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    • Join Date: Jun 2005
    • Posts: 10

    Re: British English or American accent?

    This is my first time to post, I'm a Chinese. Most English books here in schools are BE. But most of our foreigh teachers are Americans. My college teacher told me BE speakers always beat AE speakers. Here most Chinese like AE better than BE because it sounds good, especially "r" sound. And there is another reason that's AE is easy to learn. Anyway I can't tell which is AE or BE.There is another problem about the "test" here: He is likely to come.(here likely can be both adj and adv. It depends on whether you stress likely, if so, it's adj;if not it's adv)

  1. #82

    Smile Re: British English or American accent?

    I'd say a clear speech is the most important of all.

    I don't believe British accent is better than American accent,or vice versa. Depending on where you are on earth,being an ESL student,you don't want to study American accent because you love American accent while you are living in a British-dominant country,or try to study British accent and use it in the United States,if u understand what i mean. It's just like you don't want to hear American accent in a Shakespear's play. Just go with the flow. If I were a native speaker,that'd be a different story because,the key is speaking English to let other people understand you and the accent familiar to their ears. ESL students will just get more confused if they want to learn American accent but their English teachers are all British,or vice versa.

    I find American accent more easy to understand and accessible because American media is everywhere around us,far more than the British. I don't have much chance to hear about British movies. I see courtesy footages of news from CNN or Reuters on TV more than from British media,say,BBC. I watch both.

    As far as BE vs AE,you don't stick to the American date format mm/dd/yyyy while you are in a country where BE is dominant. You'd just cause arguments with others.

    Be open-minded.

    All accents are good IF they are used appropriately. It's just my 2 cents.


    • Join Date: Jun 2005
    • Posts: 10

    Re: British English or American accent?

    It deserve it. Thank you very much!

    • Join Date: Jun 2005
    • Posts: 10

    Re: British English or American accent?

    It deserves it. Thank you very much!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 56,910

    Re: British English or American accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwel
    My college teacher told me BE speakers always beat AE speakers.
    Beat them at what?


  2. #86

    Re: British English or American accent?

    i, Iam from Brazil in south america, so I live in Uk, almost two years, and nowadays British English seems to me more polite...

  3. #87

    Re: British English or American accent?

    I live in Florida, USA. I don't have much of an accent, until I go up north and people start asking me, "Does everyone down there say 'y'all' like you do?"

    I prefer British accents, though. I just visited London about a month and a half ago, and I noticed something I hadn't even thought about before--the accents were stronger in smaller towns than in large cities. In London I could understand everyone, but in the Whitecliffs area there were some words and phrases that I just couldn't figure out.

    We also talked to an older guy in France who had a sort of mixed French-British accent . . . and he couldn't understand us too well. ^.^; He asked where we were from and my sister said, "We're from Flur'duh." Lol, he was like, ". . . Where??"

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 92

    Re: British English or American accent?

    However, the college teachers suggest that British accent is more acceptable in the world, especially in the world outside US. Is it true?

    No. Any judgment on whether a particular accent might be more "acceptable" than another will always boil down to personal opinion. My own sense is that, among those learning English as a second language (unless they live in the UK), preference for the British accent is losing ground to the American. But this probably has almost nothing to do with language and everything to do with economics.

    Do Americans like British accent on the phone when it is a sales call, for example?

    I'm Canadian and I do not react well to any sales call - regardless of the accent!

    • Join Date: Nov 2005
    • Posts: 7

    Re: British English or American accent?

    I am a Canadian originally from South Africa. I teach in a public high school, and although I have had to adapt some of words to Canadian- ise them, my students have never had a problem understanding me at all. The ones from Asia say that I speak slower and more clearly than native- born teachers. The local students are fascinated by my accent and really listen, so all round, having an accent can be something very positive! I live in Toronto, the most culturally diverse city in the world, and accents are so usual here, that no- one bats and eyelid, as everyone seems to have one these days! Also, having an accent here, is a great conversation starter, as people want to know where you are from and then, you ask them in return, and friendships are born in this manner.

    Be proud of your accent - it defines who you are.

  4. #90

    Re: British English or American accent?

    There is no such thing as a 'British' accent, so I assume the debate is between Received Pronunciation (the old 'BBC English') and US English.
    It all depends on the whether the learner expects to use English with other non-native speakers, or with British, or with North Americans.
    Since most speakers of English are not native speakers, and most of these have learnt RP, percentages suggest it is better for the majority of learners to learn RP.

    The strange thing about RP is that, to many ears, speakers with a Slav or Latin accent sound a lot better than the native English speakers on the recordings.

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