How should I ask someone if he has a specific accent or not?

Truth4vahid

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How should I ask someone if he has a specific accent or not?
 

GoesStation

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I asked a friend at a conference "Lancashire?"
 

Truth4vahid

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Is it native-like if I ask:
Do you have any specific accent?
 

Truth4vahid

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I know where he's from but I want to know if he is speaking based on standard American English or he is speaking based on his local English accent.
 

emsr2d2

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Most people speak with their natural native accent. What makes you think he is not doing so?
 

probus

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Also, sometimes people cannot hear their own accent. We recently had a discussion here about Tommy Wiseau, who probably believes he sounds perfectly American but certainly does not.
 

GoesStation

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Is it native-like if I ask:
Do you have any specific accent?
It's grammatical but not logical. Many people don't realize this, but everyone has a specific accent. You might want to ask whether they have a regional accent. If you do, be prepared to hear people deny that they do.
 

jutfrank

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I tend to ask Where's your accent from?
 
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I think it may be acceptable to ask directly if someone has an accent if you're speaking a foreign language. For example, if you're speaking English and don't "sound natural", it's socially acceptable to ask whether someone has a regional/national accent (for example, a Welsh or Cockney accent in Britain, a Texan or New Yorker accent in the US, or an Australian, Indian or South African accent worldwide)
But then, be careful, in some countries, having an accent can bear social associations. I learned it the hard way in France: I was visiting some of these houses in Cannes with a client, and asked the French realtors if they had any accent. The Southern ones recognised it without a problem, as it's normal to talk with an accent there (the current Prime Minister of France, Jean Castex, does speak with a Southern accent), but their colleague, who came from the northernmost regions of the country, was a bit offended, since the Northern accent has negative social associations (as it's traditionally spoken by low income, low culture families in the countryside and in small towns)
 
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Charlie Bernstein

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Is it natural to ask: Do you have any specific accent?
No. Never. Everyone has an accent. You speak English with a Persian accent. I speak English with an American accent. If you talk, you have an accent.

Instead, ask something like:

- What kind of accent do you have?

- What is your accent?

- What is that accent?

- Where is your accent from?

- Is that a Jamaican accent?

- Where did you get your accent?
 
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