PDA

View Full Version : Accent question



Kryianna
01-06-2009, 05:12 AM
Most Americans love "British" accents. I use quotes there, because many Americans can't tell the difference between a Scottish, Irish, Cockney, Australian, New Zealand, Welsh, or other Isle accents. I, for instance, will simply melt when I hear someone with a nice thick accent.

What do foreigners think of American accents? Can you tell the difference between some of the regional accents (Texan drawl, relaxed Southern style, nasally Bostonian, etc)? Does an American accent do for you what a "British" accent does for us?

zenwriter
01-06-2009, 06:24 AM
I’m not sure if I’m foreigner enough (I’m Canadian) but I can vaguely identify different US accents, although not with much precision. I can identify a Southern accent, and although I can tell a Texas accent is “not quite” like a Southern one, I often don’t think “Ah, Texas” when I hear it. I tend to lump everyone from the northeast US together, since about all I can distinguish is that the vowel sounds are flatter than our own (“Where is the bank” sounds like “Whare is the baahnk” to me). To be fair, I don’t necessarily have the best ear.

As for enjoyment/sexiness – I like Southern accents. I find them charming and somehow relaxing. In terms of sexiness, I have to agree that a British accent is more likely to set my heart a-pitter-patter.

C.bronco
01-06-2009, 06:26 AM
I grew up in CT, and therefore have no accent. Is a lack of an accent intriguing?

Corpus Thomisticum
01-06-2009, 06:30 AM
@C.Bronco :ROFL:Someone from Texas or Chicago might disagree...

Here are a couple decent reference websites on American dialects:

http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/map/map.html

http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_have

Albedo
01-06-2009, 06:30 AM
I'm Australian. I can tell a New Yorker from a Bostonian from a Southerner, but all of the Mid-Western and Western accents blend together. Sorry, guys. Canadians sound like Mid-Westerners as well except for all the 'aboot's. :)

C.bronco
01-06-2009, 06:33 AM
@C.Bronco :ROFL:Someone from Texas or Chicago might disagree...

Here are a couple decent reference websites on American dialects:

http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/map/map.html

http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_have

I speak like a news anchor. :D

Corpus Thomisticum
01-06-2009, 06:34 AM
;)

C.bronco
01-06-2009, 06:36 AM
I begin sentences with "This just in!" and "And now, a word from our sponsors."

jvc
01-06-2009, 11:38 AM
Most Americans love "British" accents. I use quotes there, because many Americans can't tell the difference between a Scottish, Irish, Cockney, Australian, New Zealand, Welsh, or other Isle accents. I, for instance, will simply melt when I hear someone with a nice thick accent.

What do foreigners think of American accents? Can you tell the difference between some of the regional accents (Texan drawl, relaxed Southern style, nasally Bostonian, etc)?
I can distniguish between Texan and relaxed Southern and NY for example, sometimes, on a good day.

Does an American accent do for you what a "British" accent does for us?
Errr, not so much, nope. And that's not to say I don't like the accent, I certainly don't dislike it, it's just not turning me on, so to speak.

Sophia
01-06-2009, 11:52 AM
I can tell the difference between them, but I couldn't put a name to many apart from broad "that's Southern", "that's Californian" statements based on generalisations made from TV and movies. I think that anyone who sounds like Keanu Reeves in Wayne's World is from California, and anyone who sounds like Foghorn Leghorn is from Maine (though I see it is Kentucky or Virginia, from looking it up), for example.

Accents by themselves don't make me melt, it's the voice and the person who is speaking that do. :)

Sophia, south of England

Cyia
01-06-2009, 01:00 PM
Hey now, some of us can distinguish accents pretty well. I can usually tell by sound if a person is from Northern or Southern England, (I have to say I'm disappointed, Cockney sounds NOTHING like any other accent. Period.), Wales, Scotland, Ireland (seriously how do you mix that up with anything?), Australia, sometimes New Zealand and New Guinea (I can't tell you where they're from but it sounds different than Australia) and South Africa.

The same goes for US accents. There's a distinct difference in Texas (Twang or drawl) from the usual southern accent. And people from Georgia don't sound like people from Tennessee or the Carolinas. West Virginia has a VERY distinct accent, as does the Boston area of Massachusettes. Most people can pick out New York, New Jersey and California, though I think the mid-west does get lumped together.

I think the best compliment I got on the way I speak - which sounds very Texan to me - was from my college interviewer, a native Chinese man. He told me I had no accent at all that he could hear when I used my "professional" voice.

waylander
01-06-2009, 01:40 PM
I'm reasonably good at picking out US accents though most of the Americans I've listened to (in real life not on TV/movies) are educated and tend to have less of a strong accent. The whole of the mid-west does rather blend into one accent though.
I'll notice accents but I don't melt at the sound

Waylander - who speaks a bit like a BBC newsreader

scarletpeaches
01-06-2009, 02:14 PM
I can tell the difference between extreme Northerners and extreme Southerners, but that's about it. West to East coast? Can't tell the difference.

And as for 'does it do it for you'? When it comes to the deep, deep South drawl, HELLZ. YEAH.

Ms Hollands
01-06-2009, 02:17 PM
I'm Australian, and I learnt the different accents in the UK after living there for quite some time. I haven't spent time in the US, so I can't really tell the difference between the accents except what is provided in the movies. I can identify New Yorkers ('quaffee' hehe), Californians, and the Southern drawl in general (but not any particular state). Canadians mostly sound like Americans to me...I have to wait to hear them say 'about' to figure out if they're American or Canadian, but I've normally already asked by then.

mscelina
01-06-2009, 02:21 PM
I've trained most of my Deep South accent from my voice--had to; it's hard to play Shakespeare when you have an accent like Dolly Parton--but then again, I was also brought up in a bilingual home by a French mother who'd learned and spoke "British" English. As a result, I'm very good at performing different dialects or accents onstage, but very rarely can someone peg my home state or current location from my dialect.

Mr Flibble
01-06-2009, 04:25 PM
Waylander - who speaks a bit like a BBC newsreader He does - he always makes me sound like blooming Bianca from Eastenders...not that I don't anyway :D Sigh - I used to speak so nicely -- till I got the mick taken something chronic.

Yeah I can tell Boston from New Yoik from Texas from Deep South ( mainly because me and Deep Southerners need a bloody phrase book to understand each other. I had to use sign language to buy stamps lol) but the rest kinda blends.

I don't know about turning me on (I prefer a nice russian accent) but ya'll texans sound quite yummy. Or maybe it's the cowboy outfits :D

scarletpeaches
01-06-2009, 04:41 PM
RICKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

I wish there was some way of recording our voices and posting them here so we could all say the same few words for comparison and larks and japes and the like...

Hmm...

Mr Flibble
01-06-2009, 04:45 PM
RICKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.



Exactly - I heard myself on a wedding video and immediately thought of that line, although I'm maybe not quite that bad. I certainly hope not!

I'm dead posh me, can you tell?

KTC
01-06-2009, 04:46 PM
I'm Australian. I can tell a New Yorker from a Bostonian from a Southerner, but all of the Mid-Western and Western accents blend together. Sorry, guys. Canadians sound like Mid-Westerners as well except for all the 'aboot's. :)


That's a silly thing to say. I've been across this country. Every region has its own extremely recognizable accent. 'Canadian' is not an accent.

KTC
01-06-2009, 04:48 PM
Canadians mostly sound like Americans to me...I have to wait to hear them say 'about' to figure out if they're American or Canadian, but I've normally already asked by then.


AGAIN...Canadian is most definitely NOT an accent. Try crossing the country and you'll realize we all sound different depending on the region. EXTREMELY different.

Julie Worth
01-06-2009, 04:50 PM
Most Americans love "British" accents.



I prefer a nice russian accent

Russian accents are about the best, Chinese the worst. Aussie accents are okay, but I can't take them seriously. British accents on NPR readers are pretentiously excruciating, while Laura Logan's South African accent makes me want to scratch her eyes out.

scarletpeaches
01-06-2009, 04:56 PM
Exactly - I heard myself on a wedding video and immediately thought of that line, although I'm maybe not quite that bad. I certainly hope not!

I'm dead posh me, can you tell?

We should phone each other someday and shout RICKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY at each other.

I do a really good Eastenders audition in a Scottish accent.

"Gerrowra moi pub, you're bahed you SLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG."

Ms Hollands
01-06-2009, 05:46 PM
AGAIN...Canadian is most definitely NOT an accent. Try crossing the country and you'll realize we all sound different depending on the region. EXTREMELY different.

Calm down mate. Can you tell the difference between a Western Australian and someone from Sydney? I can, but I don't expect non-Australians to. Get over it!

scarletpeaches
01-06-2009, 05:49 PM
Pfft. You people all sound the same to me.

Insulted?

Get over it!

waylander
01-06-2009, 05:52 PM
We are somewhat reprising the discussions that continue here http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112502

KTC
01-06-2009, 06:15 PM
I was merely pointing out the ridiculousness of saying 'Canadian accent'. I am extremely calm.

Julie Worth
01-06-2009, 06:34 PM
Regional accents of English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinguishing_accents_in_English)

Albedo
01-06-2009, 06:41 PM
That's a silly thing to say. I've been across this country. Every region has its own extremely recognizable accent. 'Canadian' is not an accent.

I know it isn't. Canadian is just an offshoot of Milwaukeean with the odd 'aboot'. :poke:


Ha ha. But seriously, Canadians from Vancouver to Toronto sound alike to me, and mostly indistinguishable from their southern neighbours. My subjective experience of your language isn't silly, thanks very much. Quebecois and Newfies obviously sound different, but there is a general Canadian accent.

scarletpeaches
01-06-2009, 06:44 PM
I don't know what all the fuss is aboot.

ideagirl
01-07-2009, 12:39 AM
I grew up in CT, and therefore have no accent. Is a lack of an accent intriguing?

Of course you have an accent. Or did God make English to be spoken only and exactly as you speak it, so everyone else has an accent? ;)

Chase
01-07-2009, 02:14 AM
Slightly off topic, but people tell me I have a "deaf accent" when I'm not careful to modulate lower with more vocal cords in play.

The accent, I'm told, is a slightly higher, through-the-nose-tonal voice. I'm wondering if oral-tradition deafies from different parts of the U.S. and those from other countries sound much the same or vastly different.

Recently, some Australians I met were kind enough to write out some words and phrases when I couldn't speechread their English very well. They joked they had to do the same for U.S. folks who could hear, ha ha ha.

IceCreamEmpress
01-07-2009, 06:22 AM
I was merely pointing out the ridiculousness of saying 'Canadian accent'. I am extremely calm.

Canadians can tell the differences among regional Canadian accents easily. Americans can tell the differences among regional American accents easily. English people can tell the differences among regional English accents easily. Australian people can tell the differences among regional Australian accents easily.

But when you're not part of the core speech-sound community, you may well hear a "Canadian" or an "American" or an "English" or an "Australian" accent. It's just the level of granularity at which people not familiar with the nuances of the speech-sounds interact with them.

scarletpeaches
01-07-2009, 04:44 PM
I have a Scottish accent and don't take offence at anyone saying that. Hell, even I have trouble distinguishing between certain regions of the country.

Plus, just to make things awkward for people trying to work out where I'm from, I've been told on a number of occasions I'm 'too posh' to be from my home town, and even once, "It's all right for you; your parents obviously brought you up to be middle class." No-one who knows my 'parents' would say that.

Oh, and also apparently I have a 'telephone voice'. :rolleyes:

dolores haze
01-07-2009, 04:56 PM
Whe I lived in Scotland (near Glasgow) we used to think that people only ten miles eastwards (towards Edinburgh) had funny accents. My fave British accent is Scouse (Liverpudlian). My fave foreigner-speaking-English accent is French. Ohh la la - so sexay!

scarletpeaches
01-07-2009, 04:58 PM
Ugh. I can't stand Scouse accents. They make me want to hurt somebody after only one sentence. And Brummies.

My favourites from the UK are some parts of Essex, and most of Yorkshire. :D

dolores haze
01-07-2009, 05:00 PM
Barry from Brookside did it to me.

scarletpeaches
01-07-2009, 05:09 PM
You mean Ba', with his bezzy mates, Ga' and Te'. :D