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  1. #31
    Eden Darien's Avatar
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    This question is all over the place... quite a paradox, I may say...

    I think it is just a matter of fact that predilections and preferences are inherent here. As for me there's no such thing as better or superior. As long as we can be understood, who cares about which variant ones use :) I do find, Australian accent/English quite intriguing though :)

  2. #32
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    So, when faced with the word "controversy" how do you pronounce it? And "laboratory?" What about "here?" To utter any of these you have to choose British, American or some other variety, quite consciously.

  3. #33
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    So, when faced with the word "controversy" how do you pronounce it? And "laboratory?" What about "here?" To utter any of these you have to choose British, American or some other variety, quite consciously.
    Do you mean that I have to contemplate my pronunciation before uttering anything? I don't. Your examples are very good. Whereas I do pronounce "controversy" always the same way (I believe), I know I stress different syllables in "laboratory" on different occasions. I don't know exactly on what it depends in my speech...

    Same with "here". While I think I always pronounce it as a two-syllable word (which I believe is the British way), I sometimes pronounce it in a rhotic way and sometimes in a non-rhotic way. Just whichever comes out.

    I think it does depend partly on where I am and to whom I'm speaking. But only partly.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Let's see..

    UK /ləˈbɔrətri VS US ˈlębrətɔːri/

    UK /ˈkɔntrəvəːsi/kənˈtrɔvəsi VS US ˈkɑːntrəvəːrsi/

    I can't see much difference there except for the vowels and the stress. The consonants are still the same...

    I know there are some big differences between both variants, but I do believe if you are 'tolerant' enough whilst speaking to others who came from a different corner of the world, everything shall be fine...

  5. #35
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Okay, I've just never met any advanced language learner who didn't come to feel it was time to choose a distinct set of norms.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Okay, I've just never met any advanced language learner who didn't come to feel it was time to choose a distinct set of norms.
    I don't know if I can consider myself as an advanced learner since sometimes I do make ludicrous mistakes. (especially the singular and plural stuff that give me headache all the time eg: the staff is nice VS the staff are nice yada yada)

    But I've been starting to sort things out and stick with only BRe (fundamental linguistics items eg: grammar and vocabulary) since 2 years ago. But I don't mind listening to different kinds of accents.

    Sometimes I do try my best to sound British (imitating not mocking). And it sounds quite convincing as I heard from others. Having said that, I can't wait to go to the UK to practise the 'authentic accent'. Perhaps I am an Anglophile in this sense... but it doesn't mean I am bias it is just a matter of predilection..

  7. #37
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    I have a Swedish friend who speaks more or less RP English. Once, at lunch, he said

    "You're pulling my leg, I reckon." The last two words were pronounced somewhat like a Texan would say it.

    He immediately laughed at himself and rephrased, feeling he had mixed his Chardonnay with his Carmenčre.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Okay, I've just never met any advanced language learner who didn't come to feel it was time to choose a distinct set of norms.
    What a blissfully sheltered life you lead.

  9. #39
    DRThomas is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    It is common for native speakers to misunderstand one another. In high school, for example, I met a Scot. He and his brother had lost their Edinburgh accent in Canada. However, they had to repeat to me what their parents said. I simply could not understand them for the first four or five years they lived in the States. Their parents understood me well because of their exposure to American accents in films. An English friend (Lancashire) said that in his travels in the UK he would have problems understanding various accents. He, his wife (also from Lancashire) had no trouble with our accents, but I did find it difficult at times to understand their teen sons.

    On the other hand, have you noticed that non-native speakers often understand one another than native speakers understand them? I remember overhearing some Korean EFL teachers talk about beavers. Beavers? What does a beaver have to do with an English class? Eventually, I realized they were talking about "be verbs".

    What is an English accent? What is an American accent? There are English acccents and there are American accents. To say one is better than another is a bit provincial. This business of "My English is purer than yours" or "My English is better than yours" gets tiring.

    I live in Costa Rica, a Spanish-speaking country. The same argument is heard in Latin America but with the exception that it is about Spanish. "The Spanish of Country-X is closer to that of Spain than Country-Y." Give me a break. In Brazil, one region makes fun of the accents and regionalisms of other regions. I don't recall hearing anyone compare his brand of Portuguese with that of Portugal. (Yes, many Brazilians have trouble understanding the Portuguese accent.) The grammars and pronunciations are so different that a comparison would be most difficult.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: American or British accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    What a blissfully sheltered life you lead.
    Wow, normally it takes psychics and magicians at least 15 more minutes to determine what kind of life I lead. I'm impressed.

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