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I love accents and languages

Travel Forums Europe I love accents and languages

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1. Posted by misshelenb (Budding Member 17 posts) 9y

I know this is kind of oddball, but I really like accents and learning them and trying to trick people. I'm going to be taking a trip to England and Scotland. I've already been praised by Brits for my English accent, but bless me if I'll ever get a good Scottish one. Any tips? It's actually hard for me to keep talking like an American when I'm around UKers. "American" seems boring and lifeless (and often just not cultured) compared to uk accents. Does anyone else like accents as much as I do? Will Scots and Brits be offended if I try to imitate them?

  • sheepish grin*

Post away! I'm interested to know. . . . a lot of things.

2. Posted by Ranni (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

I dont like American english.The way Young people talk in USA, is THE WORST in the world..

Oh Man
Oh
Dude
Whatever
wher U at?

I hate that

Even german, russian sounds MUCH better. MY fav..you guessed it..is British

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 8, 2007, at 11:37 PM by Rani ]

3. Posted by neuron (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Oh yeah! hehe. Its actually a skill to learn different languages. I admit, it's quite difficult imitating the british accents. But, bet if you get acquainted with the group for months and all your hear are their accents and daily interaction with them, you surely, will be able to copy them too.

Any fascination for chinese language ? :)

[ Edit: please do not post promotional websites in the forum ]

4. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 613 posts) 9y

Hi Helen,
Please excuse my generalisations, but I've never heard a truly convincing British accent from an American - nor in fact from many other nationalites. And probably vice versa to be fair.
I think it's great to be interested, but unless you do it in a jokey context, you may come across as patronising, particularly where regional accents are stronger (e.g. Manchester.) I now live in Cumbria, where the local accent is vastly different from where I grew up, only 80 miles away. But I wouldn't expect to be greeted with a smile if I started impersonating the locals. I can, but I don't.

Again, it's a generalisation, but Americans are percieved as being LOUD, so personally I would just recommend softening your own accent and picking up on phrases rather than sounds - that will tell you more about people than how the words sound.

My partner found in Vegas that when she asked in clear English where she could used the 'Internet', the hotel staff didn't understand. But when she thought in 'American' and said "Innernet", they got it straight away! But she still said it with a Manchester accent!

5. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

From what I can tell, Scots like to roll their Rs a lot. Very sexy stuff! Watch The Last King of Scotland to get a good idea of all that mouth rolling. I do believe accents in Scotland, like any country, vary greatly from city to city. I think I'd stay away from the Glasweigan (Glasgowian? Glaswagite?) accent as it's a doozy.

I know what you mean about taking on other people's accents - I can hear weird pronunciations slipping out of my mouth when I'm away. I feel completely embarassed and wonder if anyone's taken offence, but I don't think they've ever noticed.

6. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

As long as u dont deceive anybody by pretending u are somebody u are not, I dont think anybody will be offended.
I think, if u want to learn a Scotish accent, spend an evening or a few in a pub, with somebody Scotish chatting, so u can learn their accent. Tell them what u are doing, so they dont think u are making fun of them.;)

Mel

7. Posted by daphnemaia (Full Member 155 posts) 9y

in asia, as long as one speaks with an american / british / unplaced accent, one is labelled as a wannabe.

i find that quite hard to fathom. because i agree with tway - it's easy to unconsciously slip into an accent after speaking with a foreign person for a while.

i've heard friends studying in UK, USA or australia pick up accents of those places, and these are people who have lived in singapore/malaysia for 20 years!

i'm neutral towards it. i find languages and accents fun too. just try not to sound affected when you speak with an accent. i find it very useful to be able to imitate an accent as well.

non-chinese speakers may not know this, but malaysian-chinese, singaporean-chinese and Chinese natives speak mandarin differently - with a different accent, so to speak.

having a boyfriend from Beijing, i've picked up some Beijing chinese accent and slangs, and this was extremely useful whenever i went to beijing, especially when i wanted to purchase something. shopkeepers will tend to not try to rip you off if u can pull off the accent convincingly. but if u're not confident, don't even try, lest u look like a fool. haha.

nevertheless... languages are one of my passions, and i speak 4 pretty fluently, in addition to a number of Chinese dialects! it's fun learning a new language... everyone should learn a foreign language! :)

8. Posted by Goretex (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y

Quoting stevieh

My partner found in Vegas that when she asked in clear English where she could used the 'Internet', the hotel staff didn't understand. But when she thought in 'American' and said "Innernet", they got it straight away! But she still said it with a Manchester accent!

haha I find that hard to beleive but could see that. I found that when I was in England people didn't like the American accent. oh well.

9. Posted by ikey (Full Member 172 posts) 9y

Quoting misshelenb

I know this is kind of oddball, but I really like accents and learning them and trying to trick people.
"American" seems boring and lifeless (and often just not cultured) compared to uk accents.
Will Scots and Brits be offended if I try to imitate them?

Hi Mshelenb, my personal opinion is if I were you I would avoid trying to imitate other accents at all costs. I have an American guy who lives next door to me and whenever I see him he puts on this really strong Australian accent and says "G'day mate, how you goin' cobber?"
It's really started to annoy me because it sounds so fake and unnatural that I cannot tell if he is genuinely trying to fit in or just 'taking the piss' out of my accent.
My advice is to be proud of your accent and where you are from, their are probably billions of people around the world who are jealous of you.

PS - I really don't think there is anything wrong with the American accent, (the Boston accent is one of my favourites in the world) I think 90% of people in any country think their own accent is boring. It's natural to get bored of something you are hearing everyday of your life.

10. Posted by ikey (Full Member 172 posts) 9y

Quoting stevieh

My partner found in Vegas that when she asked in clear English where she could used the 'Internet', the hotel staff didn't understand. But when she thought in 'American' and said "Innernet", they got it straight away! But she still said it with a Manchester accent!

Ha, it's funny you mention that because when I was travelling around Eastern Europe with an American friend of mine, we found that a lot of people couldn't understand what I was saying, but when my friend asked the question, they could usually understand him a lot better. Sometimes it was like he was acting as a translater for me.
Just an example of how 'American English' has become so popular around the world.