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  1. #31
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    Exclamation Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDay
    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.
    I've heard of Americans penchant for British accent & Britons often fancy the "lovely" Irish accent

    In fact, I came across hardly few movies where British slangs are used in it:

    >> In Ocean's Eleven, one of them was a Cockney guy responsible to turn the lights off of the entire city for a short while (if you know who am I on about), when coming out of the gutter, he uses one of the cockney rhyme slang for "trouble" saying "we are in barney" & when the others don't get it, he says the whole rhyming slang saying "barney rubble" & when the group still doesn't get it, he says "trouble".

    >> In Bend It Like Beckham, during a football match, when Jass faces an ethnic slur, which she responses back saying "sod off"

    >> In Austin Powers' Goldmember with Elizabeth Hurley, when he's with her sharing a room in a hotel in Japan, Austin refers to his private parts as "wedding tackle" when he showers all his corny lines on Elizabeth Hurley

    >> In Notting Hill, when Anna Scott gets invited to William Thacker's (Hugh Grant) little sister's birthday party, she empathetically says "arse". Interestingly, both "arse" (ONLY if pronounced in British accent) & "ass" (whether pronounced in British or American accent) are pronounced exactly the same, i.e. "A:s". However, Anna pronounces "arse" as "A:rs" (in her American accent where the sound of "r" occurs, unlike in British accent, where sound of "r" is ALWAYS quiet, unless followed by a vowel sound)

    >> In Bridget Jones' Edge of the Reason, Hugh Grant, when in Thailand he says "there's been absolute cock-up" when a Thai girl enters the room when Hugh & Bridget are there

    >> Lastly, in quite a few James Bond movies I remember hearing American English as opposed to British one. In one of the James Bond movie, I've heard James Bond saying "Where there's smoke, there's fire" however the British equivalent of it would be "There's no smoke without fire"

    Any more examples of American/British slang used in the movie, especially, if such slangs are NOT understandable by someone outside the country from where the movie is originated, such as British slang NOT understandable to Americans & vice versa ???
    Last edited by j4mes_bond25; 25-Mar-2006 at 20:24.

  2. #32
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    Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDay
    I don't believe I heard any apple and pear references in Harry Potter.
    That would have been inappropriate. That's an example of Cockney rhyming slang, which is used only in certain situations by Cockneys, i.e. Londoners, although a few of the more common expressions have since found their way into the speech of other people. But Harry and his friends are pretty much typical middle- to upper-class and would never use such expressions.

    It would be a bit like watching an American movie set in Beverly Hills and wondering why nobody ever says "aw, shucks!" or "there ain't room in this mansion for both of us, partner". (The classic comedy series The Beverly Hillbillies, of course, did do something like that, but for comic reasons.)

  3. #33
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    Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by j4mes_bond25
    Interestingly, both "arse" (ONLY if pronounced in British accent) & "ass" (whether pronounced in British or American accent) are pronounced exactly the same, i.e. "A:s". However, Anna pronounces "arse" as "A:rs" (in her American accent where the sound of "r" occurs, unlike in British accent, where sound of "r" is ALWAYS quiet, unless followed by a vowel sound)
    That's actually untrue. Firstly, the "r" is sounded in many dialects of British English (my own, for example), sometimes very strongly; it just happens that in the standard RP accent, it isn't pronounced but merely lengthens the vowel. It's worth remembering that RP is an artificial dialect, but based on certain south-eastern dialects. Secondly, the vowel sound in the standard US accent is very different than that of the standard British accent: it's shorter and pronounced further back.

  4. #34
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    Exclamation Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss
    That's actually untrue. Firstly, the "r" is sounded in many dialects of British English (my own, for example), sometimes very strongly; it just happens that in the standard RP accent, it isn't pronounced but merely lengthens the vowel. It's worth remembering that RP is an artificial dialect, but based on certain south-eastern dialects. Secondly, the vowel sound in the standard US accent is very different than that of the standard British accent: it's shorter and pronounced further back.
    Well, so far, since developing interest in Phonetics, I only delved into RP accent, since it's widely seen as a Standard British accent, however, I haven't a chance to explore other British regional accent, as much as I've looked into RP.

    However, having said that, I don't think I've heard "r" sound by anyone having British accent on British television/movie, as yet. And, on television, course, I often hear people from different region having varied regional accents but don't think I could say that I've heard "r" sound in any of their speech, as clearly audible as I could hear in American movies, for example.

    For example, words like cordon, arse, honour, order, etc., as far as I've heard has ALL BUT ALWAYS has "r" sound "silent", except in "Scottish or Irish/Northern Irish" accent (but course, they are not strickly "English" accent, as in from "England").

    Are you quiet certain about the possibility of some English regional accent (be it be York, South east/west, Brummie, North, Midlands, etc.) actually pronouncing the "r" sound (except when the "r" sound is exclusively followed by a vowel sound) ???

    In my case, course, the "r" sound is pronounced but ONLY when it follows a vowel sound, but it's highly unlikely if you'll hear the "r" sound in my accent in words like "Ireland", "corner", "corn", "peter", etc.

    If I may ask, which regional English accent in particular do you have, where you tend to pronounce the "r" sound, even when a vowel sound DOES NOT occur straight after the "r" sound ???

  5. Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss
    That would have been inappropriate. That's an example of Cockney rhyming slang, which is used only in certain situations by Cockneys, i.e. Londoners, although a few of the more common expressions have since found their way into the speech of other people. But Harry and his friends are pretty much typical middle- to upper-class and would never use such expressions.
    I see. Sounds like Cokney would be the equivilant of, say, ghetto slang here?
    Last edited by SunnyDay; 27-Mar-2006 at 04:49.

  6. #36
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    Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by j4mes_bond25
    If I may ask, which regional English accent in particular do you have, where you tend to pronounce the "r" sound, even when a vowel sound DOES NOT occur straight after the "r" sound ???
    Westcountry. Specifically, Somerrrrrset, the land of ciderrrrr. Not very far, in fact, from Bristol, where Long John "Arrrrrr Jim Lad" Silverrrrr comes from.

    Have you seen The Curse of the Were-Rabbit? Mr Growbag has a Westcountry accent, and at one point says, "Kiss my arrrrr-tichoke!" And who could forget the Wurzels with their number one hit I've Got a Brand New Combine-Harvester, every single R clearly audible?

  7. #37
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    Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDay
    I see. Sounds like Cokney would be the equivilant of, say, ghetto slang here?
    Except that Cockneys are perceived as being helpful, decent, generous people with a sense of humour and very long heritage. They may indulge in crime, but crime of the harmless sort -- selling stuff at market that should have gone to the dump, for example.

    That's a stereotype, of course, and a rather condescending one at that, but the Cockney dialect is generally associated with positive characteristics.

  8. #38
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    Exclamation Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss
    Except that Cockneys are perceived as being helpful, decent, generous people with a sense of humour and very long heritage. They may indulge in crime, but crime of the harmless sort -- selling stuff at market that should have gone to the dump, for example.
    That's a stereotype, of course, and a rather condescending one at that, but the Cockney dialect is generally associated with positive characteristics.
    Del boy of Peckham portrays a perfect picture of "Cockney sorts" & as far as spoken English is concerned, one only needs listening to David Beckham

  9. #39
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    Re: How to learn an accent?

    I think different people have different conditions and their own ways of picking accents. Some of them only take a few months, but others may spend years to get it. It really depends on your potential and the environment where you live. Don't worry! there will be a moment that you suddenly realize: "where did I get this accent from? When? How..."

    I am kinda "changable" person though (???). In my home country, I used to have a clear-enough American accent 2 years ago, but when I've moved to New Zealand, after 6 months, I realized that I lost my American accent without knowing it Once, I talked to an American teacher, he said: "you have a lovely British accent" (NZer accent is totally different from Brit) unbelievable

  10. #40
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    Smile Re: How to learn an accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by unfer View Post
    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!
    Hi Newbie,

    I think you should record some extracts from a BBC website where you can find listening exercises and you can find the script as well (News and Vocabulary section or Breaking News English Lessons | FREE ESL Lesson Plans | Listening). Listen to it twice and try to record your own pronunciation on another tape recorder. Have a close examination at what details you have to work out.

    Bye,
    Margarita_hu

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