Page 3 of 8 First 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... Last
Results 21 to 30 of 75
  1. konungursvia's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Academic
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 5,106
    #21

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Well in a foreign language it takes a long time to reach the level at which you have one authentic accent or another. In the meanwhile, there is a middle ground that can be sought.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #22

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    If you would like my opinion:

    - I have never heard an adult speaking English as a second language who did not have an accent

    - Besides mere accent, there are a million other differences in customs, usage, etc that reveal the fact that the person is not an American.
    Two British prisoners of war had escaped. In a bar, they were recognized and captured -- but not because of their accents (they didn't speak.) They were recognized when one of them held up two fingers to indicate he wanted to buy two drinks. The local custom was to hold up one finger and the thumb.

    - So I don't think there's any hope of making Americans think that the other person is also an American -- and I don't think that's a worthy goal anyway.

    - I don't mind foreign accents (and I really enjoy a lot of them), but over the phone, they are hard to understand.

    - The most common reason is that the other person is speaking too quickly. Cutting speaking speed in half would more than double intelligibility and reduce annoyance.

    - Accented English also has to be louder. Even when you watch a British movie on TV, you have to increase the volume.

    - Service people, tech support, etc always sound like they are being too tightly supervised and monitored. They sound anxious and distressed. This makes the caller tense and unhappy too -- even when they don't consciously know why.

    If I were running a call center from another country that did a lot of business with Americans, I would concentrate on this:

    - Speak slowly
    - Loudness (mechanical loudness -- not the voice, but the equipment)
    - Clear transmission; good equipment
    - Radiate calm, reassuring, self-confidence
    - Focus on the customer's agitation and dismay. Acknowledge it without anxiety
    - Take it easy. Relax. Be at leisure. Speak slowly and reassuringly, kindly, compassionately
    - Avoid over-politeness (addressing the caller by their name in every remark, abject apologies, too eager to help)

    The supervisors should try to de-stress the workers so they can relax and focus on the caller's feelings instead of their own performance.

    I always get the feeling that the person who is helping me has a lot of tension about his own performance. As soon as something goes wrong (asking him to repeat, or complaining that I can't understand), they drop back into a prepared CATI-type script -- which only amplifies the stress levels, I think.

    I always get the idea that they are being harshly monitored and threatened with job loss, and that the performance standards are too high in the first place.

    The first thing I would do is to stop insisting that they speak without an accent. The lilting intonation is the greatest barrier to understanding, but other than that, there is no problem.

  2. anupumh's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 1,109
    #23

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    If you would like my opinion:

    - I have never heard an adult speaking English as a second language who did not have an accent

    - Besides mere accent, there are a million other differences in customs, usage, etc that reveal the fact that the person is not an American.
    Two British prisoners of war had escaped. In a bar, they were recognized and captured -- but not because of their accents (they didn't speak.) They were recognized when one of them held up two fingers to indicate he wanted to buy two drinks. The local custom was to hold up one finger and the thumb.

    - So I don't think there's any hope of making Americans think that the other person is also an American -- and I don't think that's a worthy goal anyway.

    - I don't mind foreign accents (and I really enjoy a lot of them), but over the phone, they are hard to understand.

    - The most common reason is that the other person is speaking too quickly. Cutting speaking speed in half would more than double intelligibility and reduce annoyance.

    - Accented English also has to be louder. Even when you watch a British movie on TV, you have to increase the volume.

    - Service people, tech support, etc always sound like they are being too tightly supervised and monitored. They sound anxious and distressed. This makes the caller tense and unhappy too -- even when they don't consciously know why.

    If I were running a call center from another country that did a lot of business with Americans, I would concentrate on this:

    - Speak slowly
    - Loudness (mechanical loudness -- not the voice, but the equipment)
    - Clear transmission; good equipment
    - Radiate calm, reassuring, self-confidence
    - Focus on the customer's agitation and dismay. Acknowledge it without anxiety
    - Take it easy. Relax. Be at leisure. Speak slowly and reassuringly, kindly, compassionately
    - Avoid over-politeness (addressing the caller by their name in every remark, abject apologies, too eager to help)

    The supervisors should try to de-stress the workers so they can relax and focus on the caller's feelings instead of their own performance.

    I always get the feeling that the person who is helping me has a lot of tension about his own performance. As soon as something goes wrong (asking him to repeat, or complaining that I can't understand), they drop back into a prepared CATI-type script -- which only amplifies the stress levels, I think.

    I always get the idea that they are being harshly monitored and threatened with job loss, and that the performance standards are too high in the first place.

    The first thing I would do is to stop insisting that they speak without an accent. The lilting intonation is the greatest barrier to understanding, but other than that, there is no problem.
    Thanks a lot for an elaborate response...

    "Avoid over-politeness (addressing the caller by their name in every remark, abject apologies, too eager to help)"

    This reminds me of something which was embedded in us when we were working as agents to support US customers, "Always use the name of the customer, avoid using Sir and Mam, Americans like to be called by their name, this way you will be able to build rapport and gell with the customer"

    To what extent is this true?


    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 7
    #24

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    As stated by neutral accent official site

    In American English the neutral accent is usually " (Emerging)General American English" and occasionally "Network English" and Broadcaster English." In British English, the neutral accent would be RP (or Received Pronunciation) based primarily on the upper middle-class speech of London.

    A 'neutral accent' can be defined as a way of speaking (tone, intonation etc) where people from any geographical location is able to understand you, provided they know the language themselves! The 'neutral accent', in speech training refers to the module in which the participant is taught how to get rid of his/her MTI (Mother Tongue Influence). This kind of training is mostly used in businesses where interaction with over-seas customers/clients is a prerequisite.

  3. anupumh's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 1,109
    #25

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by sasikumar View Post
    As stated by neutral accent official site

    In American English the neutral accent is usually " (Emerging)General American English" and occasionally "Network English" and Broadcaster English." In British English, the neutral accent would be RP (or Received Pronunciation) based primarily on the upper middle-class speech of London.

    A 'neutral accent' can be defined as a way of speaking (tone, intonation etc) where people from any geographical location is able to understand you, provided they know the language themselves! The 'neutral accent', in speech training refers to the module in which the participant is taught how to get rid of his/her MTI (Mother Tongue Influence). This kind of training is mostly used in businesses where interaction with over-seas customers/clients is a prerequisite.
    I have worked as Voice and Accent Trainer in Indian BPOs and that is where this term is mostly used, however I dont completely agree with this concept, I have not seen anybody after this training being able to speak in so called "Neutral Accent"

    I would like to know the phonetical atributes of the so called "Neutral Accent", which are not defined on any website or any book. The definations quoted are loosely explained and there is a considerable ambiguity.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #26

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Thanks a lot for an elaborate response...

    "Avoid over-politeness (addressing the caller by their name in every remark, abject apologies, too eager to help)"

    This reminds me of something which was embedded in us when we were working as agents to support US customers, "Always use the name of the customer, avoid using Sir and Mam, Americans like to be called by their name, this way you will be able to build rapport and gell with the customer"

    To what extent is this true?
    I think it is absolutely untrue.

    Americans call each other by their first names more readily than Brits do, but only in social settings -- not in anonymous, short-lived service transactions such as customer care, tech support, or order-taking.

    Americans helping me on the phone never call me "Ann." MAYBE a certain jocose type of character could end up calling me "Ann" if I had to spend a long time face-to-face at his service counter -- to have my camera diagnosed and repaired, or something like that. And then only if we had been kidding back and forth for a while. If I were acting all quiet and stuffy and formal, he would not do that.

    American service people don't use my name in any form of address at all. An American would virtually never use my name in service phone call, and if it somehow became necessary, they would call me Ms. Jones.

    I actually dislike being called "Ann" -- not only because it's pretty damn chummy coming from a complete stranger.

    In my case, I have a special reason to dislike being called Ann. In my primary family, we addressed each other with terms of endearment --- UNLESS! Unless I was in trouble! LOL! When my mother called "Ann!" I just knew I had messed up somehow!

  4. anupumh's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 1,109
    #27

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    I think it is absolutely untrue.

    Americans call each other by their first names more readily than Brits do, but only in social settings -- not in anonymous, short-lived service transactions such as customer care, tech support, or order-taking.

    Americans helping me on the phone never call me "Ann." MAYBE a certain jocose type of character could end up calling me "Ann" if I had to spend a long time face-to-face at his service counter -- to have my camera diagnosed and repaired, or something like that. And then only if we had been kidding back and forth for a while. If I were acting all quiet and stuffy and formal, he would not do that.

    American service people don't use my name in any form of address at all. An American would virtually never use my name in service phone call, and if it somehow became necessary, they would call me Ms. Jones.

    I actually dislike being called "Ann" -- not only because it's pretty damn chummy coming from a complete stranger.

    In my case, I have a special reason to dislike being called Ann. In my primary family, we addressed each other with terms of endearment --- UNLESS! Unless I was in trouble! LOL! When my mother called "Ann!" I just knew I had messed up somehow!
    Hahaha... I then rather not address you as "Ann"

    Now thats strange and completely opposite to what we have been always taught or what we teach. In fact the call monitoring form which we use to access the quality of a conversation with a customer also has a parameter "usage of customers name". Agents are marked down for not using the first name of the customer...

    Does the preference for the usage of first name for addresing has something to do with the age of the person and his or her educational background?

    Do you belive usage of First name is customer agent conversations can help in building rapport or passifying an irate customer..?


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #28

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    I have worked as Voice and Accent Trainer in Indian BPOs and that is where this term is mostly used, however I dont completely agree with this concept, I have not seen anybody after this training being able to speak in so called "Neutral Accent"

    I would like to know the phonetical atributes of the so called "Neutral Accent", which are not defined on any website or any book. The definations quoted are loosely explained and there is a considerable ambiguity.
    Americans get accent training in English in a couple of circumstances:

    - Actors get speech and accent coaches to teach them how to say their lines in the accent proper to the character they are going to portray.

    - Students who are training for careers in television and radio broadcasting take classes that remove their regional accents and give them a standard US accent

    I wonder if this same coaching would remove a foreign accent?

  5. anupumh's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 1,109
    #29

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anupumh
    Hi,

    Can any speakers English Pronunciation be deviod of any accent?

    Thanks

    I am not a linguist however I just don't see how spoken words in any language can be devoid of accent. A British citizen will hear a native countryman speaking and say to himself, " She has no accent."
    When I hear the same person speaking, I hear a decidedly British inflection.
    In one of the posts a writer refered to Dan Rather as having a midwestern accent. Typically we in the US view midwestern accents as being neutral. However a British native would immediately pick up on the midwestern accent.
    The French have a lovely lyrical sound when speaking English, the Germans sound gutteral to me. Those from India have a distinctive sound as do people from the Japan and the South Seas.
    I love to hear people from other countries speak English and enjoy the addition of sounds to the English language that other languages can add.
    I think that neutral accent is in the ear of the beholder.

    Sharonk123

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/p...ed-accent.html


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #30

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Hahaha... I then rather not address you as "Ann"

    Now thats strange and completely opposite to what we have been always taught or what we teach. In fact the call monitoring form which we use to access the quality of a conversation with a customer also has a parameter "usage of customers name". Agents are marked down for not using the first name of the customer...

    Does the preference for the usage of first name for addresing has something to do with the age of the person and his or her educational background?

    Do you belive usage of First name is customer agent conversations can help in building rapport or passifying an irate customer..?
    I don't think that the characteristics of the customer can possibly have anything to do with the fact that strangers do not call each other by their first names. For one thing, the person on the other end could have almost no idea about the caller's age, education, etc.

    I don't think that using an irate customer's first name can soothe him. In my case, it would only irritate me the more.

    The right way to pacify an angry customer is to say
    "I'm sorry that happened."

    Then add: "I'm going to take care of this for you."

    If the person still is setting up a clamor, I would let them vent for as long as they wanted, and then I'd say, "You're right."

    I bought a bottle of water in a movie theater the other day, and I said to the little teenager behind the counter, "Three dollars! This is ridiculous. What is wrong with you that you're charging three dollars for water!"

    She absolutely rocked me when she piped up in her little squeaky teenager voice: "I KNOW it! I coon BLEEV it! I was like three dollars!"

    LOL!

Page 3 of 8 First 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •