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  1. #1
    Over the top's Avatar
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    American people voices

    Why do American people voices sound very similar?
    I can't distinguish men who have the same quality of voice e.g. broadcasters and voices of women who are the same age. They all sound the same to me. I can only distinguish very recognizable voices e.g. black men voices.

  2. #2
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    Re: American people voices

    Because every one speaks in the same accent, at least what appears same to us

  3. #3
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    Re: American people voices

    Quote Originally Posted by Huda-M View Post
    Because every one speaks in the same accent, at least what appears same to us
    I can hear if someone is from New York or from the deep south. However, generally speaking, AmE is much more monotonous than BrE in my opinion.

  4. #4
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    Re: American people voices

    There are huge variations in American accents. If you're from here, you can tell Maine from Boston, which will sound alike to many people. It sounds nothing like the South, which has variations depending on whether you're in Georgia or Texas or Kentucky. There is a quirky Baltimore accent, and the accent made known to all of us as through the movie Fargo.
    Now, granted, I cannot tell the difference between someone from the south of Italy and the north of Italy when they are speaking Italian, so I wouldn't be surprised you can't tell the difference, but the variations in American accents are huge!
    Last edited by Barb_D; 08-Jul-2012 at 03:15. Reason: Major typo fix
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
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    Re: American people voices

    I was amazed when I read the first three posts in this thread. I am far from an expert on American dialects, so I cannot tell which parts of the USA people come from, but I can hear a very wide variety of accents. I can understand some as easily as I understand someone from my own town in England; I find others are almost incomprehensible. Some sound pleasant to me, some grate horribly. Some Americans speak in more of a monotone than some Brits, but the reverse is also true.

  6. #6
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    Re: American people voices

    I don't deny that there is a huge variety of American accent, it's just that I was under the impression that most American accents were more monotonous than British accents, although I was listening to an Englishman yestereday, and he sounded also very monotonous so I guess the reverse is true as well. In fact, it wasn't even a valid point to begin with.

    But yes, the variety is huge, and the more I listen to American speech, the better I am able to recognise where someone is from. For example, I can recognise a New York accent if I hear someone speak like Woody Allen or George Costanza (the character from Seinfeld), although I'm not sure if that's a typical New York accent or not because I've heard different people from New York who sound completely different.
    I can also spot the Boston accent, which has a very typical -art sound, in words such as smart, party. I don't know when I was first exposed to this accent, but a couple of years I ago I saw a movie called The Town, in which the actors speak with a Boston accent.
    Barb_D mentioned Fargo. I saw this movie a long time ago and I don't remember the accents very vividly, but since then, I have learnt that Minesotans have a very characteristic "o".
    I have only scratched the surface, but these are examples of movies Huda-M and Over the Top can see to really hear how one American accent is different from the other.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 08-Jul-2012 at 09:54.

  7. #7
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    Re: American people voices

    I have read in a number of books that Britain has more marked regional varieties than American, but that doesn't stop the US from having plenty. We may have more "stronger" dialects.

  8. #8
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    Re: American people voices

    Quote Originally Posted by Over the top View Post
    Why do American people voices sound very similar?
    I can't distinguish men who have the same quality of voice e.g. broadcasters and voices of women who are the same age. They all sound the same to me. I can only distinguish very recognizable voices e.g. black men voices.
    I'm surprised that I'm the first person to comment on this, but - do you really believe that you can distinguish all black Americans' voices from non-black Americans' voices? Whilst I agree that of course there are some distinguishing aspects to what is commonly accepted to be black dialect, it is quite frequently spoken (rather convincingly) by whites etc, and there are many black Americans who sound identical to their non-black counterparts.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  9. #9
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    Re: American people voices

    It is not about accents, I can distinguish accents that I am exposed to, but I can't distinguish voices. If someone is on TV I won't be able to tell whose voice is this without looking to the screen. I thought maybe I have a brain disorder or something but this does not occur in my first language.

    I'm surprised that I'm the first person to comment on this, but - do you really believe that you can distinguish all black Americans' voices from non-black Americans' voices
    Yes, generally I can distinguish between black and white voices. Most of black, not all, have strong deep voice. It's not racism. As they have biological differences, nose, lips..etc I think they also have different vocal cords.

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    Re: American people voices

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I have read in a number of books that Britain has more marked regional varieties than American, but that doesn't stop the US from having plenty. We may have more "stronger" dialects.
    I, too, have often read this, and it always surprises me. I admit that I know little about American varieties/dialects, and I am far from an expert on British varieties/dialects, but my experience of working with Americans, and of watching (and listening to) thousands of films over 60 years seems to contradict what the experts say.

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