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    #31

    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.
    That's because it's an audio, not a written, set of information.

    Try this, and check out some other coaches shown on the right:
    YouTube - Accent Reduction: Tip 1 Always Speak Slowly

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    #32

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    That's because it's an audio, not a written, set of information.

    Try this, and check out some other coaches shown on the right:
    YouTube - Accent Reduction: Tip 1 Always Speak Slowly
    I have culled a lot of such videos from youtube, in fact I have almost all of them stored in my hard drive...

    When I ask for attributes of neutral accent, I would like to know, while speaking in a neutral accent...

    Should one role the "R"s as americans do?
    Should be clip the "R"s as brittons do?
    Should be use flapped /t/ in between a word or use a pure /t/ between a word?
    Should one use the staircase intonation pattern?
    Should one say problem in british way problem or the american way prahblem?
    etc etc

    Is there any middle path..?

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    #33

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    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!
    I am sorry for my being so doumb and ignorant, however I could understand the humor behind "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!" and what you intended to convey by narrating this incidence..

    I would be greatful if you could elaborate, thanks


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    #34

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    I am sorry for my being so doumb and ignorant, however I could understand the humor behind "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!" and what you intended to convey by narrating this incidence..

    I would be greatful if you could elaborate, thanks
    I was using it as an example of what a good plan it is to agree with the customer that your service is bad and wrong, and that the customer is correct.

    I was scolding a little teenager for the cost of the goods she was selling, and I was amazed and delighted to hear her jump right in and agree with me.

    Instead of getting annoyed (the prices were none of her doing -- she only worked there part-time after school) or defensive ("Well, don't blame ME!") she chimed right in with me -- and in a most comical way as well.

    It was funny to hear this little squeaky voice and teen elocution ("I coon bleev it" = "I couldn't believe it"), and her completely spontaneous agreement. Anyway, it certainly shut me up, and turned my crabbiness into laughter. You can't fight with a cloud -- especially when the cloud is agreeing with you.

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    #35

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Tdol
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    Re: Neutralized Accent
    I agree. In Britain, RP (Received Pronunciation) was taught in private schools as a way of removing regional accents to produce a standardised form of English, but it was not neutral- you might not know which part of the country they're from, but you know their educational background. RP is less marked than it used to be, but it is still far from neutral.

    You'll sometimes hear the term transatlantic used for the semi-American pronunciation adopted by some British singers to try to make their products easier on the American ear. Elton John speaks British English but sings transatlantic- check out the change in his vowel sounds. However, this is not a neutral accent or a neutral term. There is some element of truth underlying George Bernard Shaw's claim that it is 'impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him'- accent is not neutral and the absence of an accent would simply be another accent.


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    #36

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    I have culled a lot of such videos from youtube, in fact I have almost all of them stored in my hard drive...

    When I ask for attributes of neutral accent, I would like to know, while speaking in a neutral accent...

    Should one role the "R"s as americans do?
    Should be clip the "R"s as brittons do?
    Should be use flapped /t/ in between a word or use a pure /t/ between a word?
    Should one use the staircase intonation pattern?
    Should one say problem in british way problem or the american way prahblem?
    etc etc

    Is there any middle path..?
    I don't say prahblem. Part of a Boston accent is that we don't shift "o" into "a." I was idly chatting with an out-of-towner one time, and she chanced to say she was hot (haht). I remarked on that pronunciation, and she said to me, "What do YOU say? Hot? Hahahaha!"
    I was like "!"

    A friend of mine thought she was being asked for some card when the person wanted cord (which we call "string" anyway, to compound the confusion.)

    Since Bostonians drop their r's, we pronounce "heart" the way they pronounce "hot." I haven't a clue how they pronounce "heart" -- hurrrrrt, I suppose, with what one writer called "the morose grinding of the back teeth." Haha!

    I think it might be possible to come up with an "un-place-able" accent -- the specifically British and American features softened and averaged. In books you sometimes read about an international man of mystery who has an accent that cannot be placed -- a British overlay on a standard American accent, maybe.

    I have the strongest impression that Americans enjoy British accents and are impressed with them, so I don't know that I'd try to get my customer service reps to lose their British sound.

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    #37

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Raymott
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    Re: Neutralized Accent
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anupumh
    Hi,

    Can any speakers English Pronunciation be deviod of any accent?

    Thanks


    No. If it were possible, it would be a void or neutral accent, which of course would be simply another accent.
    And the idea of a neutral accent is illogical.

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    #38

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    I don't say prahblem. Part of a Boston accent is that we don't shift "o" into "a." I was idly chatting with an out-of-towner one time, and she chanced to say she was hot (haht). I remarked on that pronunciation, and she said to me, "What do YOU say? Hot? Hahahaha!"
    I was like "!"

    A friend of mine thought she was being asked for some card when the person wanted cord (which we call "string" anyway, to compound the confusion.)

    Since Bostonians drop their r's, we pronounce "heart" the way they pronounce "hot." I haven't a clue how they pronounce "heart" -- hurrrrrt, I suppose, with what one writer called "the morose grinding of the back teeth." Haha!

    I think it might be possible to come up with an "un-place-able" accent -- the specifically British and American features softened and averaged. In books you sometimes read about an international man of mystery who has an accent that cannot be placed -- a British overlay on a standard American accent, maybe.

    I have the strongest impression that Americans enjoy British accents and are impressed with them, so I don't know that I'd try to get my customer service reps to lose their British sound.
    Well one set of Indian BPO Voice and Trainers who advocate the concept of Global English believe the pronunciation to closely resemble Std BrE/RP...
    I remember, we were taught that in Global English Address has only one pronunciation, be it verb or noun, stressing the second syllable, which I believe is the case with RP. However in American Accent Address has 2 pronunciations depending on noun (stress the first syllable) and verb (stress the second syllable).........


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    #39

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Raymott
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    Re: Neutralized Accent
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anupumh
    Hi,

    Can any speakers English Pronunciation be deviod of any accent?

    Thanks


    No. If it were possible, it would be a void or neutral accent, which of course would be simply another accent.
    And the idea of a neutral accent is illogical.
    Well, in that case, it might be possible to come up with a way to speak English that is "non-specific" -- devoid of regional or ethnic variations.

    And maybe it would be possible to come up with an English accent that is some blend of US and British English on the same basis -- identify which of any two variations is the furthest from a hypothetical "center," and remove it -- or possibly average it.

    Sean Connery often speaks a pretty neutral kind of English (more so as James Bond than recently.) Americans can tell it's not one of the American regional accents, but it's not strongly an "English accent" either.
    YouTube - Dr No - Original Trailer - First James Bond Movie - 1962 - Mixx

    I was interested in the observation that Elton John sings in American but speaks in British. When I sing, I drop my Boston accent and pronounce the words the way the original singer does. Oddly enough, that's also the case for the lyrics I write myself.


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    #40

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Hi,

    I would like to ask all the English Teachers..

    What do you understand by Neutral Accent?

    Thanks
    A neutral accent does not contain manners of pronunciation that are attributable to local or regional manners of pronunciation within a given country. Or it contains very few of those manners. It's that simple. I don't think that an accent is either neutral or not neutral. There are degrees of neutrality. The label "General American" is used to describe American English that is not noticeably affected by regional manners of speech in pronunciation, expressions, grammar usage, and vocabulary usage.

    The notion that the midwestern accent of the United States is the "neutral accent" of American English is false, as I see it. That's what "they say" and some people think it's true. Bless them, but that's just going along with what "they say" and not really listening and paying attention. I've spoken to people from the south whose pronunciation is not at all affected by any regional southern USA dialect. They sounded very neutral to me. Of course, there are plenty of southerners who speak with noticeable southern accents. As well, people have told me that my accent is neutral. On a few occasions, students have told me that my pronunciation does not sound like everyone else's around here: it sounds clear and easier to understand. Someone in finance and risk management, who works for the Colombian government, recently told me this at a business-social dinner.

    So now back to the so-called midwestern neutral pronunciation. I've spoken to people, and have heard people, from midwestern states who sound like cowboys. Now if you sound like a cowboy, that's not a neutral accent.

    In my opinion, politicians turn their neutral accents off and on, depending on the occasion. I think Barak Obama does this. He can sound very neutral, and other times it'll sound like his speaking style, or pronunciation style, is "colloquial midwestern". Of course, some politicians only know how to speak one way. Those that can switch are far more adept and skillful communicators: they understand how to use register. The more informal one is, the more regional one might sound. Even if a politician sounds like he's from one part of the country, the people can still relate to a regional sounding accent, in a way and in my opinion.
    Last edited by PROESL; 24-Oct-2009 at 17:39.

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