[English] Accents! (5)

1 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-03 20:22 ID:8i+j1FQI

Are there any good ways to learn various English accents without paying one of those language/accent teachers actors frequently consult all the time?

Transatlantic English is a rather tempting accent to be able to master, as well as a scottish accent, and a nice british accent (not a silly posh one) would be darned nice to have too.

What makes an accent brittish? I can recognise it when I hear it, but I can't quite put my finger on it, exept for that they speak using the front space of their mouth a lot.

2 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-05 15:05 ID:n8vrIvLh

What is a 'British' accent? You've got either Scottish (Doric from the North-east, a more posh accent in edinburgh, and yet another accent in Glasgow), English (Cockney, upper-class, etc. -- too many variations to go through), or Welsh (a bit more uniform, as Wales is smaller) accents. Britain is not a country, but an island made up of three distinct cultural areas.

To be honest, the best way to learn an accent is immersion - I've picked up a NE Scottish accent in around a month of communication. Otherwise, try and seek out oral examples of the accent (not Hollywood movies; they don't know their accents) and try to listen to as diverse a range of words and phrases spoken as possible. I'd really advise for immersion, though. You'll pick up something odd trying to do it any other way.

3 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-06 03:58 ID:1MrQu9YX

Same thing goes on with southern accents. People never seem to imitate them quite right.
Hate to do this, but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_American_English

4 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-11 20:30 ID:Q1CY7ezK


It's more diverse than that.
What most people consider a 'British' accent is usually standard english/RP.
However, the vast majority of people in England do not actually speak like this. We have a huge variety of accents corresponding to places; Brummie [Birmingham], Geordie [Newcastle], West Country [Somerset], Cornish [Cornwall], to list but a few.
Too many people generalise when referring to Britain. America has a huge variety of accents; why shouldn't any other country?

And >>2 - Britain is not a country, but I wouldn't describe it as you did. Rather, it consists of three countries, each of which contain vast numbers of distinct cultural areas. ;)

As for learning an accent, >>2 is right; being immersed in the place long enough tends to do it. However, depending on your age, you may find that you end up with a strange combination of accents, or indeed none at all. I moved from East Sussex (far south-east) to North East Lincolnshire (mid/north-east) when I was 7, and lost my southern accent in around 3 weeks; yet my dad lived for 12 years in the south from age 30 and never picked up the local accent. Likewise, my friend's mother, who moved to NE Lincs from Paris when she was 28, still speaks with a fairly strong french accent.

5 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2006-06-23 04:51 ID:uNDI2DUS

http://accent.gmu.edu/index.php may be of interest to you.

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