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  1. #1
    thincat is offline Member
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    Default Are these 2 readers speaking in RP/BBC English? Which one should I learn from?

    Hi everyone,

    I am now learning British English. As an ESL learner, I find it really hard to differentiate various British accents. I have 2 audiobooks here, both of which should be in British accent, but I cannot tell whether both of them are RP or not. I would appreciated it a lot if you would tell me what you think about their accents and which one you would suggest to me for some shadowing to improve my accent.

    The first one is read by the celebrity, Stephen Fry:
    Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Epilogue Read By Stephen Fry | Mix - YouTube

    Here is the second one by another British reader:
    China and the Chinese (1 of 3) (audiobook) - YouTube

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
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    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Are these 2 readers speaking in RP/BBC English? Which one should I learn from?

    Both of the readers speak excellent English, and certainly represent RP. Either one of them would be an excellent choice upon which to model your spoken English.

    The only differentiation I would make is that Stephen Fry is reading from a children's book, and is modulating his voice and accent in an animated fashion to represent different people speaking. The other speaker is reading from an academic lecture, so his voice is less animated and maintains a more constant tone throughout; perhaps making an easier model for you to follow.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. #3
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Are these 2 readers speaking in RP/BBC English? Which one should I learn from?

    I find Fry is not speaking RP, but is using the general rules of pronunciation of RP, over his native North London drawl. The other, Professor Giles, is speaking a more authentic RP. Why do people care about "received" pronunciation in any case? Hardly anyone spoke precisely that way until the monarchs started coming from German-speaking families. There are thousands of British English geolects. I rather prefer Cockney, Brummie and Somerset. ;)

  4. #4
    thincat is offline Member
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    Default Re: Are these 2 readers speaking in RP/BBC English? Which one should I learn from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    Both of the readers speak excellent English, and certainly represent RP. Either one of them would be an excellent choice upon which to model your spoken English.

    The only differentiation I would make is that Stephen Fry is reading from a children's book, and is modulating his voice and accent in an animated fashion to represent different people speaking. The other speaker is reading from an academic lecture, so his voice is less animated and maintains a more constant tone throughout; perhaps making an easier model for you to follow.
    Thanks a lot! I will model on them to acquire a more native and "standard" British accent. :)

  5. #5
    thincat is offline Member
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    Default Re: Are these 2 readers speaking in RP/BBC English? Which one should I learn from?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I find Fry is not speaking RP, but is using the general rules of pronunciation of RP, over his native North London drawl. The other, Professor Giles, is speaking a more authentic RP. Why do people care about "received" pronunciation in any case? Hardly anyone spoke precisely that way until the monarchs started coming from German-speaking families. There are thousands of British English geolects. I rather prefer Cockney, Brummie and Somerset. ;)

    Thank you very much! :)
    I also understand that, from the perspective of World Englishes, all accents should be treated equal. However, unfortunately, in non-English speaking places like Hong Kong, people generally view "RP" accent as the most standard British accent, having a higher social status among other native English accents, not to mention the non-native Hong Kong accent, which is something that I am trying to remove from my spoken English.
    Last edited by thincat; 21-Nov-2013 at 08:54.

  6. #6
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Are these 2 readers speaking in RP/BBC English? Which one should I learn from?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I find Fry is not speaking RP,
    He is not speaking the RP that Daniel Jones was writing about in 1917, but I think most people who use the term these days would use it of his accent. Phoneticians use a range of different labels. The IPA uses 'Standard Southern British'.

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