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  1. matilda
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    #21

    Unhappy Re: How to learn an accent?

    your situation is much MORE better than me and the ones like me, that are living in a place that people even don't know how to say each other hello,
    and we have difficulty in finding our english books



    Matilda

  2. #22

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    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.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4328733.stm

    To me, it SOUNDED like she had a thick accent and tried to train it out by learning British vowels and stress. Maybe it was an accent I've never heard before.

    Beside, merely stressing on vowel or words or sentences, doesn't make anyone sound "British", however, such is the widely held belief ;)
    What does make someone sound British, or anything, then, if not the vowels and stress?

  3. j4mes_bond25's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 132
    #23

    Exclamation Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDay
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4328733.stm
    To me, it SOUNDED like she had a thick accent and tried to train it out by learning British vowels and stress. Maybe it was an accent I've never heard before.
    What does make someone sound British, or anything, then, if not the vowels and stress?
    An interesting news article, but I rather see "Hindi" as a language itself, as opposed to "accent", after all, you would HARDLY hear anyone saying he's an "English" accent, since "British/American/Australian" accent would've made more sense.

    On the other hand, American pronounce the same vowel as British do & they stress the same syllable in a particular word, as the American/Australian/Indian themselves, since the "stress" pattern in a particular word is to do with the "English language" itself & not with the individual accent. Afterall, word like "heart" has LONG "a" vowel, which is pronounced by ANY English speaker, regardless of their accent.

    I rather see the "vowel" (and consonants, course) articulation i.e the sound articulation itself, as a factor that distinguish between accent.

    Sound articulation involves:

    >> Manner of Articulation: vibration of the vocal cords, whether there is airstream passes through the nasal cavity in addition to the oral cavity (American accent's sound involves more "nasal" cavity, making it sound "American")
    >> Place of Articulation: position of tongue, lips, teeth, etc.

    However, having said that, of course, in many cases, the "pronunciation" of a particular word in itself could make it easier to judge of its location, for example, the word "poor" is pronounced as "pO:" in Britain but "pUr" in America, the word "module" pronounced as "mod.ju:l" in Britain but "mA:.dZu:l" in America, "privacy" pronounced as "[email protected]" in Britain but "[email protected]".

    By the way, since you're American yourself, would you have any idea as whether it's MORE easy for an American accented person to grasp British accent OR for a British accented person to grasp American accent ???

  4. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #24

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by j4mes_bond25
    An interesting news article, but I rather see "Hindi" as a language itself, as opposed to "accent", after all, you would HARDLY hear anyone saying he's an "English" accent, since "British/American/Australian" accent would've made more sense.
    It depends, actually. There are many different languages spoken in India -- Hindi is only one of them. It doesn't make sense to say "an Indian accent" because there are so many to choose from.

    However, English is spoken in many different places, not just England. But you can still talk about someone having an English accent -- that would be "English" as opposed to "Welsh" or "Scottish", for example. For example, when Desmond Llewellyn -- a Welshman -- was first cast in the role of Q in the James Bond films, the directors wanted him to use a Welsh accent. Llewellyn, however, disagreed, saying that Q is supposed to be a stereotypical civil servant, and insisted on an English accent.

  5. j4mes_bond25's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 132
    #25

    Exclamation Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss
    It depends, actually. There are many different languages spoken in India -- Hindi is only one of them. It doesn't make sense to say "an Indian accent" because there are so many to choose from.
    However, English is spoken in many different places, not just England. But you can still talk about someone having an English accent -- that would be "English" as opposed to "Welsh" or "Scottish", for example. For example, when Desmond Llewellyn -- a Welshman -- was first cast in the role of Q in the James Bond films, the directors wanted him to use a Welsh accent. Llewellyn, however, disagreed, saying that Q is supposed to be a stereotypical civil servant, and insisted on an English accent.
    Being an avid fan of James Bond myself, its worth getting enlightened about this fact about "first Q" in the James Bond series.

    As far as actor's accent is concerned, Mike Myer's British accent is fantastic & of course so is Bridget Jones', however, NO ACTOR has yet managed to hold candle to the broad Home Counties & doubtlessly lovely accent of Hugh Grant.

    As far as American accent is concerned, George Clooney's one is quite an attention-grabber.


    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 53
    #26

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    I would like to know how NOT to "learn" an accent. I find that, living in an area where all my peers are native speakers of American English, it has become impossible for me to retain my original (consciously acquired) British accent. Then again, I don't sound entirely American (especially when I become aware of my speech and try to change it back to the way it used to be), so it often has a confusing effect on people. I guess it has to do with my own prejudice, but I always thought of RP as better for us foreign learners.
    My favourite accent to hear is southern Irish, and I often listen to rte online just to enjoy those Irish tones.
    As an example of a Briton (and a Welshman at that) doing great American accents: Christian Bale (American Psycho, Batman Begins) nails it.

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 71,664
    #27

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    I know what you mean- I find my accent becomes more Cockney when I'm in London as I used to live in an area with that accent all around me.

  7. #28

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    An interesting news article, but I rather see "Hindi" as a language itself, as opposed to "accent", after all, you would HARDLY hear anyone saying he's an "English" accent, since "British/American/Australian" accent would've made more sense.
    Fair enough. :) (As a side note, I've gotten myself into the habit of saying "Hindi" as opposed to "Indian" because I've had several people ask me before if I ment India Indian or Native American. I'll make an effort to say Indian instead of Hindi when referring to the accent, though.)
    It depends, actually. There are many different languages spoken in India -- Hindi is only one of them. It doesn't make sense to say "an Indian accent" because there are so many to choose from.
    I hate to sound ignorant, but as I don't know those various languages, and there's a very small chance that the people I talk to know them either, the general "Indian accent" works for me.
    On the other hand, American pronounce the same vowel as British do & they stress the same syllable in a particular word, as the American/Australian/Indian themselves, since the "stress" pattern in a particular word is to do with the "English language" itself & not with the individual accent. Afterall, word like "heart" has LONG "a" vowel, which is pronounced by ANY English speaker, regardless of their accent.
    I rather see the "vowel" (and consonants, course) articulation i.e the sound articulation itself, as a factor that distinguish between accent.
    I see; I confused vowel sounds and articulation. My mistake. ^^;
    By the way, since you're American yourself, would you have any idea as whether it's MORE easy for an American accented person to grasp British accent OR for a British accented person to grasp American accent ???
    Eh, that's kind of hard to say, especially since there's people that can pick up any accent with fairly little work, no matter what their origonal accent is. Then there's the people that can't do any sort of accent. I'm sure someone with a New York or Boston accent would have an easier time of immitating a Britsh accent and vise versa, while someone with a Southern accent would have a harder time doing a British one. (I've been told that when British people try for an American accent, they usually go for a Southern one . . . .)
    I think the harder part would be the lingo - it seems like Britsh people have more exposure to American lingo than American people have to British lingo. For instance, I could start up a (sort of bad) British accent, but I would still be using Southern American words - with the possible exception of "y'all." Unless I was really thinking hard about it, I would still use "elevator" and "stand in line" out of sheer force of habit.
    And I'm curious, too: if you started talking in a Southern accent, would you remember to use "y'all?" =P

  8. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #29

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDay
    it seems like Britsh people have more exposure to American lingo than American people have to British lingo.
    I think that's beginning to change. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Austin Powers -- British English appears to be "cool" at the moment; it's certainly being heard more often now in popular culture than it used to be. I've even noticed some anglicisms creeping into Americans' speech lately; for example, one or two Americans are beginning to say "bum" to mean "butt", when just a few years ago it might have just confused them.

  9. #30

    Re: How to learn an accent?

    British English is the ultimate cool over here right now - we just had a British kid move here and within three days he became the most popular kid in school.

    But even in those movies, British slang is kept to a minimum - I don't believe I heard any apple and pear references in Harry Potter.

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