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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 3
    #11

    Smile Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by unfer
    Hey everyone, Im new to here :)
    Having lived in the UK for around 6 years now, I am still finding it hard to speak english with a clear british accent. Although I have got rid of my chinese accent, people often ask me to repeat my speech when I'm speaking which is very frustating as I really am trying my hardest to speak clearly.
    As time goes, speaking with an british accent have become a dream of mine which doesn't seem to me that I am reaching it. I watch the British Television and am living with naitive speakers. I am disheartened by the fact that people seems to pick up the accent so easily when they moved over at a young age. I've came to the UK when I was 13-14 which I think is considered too late to learn the new accent.
    I would be extremely grateful if any of you people can give me some advices!
    Yes,try it more and more.

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #12

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nary
    i am trying to learn the accent it has taken me longer than i thought it would. any ideas on how i could learn the British accent faster?
    The important thing is not getting the accent exactly right; the important thing is making sure people understand you. Living in London, you will hear a lot of different accents, including many from other parts of Britain and even other parts of the world. That may be one reason you're finding it difficult to pick up the accent -- the man in the corner shop may be from Pakistan, the bus driver from the West Indies, your colleagues from Yorkshire and Nigeria and your friends from Belfast, Chicago and Glasgow. It's great to meet people from such varied backgrounds, but it does make learning "the British accent" a bit more difficult.

    The positive aspect of this is that the people around you are probably more tolerant towards strange accents, so your accent may not be such a big problem.

    Some people seem to find picking up an accent far easier than others. I picked up a German accent very easily (although even I have problems with some of the sounds), while others who have lived in Germany for a lot longer and speak German just as often as I do still have real problems. I can't identify any common pattern here, so I don't really know what advice I can give.

  2. #13

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    okay thanks

  3. #14

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nary
    i am trying to learn the accent it has taken me longer than i thought it would. any ideas on how i could learn the British accent faster?
    You can watch BBC or any british film & the best thing is to speak with british people as much as you can.

  4. #15

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    i will try that thank you :)


    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 19
    #16

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    With time your original accent will gradually become less pronounced, especially if you surround yourself with native English speakers. However, very few people lose their accents completely. I know a French woman who married an Englishmen in 1950 and went to live in England. She still has a French accent, even though her English comprehension and grammar are perfect! The important thing is that people understand what you are saying, as rewboss said.

  5. j4mes_bond25's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 132
    #17

    Exclamation Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by unfer
    Hey everyone, Im new to here :)
    Having lived in the UK for around 6 years now, I am still finding it hard to speak english with a clear british accent. Although I have got rid of my chinese accent, people often ask me to repeat my speech when I'm speaking which is very frustating as I really am trying my hardest to speak clearly.
    As time goes, speaking with an british accent have become a dream of mine which doesn't seem to me that I am reaching it. I watch the British Television and am living with naitive speakers. I am disheartened by the fact that people seems to pick up the accent so easily when they moved over at a young age. I've came to the UK when I was 13-14 which I think is considered too late to learn the new accent.
    I would be extremely grateful if any of you people can give me some advices!
    Interesting post, that reminds me of the situation I once found myself in.

    I've had a rather strong Midland accent, which sadly isn't as much of an attention-grabber as of Home Counties & after having inspired by Hugh Grant & realising that nation's favourite accent is either BBC accent or Home Countries, as of Hugh Grant's, I digged into the accent quite seriously & feel quite comfortable with speaking with Standard accent now & losing my miserable Midland accent.

    First thing that needs to bear in mind is the fact that strickly speaking, British English has around 24 consonant sounds & 20 vowel sounds.

    Now, I'm no expert in Chinese language but some of these consonant or vowel may've been appearing in Chinese language. However, having said that, their articulation (the way it's produced i.e. the position of tongue, etc.) may be different in Chinese language.

    Generally speaking, if you could position your tongue to the exact location in order to produce a particular sound, then you'll make yourself sound like having a BBC accent i.e. a Standard English accent, without any strong regional accent.

    Once you make yourself aware of these sounds, which might not be as hard as making yourself aware of HOW TO IDENTIFY sounds within a particular word such as 3 lettered word "hat" has 3 different sound i.e. of "h", "a" & "t" however, 4 lettered word "chin" also has 3 different sound i.e. of "ch", "i" and "n", & to do so, you'll have to make yourself fairly comfortable with "phonetics".

    Once you identify the number of sound OCCURING in a particular word & how to articulate each individual sound within that particular word, you should be able to pronounce the word exactly like British accent.

    For example, presently, if you don't have a British accent, you might pronounce word such as "mat", "mate", "met" quite similarly, however, the sounds involved in each of these words (especially the vowel sound) are all different. Similarly, you may pronounce word such as "coal" & "call" quite indifferently, however, AGAIN they are pronounced very differently in British accented English.

    So all in all, because I showed a rather keen interest into phonetics & practiced it by being an eager beaver, I managed to learn Standard English accent within 6 months (& am still improving on it), so overall, depending on the amount of effort you are willing to put & the time you could invest in learning what's required, you should learn British accent within a matter of few months.

    But then again, having said that,

    >> Renée Zellweger didn't take months to learn British accent to play Bridget Jones
    >> Mike Myers didn't take that long to learn British accent to play Austin Powers

    If you are serious about learning British accent then send me a personal message, as I could provide personal face-to-face coaching, however, do bear in mind that "there's NO such thing as free lunch".

  6. j4mes_bond25's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 132
    #18

    Exclamation Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nary
    i am trying to learn the accent it has taken me longer than i thought it would. any ideas on how i could learn the British accent faster?
    See my reply to the thread starter i.e. "unfer".

  7. #19

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    You probably have more of a British accent than you think; I heard a lady on the radio the other day who had a strong Indian accent, but the way she said some of her vowels and the way she stressed her words and sentences made me also think "Britsh accent." If an American heard you talk, they'd probably pick up on the Britsh accent, no matter how slight it might seem to you.
    Last edited by SunnyDay; 18-Mar-2006 at 23:49.

  8. j4mes_bond25's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 132
    #20

    Exclamation Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDay
    You probably have more of a British accent than you think; I heard a lady on the radio the other day who had a strong Hindi accent, but the way she said some of her vowels and the way she stressed her words and sentences made me also think "Britsh accent." If an American heard you talk, they'd probably pick up on the Britsh accent, no matter how slight it might seem to you.
    I'm yet to come across someone with strong "Hindi Accent" however, you might like correcting yourself by seeing it as strong "Indian Accent", instead.

    Again, for someone with STRONG Indian accent, it would be harder to "imitate" British accent, since they'll have to change their sound to EVEN BIGGER extent to make themself sound British & doing so would be HARDER than someone with MILD Indian accent.

    Beside, merely stressing on vowel or words or sentences, doesn't make anyone sound "British", however, such is the widely held belief ;), since regardless of her stressed vowel, etc. the articulation behind those vowels, etc. which she's using would STILL stay as an "Indian articulation".

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