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  1. #1
    Svetlana2004 Guest

    Default Improving my accent?

    Hi Everybody!
    I am trying to improve my accent in English. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thank you!!

    Svetlana

  2. #2
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Svetlana2004
    Hi Everybody!
    I am trying to improve my accent in English. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thank you!!

    Svetlana
    I've posted a few comments about that topic here: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7948

    If you have any specific questions about this, I'd be glad to try to answer them.


  3. #3
    Neurotica Guest

    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    Hi there...

    Would that be improving your english to a neutral accent or to a british or American one?

    Regards,

    Neurotica

  4. #4
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neurotica
    Hi there...

    Would that be improving your english to a neutral accent or to a british or American one?

    Regards,

    Neurotica
    I speak from the point of view of what we can call a "general American" accent.

    In a general American accent, there may be a few qualities that are regional. However, general American, as I hear it, is a neutral American accent for the most part. It would be difficult to find anything one could consider a "perfect" GA accent. North Americans are not taught "general American". On the other hand , I think it is the case that some British English speakers are taught RP. In this way I think there is more of a conscious effort to use a standardized accent and pronunciation. Americans don't study "general American". It is, however, possible that there are Americans who make an attempt to lose a regional accent and sound more neutral.

    Can a BE speaker comment on what I've said here?

    Thanks,


  5. #5
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neurotica
    Hi there...

    Would that be improving your english to a neutral accent or to a british or American one?

    Regards,

    Neurotica
    What do you mean by "neutral accent"?

  6. #6
    Svetlana2004 Guest

    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    I need to get an American accent, not British one.

  7. #7
    Nahualli Guest

    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    From a linguistic perspective, there is no standard for English accents. It's like colors of the rainbow. It's hard to determine where one ends and the next begins. and it's impossible to make anyone see eye to eye on it.

    What is spoken in the states is called "Standard American English". The central or most "pure" form of this is spoken in what we consider the Midwest, specifically regions of Missouri, Kansas Nebraska and Iowa. Anything from there is a different accent, hence you have your Northern, Northwestern, Western, Southern, Southwestern and Eastern accent variances.

    What you choose to learn depends on where you go to study or where your language partners are from. It's really that simple :) The country is so big you're not going to find any one source of agreement as to the "correct" way to speak it. If you learned how to talk like a Texan and you go to California, you get looked at funny. If you talk like a North Dakotan and go to Alabama you're looked at funny there too. There's no winning :)

    So, in short, it's all up to you :)

    California is the best FYI :D

    Света здесь в сан-францыско очень много русские!!

    -Nah-
    Last edited by Nahualli; 11-Nov-2004 at 00:10.

  8. #8
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    I think we can hear a "general American" way of speaking by listening to, for example, NPR radio. People from all over the country speak on that station.

    Some people have very pronounced regional accents and others don't have any accent that can be said to be easily idenitifiable. (Then there's everything in between.) It's the second type that I speak of that we can call "general American" as I hear it.

    Generally speaking, I don't often hear any easily identifiable regional U.S. accents on NPR. They are there to be sure, but I think too much emphasis is placed on such accents at times. It depends on whose speaking, of course.

    Whenever I've heard midwestern accents, I always thought they sounded quite twangy at times. I, therefore, don't quite see the midwest as being the model for "general American" necessarily. The neutral North American English accent tends more to spread itself out all across the U.S. and Canada.

    That's my take on it. I haven't had the chance to travel around and speak to all kinds of people from everywhere. Still, if the media is any type of a representation of how things are, then that's how I see it.

  9. #9
    Nahualli Guest

    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    I think we can hear a "general American" way of speaking by listening to, for example, NPR radio. People from all over the country speak on that station.

    Some people have very pronounced regional accents and others don't have any accent that can be said to be easily indenitifiable. (Then there's everything in between.) It's the second type that I speak of that we can call "general American" as I hear it.

    Generally speaking, I don't often hear any easily identifiable regional U.S. accents on NPR. They are there to be sure, but I think too much emphasis is placed on such accents at times. It depends on whose speaking, of course.

    Whenever I've heard midwestern accents, I always thought they sounded quite twangy at times. I, therefore, don't quite see the midwest as being the model for "general American" necessarily. The neutral North American English accent tends more to spread itself out all across the U.S. and Canada.

    That's my take on it. I haven't had the chance to travel around and speak to all kinds of people from everywhere. Still, if the media is any type of a representation of how things are, then that's how see it.
    Yep... like I said it's not something you can ever get any sort of agreement on :) Everyone hears something different, that much is plain. I was speaking merely from a linguistic perspective. There is no right or wrong way to study language, but everyone needs *some* frame of reference to start from. What I pointed out was what they teach you in linguistics textbooks, not what you say to each other on the street.

    Saying there is a "more pure" American dialect or accent is like trying to quantify which color is prettier, red or blue. You can't. It's impossible. However they do have a place relative to each other, and if you look at accent diagrams across the US you would be amazed to see that it does indeed spread out like a color spectrum.

    -Nah-

  10. #10
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving my accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nahualli
    Yep... like I said it's not something you can ever get any sort of agreement on :) Everyone hears something different, that much is plain. I was speaking merely from a linguistic perspective. There is no right or wrong way to study language, but everyone needs *some* frame of reference to start from. What I pointed out was what they teach you in linguistics textbooks, not what you say to each other on the street.

    Saying there is a "more pure" American dialect or accent is like trying to quantify which color is prettier, red or blue. You can't. It's impossible. However they do have a place relative to each other, and if you look at accent diagrams across the US you would be amazed to see that it does indeed spread out like a color spectrum.

    -Nah-
    I see what you mean. I think most people would agree on what a neutral North American accent is by listening to different examples. Those that might not agree would be people that have very pronounced regional accents. - Maybe

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