, but equally British English has very marked regional variations, so we're lumping things together for convenience.

    However, if Indian speakers are working on accent, then it makes more sense to me to head towards the non-regional flavourlessness of international English, to head for forms as widely comprehensible as possible to both native and non-native speakers, which is a better reflection of the state of the language today. In the OP, TheParser quotes someone with what I see as an old-fashioned and proprietorial attitude towards the language. The correct way to speak it is to do so in such a way that your audience understands you- the audience of today is incredibly international and getting more so by the day. I'd work on that.

  2. #12
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Again, I must emphasize the importance of Indians learning the proper cadence and emphasis of either British or American English. It's become something of a problem here in the US for medical transcriptionists trying to understand the dictation of India-born doctors. It's not a matter of accent, but of pronunciation. My Dad's primary physician was born and educated in India, and is a wonderful, knowledgable and compassionate man. But my both my Mom and Dad have difficulty understanding him when he speaks, and I usually have to accompany them to their appointments. I've found that I am able to understand him in person, with the help of reading his lips and facial expressions. However, when I speak to him on the telephone I have to ask him to repeat himself many times before I can understand what he is saying. It is not necessarily due to any accent, but mainly due to him emphasizing the wrong syllables in words. In addition he has the stereotypical sing-song speech pattern where one word at the end of a sentence blends into the word beginning the next sentence, and the vocal inflection does not indicate where one statement ends and the next begins.

  3. #13
    2010's Avatar
    2010 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    373
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    I agree with you Quisch that this doctor has MTI (mother tounge influence), which is affecting his speech pattern. It would be great if the Indian schools and colleges looks into how to train students on speaking BrE or AmE accent or at least neutral accent with proper pronunication. Understanding and applying the right syllable stress is a problem here in India. Unfortunately, this is going to take ages to change.

    I will attach my own audio file spoken in neutral accent here. Let me know if that sounds clear and understandable. May be then we can figure out the difference between neutral accent and the one spoken by Indians in common.
    Last edited by 2010; 06-Aug-2010 at 23:00. Reason: Additional info

  4. #14
    meobeo is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    51
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    I think both accents have their own beauty. I love British accent (BBC accent in particular) as it sounds so refined and noble. Unfortunately, many English leaners in my country fail to see that, that's why American accent is all the rage there. I also like American accent because of its universality. It's spoken by all kinds of people: whites, Asians, black, Latino,...I think whichever accent you speak should be fine as long as you can make yourself understood.

  5. #15
    2010's Avatar
    2010 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    373
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2010 View Post
    I agree with you Quisch that this doctor has MTI (mother tounge influence), which is affecting his speech pattern. It would be great if the Indian schools and colleges looks into how to train students on speaking BrE or AmE accent or at least neutral accent with proper pronunication. Understanding and applying the right syllable stress is a problem here in India. Unfortunately, this is going to take ages to change.

    I will attach my own audio file spoken in neutral accent here. Let me know if that sounds clear and understandable. May be then we can figure out the difference between neutral accent and the one spoken by Indians in common.
    attached audio file.
    If it doesn't play, convert it to "flv" format if you have vlc media player.
    Example: my audio.flv
    Please post your comments and feedback. Thank you.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by 2010; 08-Aug-2010 at 17:15. Reason: additional info

  6. #16
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,804
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Again, I must emphasize the importance of Indians learning the proper cadence and emphasis of either British or American English. It's become something of a problem here in the US for medical transcriptionists trying to understand the dictation of India-born doctors. It's not a matter of accent, but of pronunciation. My Dad's primary physician was born and educated in India, and is a wonderful, knowledgable and compassionate man. But my both my Mom and Dad have difficulty understanding him when he speaks, and I usually have to accompany them to their appointments. I've found that I am able to understand him in person, with the help of reading his lips and facial expressions. However, when I speak to him on the telephone I have to ask him to repeat himself many times before I can understand what he is saying. It is not necessarily due to any accent, but mainly due to him emphasizing the wrong syllables in words. In addition he has the stereotypical sing-song speech pattern where one word at the end of a sentence blends into the word beginning the next sentence, and the vocal inflection does not indicate where one statement ends and the next begins.
    I would agree if you mean migrants to the US. But India as a whole has no duty or obligation either to American or British people or their language, I feel sure.

  7. #17
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I would agree if you mean migrants to the US. But India as a whole has no duty or obligation either to American or British people or their language, I feel sure.
    India as a country has no obligation to the American or British people, but the original question was asking about which accent to use when speaking English. Tone, pronunciation and cadence have as much to do with the English language as they do in Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish, etc. People in France quite often openly mock non-native speakers who pronounce words incorrectly or who put emphasis on the wrong syllables when attempting to speak French. Every language has its own rhythm, vowel pronunciations, etc. It has nothing to do with allegiance to one nation or another; the main objective in speaking any language is to be understood.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post

    How would you advise a learner who asked:

    Should I try to speak (and spell) like an American or like a

    British person?
    I would definitely say: "Learn to speak the one that's closer to your heart and abilities".

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    In my opinion, British English sounds like a language from medieval times, spoken by witches, people living in castles, like Harry Potter era and so on. American English sounds more natural to me even though many people there go to other extremeness.

  10. #20
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Salieri_Bar View Post
    In my opinion, British English sounds like a language from medieval times, spoken by witches, people living in castles, like Harry Potter era and so on. American English sounds more natural to me even though many people there go to other extremeness.
    It's very interesting to get opinions on topics like this from people around the world. In the UK there are many different British accents, and people are often "classifed" by their accent ("Oh, he has a Scouse accent, he's low-class"), but most people in the US find any sort of British accent to be impressive and immediately think that the speaker is very proper and cultured.

Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. British English or American accent?
    By Anonymous in forum Frequently Asked Questions
    Replies: 230
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2010, 04:00
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Dec-2009, 23:50
  3. [General] outstanding British accent and US accent, where are they from
    By legionalways in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Apr-2009, 10:45
  4. British vs American English in their accent
    By belly_ttt in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 15-Feb-2008, 05:48
  5. Difference between American and British accent
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Dec-2007, 19:23

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •