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  1. #1
    poley is offline Newbie
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    Default Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    I am slightly interested about my accent, considering my rather unique cultural upbringing (however, English is my first and only language). I am 16 years of age. I would be most grateful if anyone could help me identify with what accent I speak.

    You can hear me reciting a few sentences I made up that seemed to showcase most features of an English accent. If you have anything that would be better to read, I'd be happy to redo it.

    In addition, if anyone has any tips for making myself speak more clearly, they would be very much appreciated. (The audio file does seem to playback a little faster and more rushed than I usually speak, though.)

    cubescape.110mb.com/accent.wav

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    It's better just to speak rather than to read or recite something; when reading or reciting, intonation can often become a bit unnatural. It sounded more British than American to me.

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    Poley, could you give a transcript? I couldn't understand the sample in several places.

  4. #4
    JeffM is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    Your accent is more British. I work only with helping people attain a more American accent.
    Features of the British accent in yours:

    You use a crisp T in water. Americans use a flap T (wader)

    Your vowel sound in Thank you. Americans have more of a back a

    I would guess that you are from a place with British colonial roots, perhaps an obscure place like an Island in the Caribbean. Most of the people I have worked with who have features of a British accent have come from Hong Kong, India, South Africa, and Cameroon. Your accent is not similar to any of those.

  5. #5
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    To me it sounds like your accent is from Hong Kong.

  6. #6
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    SanMar is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    That is a difficult accent to pin-point. Did you move around a lot, or grow up in two different English speaking countries, perhaps you have a bit of a "merged accent". Generally one accent will eventually dominate though.

    I agree with the person that suggested a transcript, that would definitely help!

    This would make for a fun game: Guess my accent!

  7. #7
    poley is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    Thank you very much for your helpful replies. I apologize for being so late in my reply.

    As requested, the transcript is:
    Thank you for listening to this sample of my voice. I'm trying to identify my accent. Here's a few phrases. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. I remembered to bring my coat. He will never meet me at the last department store. I'd like a drink of water. I can't buy any government bonds. This is my favorite blue pen. Thank you.

    However, I'm not sure that this recording is very faithful to my accent. Tdol is exactly right. Do you have any suggestions as to how to "just speak"? Once I know what I should be doing, I'll upload a new sample.

    Actually, I've lived in Texas, USA for my entire life. The circumstances that created this accent, as far as I can tell, are:

    • both parents are immigrants from England
    • I have a twin brother, and most of my speech in my youth was with him

    My own observations seem to support the idea that this is some sort of merged or hybrid accent, as many of you suggested. Personally, I don't mind that at all, but many people don't seem to understand what I'm saying. Might that be because my accent is so unique? Do you have any tips for speaking either more clearly or more completely British? (I don't want to be repeating myself in things like job and university interviews!) Of course, your opinions and suggestions might change once you hear an improved sample.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    Do you have any suggestions as to how to "just speak"?
    Why not record yourself telling us about your language background- don't prepare or write anything, just tell us.

  9. #9
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    Thank you for the transcript. I'm one of those people who find it difficult to understand what you're saying (I'm saying this basing on this one sample). I think the way you speak is very unique--I've never heard a speaker of English (native or non-native) with such an accent.

    You seem to devoice some voiced consonants: phrases (they're z's in most speakers, especially the first one is voiced), blue pen (I hear "poo-pen").

    Do you have trouble pronouncing the [v] sound? You pronounce it more or less like most speakers do in "never" and in "favorite", but it's different in "government". Do you have any idea why? I wonder if you're not doing the bilabial fricative. (This could be the Asian thing probus is talking about.) Do you touch your upper lip with you teeth when you're uttering the sound? Or do you just use your both lips?

    I'm not a native speaker of English. I found your speech very difficult to understand and I don't think I would be able to do it without the transcript. I tried to count words I couldn't understand and there were at least 14 of them, but I counted after seeing the transcript and getting full understanding, so these are just those I was sure about.
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 25-Feb-2011 at 20:28.

  10. #10
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Greetings! Could anyone help me identify my accent?

    I hear an Asian/British accent.

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