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Thread: Accent check

  1. #1
    Queens is offline Newbie
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    Default Accent check

    Hey there kind folks, I'm born and raised in Queens, NY, but have heard a couple of people tell me that I have an 'accent'. I suppose I am curious to see if you folks feel the same, please tell me what you think.

    I randomly read a paragraph, so if you see an awkward pause, you know why. Here is the link, I look forward to your responses; thanks!


    "Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station."

    http://vocaroo.com/i/s0fL7xZ8uMSq
    Last edited by Queens; 21-Jan-2014 at 21:57.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: Accent check

    The pen fell what to the floor? If that was you saying "forth," then yes.

    Other than that, it sounded pretty nondescript for an American accent. It didn't scream out "New York City" like I was expecting.

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    Default Re: Accent check

    We all speak with an accent. So long as we are with people who speak with the same accent, we are not aware of this. We tend to assume that the accent we have is the norm. When we meet speakers with a different accent, we assume that it is they who have the accent.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
    Queens is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Accent check

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    The pen fell what to the floor? If that was you saying "forth," then yes.

    Other than that, it sounded pretty nondescript for an American accent. It didn't scream out "New York City" like I was expecting.
    I guess the problem here is that I'm trying very hard not to sound 'ghettoish'. Having been raised near the projects, and growing up with some pretty interesting characters, trust me when I say that's not how I'd talk when I am around them, although that's exactly what I'm trying to change.

    In other words, speaking the way, I'd feel comfortable in speaking, with an old high school buddy, just sounds uneducated to say the least. We cut words short, we use a ton of slang, it's just not cool. For the past 8 years, I've been trying pretty hard to sound a bit more civilized, and I don't know if I'm trying too hard, which as a result is developing into some sort of an accent. What are your thoughts? I suppose I'm a bit more cautious.

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    Default Re: Accent check

    Those of us who naturally speak with an accent that, for a variety of reasons, may be considered socially inferior or sub-standard, deal with it in a variety of ways. Some appear to think there is no problem, and carry on regardless. Some feel that if it is a problem, it's that of the prejudice of other people, and carry on regardless; some take great pride in their background and accent, and may even exaggerate the accent on principle. Soe have even 'lowered' their accent in order to gain credibility in the fields in which they work.

    Others, and you seem to be one of them, feel that their accent holds them back in life, and attempt to acquire a more accepted accent. Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher are two British prime ministers who took elocution lessions in an attempt to make others believe that they were from a higher social class than they really were - something they thought necessary in the Conservative party of their day.

    I can't help you, I'm afraid. Those of us who feel disadvantaged by our accent have to learn to deal with this in our own ways.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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    Queens is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Accent check

    Could you take a look at it now, and share your thoughts. I recorded a new new one, and posted the passage as well.

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    Queens is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Accent check

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Those of us who naturally speak with an accent that, for a variety of reasons, may be considered socially inferior or sub-standard, deal with it in a variety of ways. Some appear to think there is no problem, and carry on regardless. Some feel that if it is a problem, it's that of the prejudice of other people, and carry on regardless; some take great pride in their background and accent, and may even exaggerate the accent on principle. Soe have even 'lowered' their accent in order to gain credibility in the fields in which they work.

    Others, and you seem to be one of them, feel that their accent holds them back in life, and attempt to acquire a more accepted accent. Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher are two British prime ministers who took elocution lessions in an attempt to make others believe that they were from a higher social class than they really were - something they thought necessary in the Conservative party of their day.

    I can't help you, I'm afraid. Those of us who feel disadvantaged by our accent have to learn to deal with this in our own ways.
    I agree. However, it has consequences as you mentioned, and if it could be improved, why not?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Accent check

    Quote Originally Posted by Queens View Post
    I agree. However, it has consequences as you mentioned, and if it could be improved, why not?
    Why not indeed. I hope I did not give the impression that I thought it was a bad thing to do this.

    I regeret that social prejudice makes has led to this situation, but I do not criticise those who work to minimise the disadvantages they suffer because of the accent they acquired when young.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  9. #9
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: Accent check

    Quote Originally Posted by Queens View Post
    I guess the problem here is that I'm trying very hard not to sound 'ghettoish'. Having been raised near the projects, and growing up with some pretty interesting characters, trust me when I say that's not how I'd talk when I am around them, although that's exactly what I'm trying to change.

    In other words, speaking the way, I'd feel comfortable in speaking, with an old high school buddy, just sounds uneducated to say the least. We cut words short, we use a ton of slang, it's just not cool. For the past 8 years, I've been trying pretty hard to sound a bit more civilized, and I don't know if I'm trying too hard, which as a result is developing into some sort of an accent. What are your thoughts? I suppose I'm a bit more cautious.
    As 5jj said above, we all have an accent. You are trying to learn to speak with a more generic "American" sound (like TV news people sound). That is fine if you feel it will have advantages for you over your native accent. Your recording did sound pretty generic to me.

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