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Old Aug 4th 2017, 7:42 pm   #1
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Default Accents - have you lost yours?

I was teasing a poster in another thread about British English, slang, idiomatic speech etc.

It got me thinking about accents. When people ask me how long I've been here (21 years) they're often surprised that I "haven't lost my accent".
It's happened quite a bit recently.

Growing up, I spoke with an RP accent. (Riding a train when I was around 13, two boys asked me if I was a public schoolboy - I wasn't).
Anyway, perhaps it's because I always strove for an RP accent that I don't sound American.

On the ski lift, I'll ask British tourists where they're from. I'll get the usual "Oh, just outside London" sort of response if I ask "where are you guys from?" If I ask "where are you from?", I'll get a specific answer; "Denbigh".
My accent doesn't change but my sentence construction/phrasing does, and it's interesting how that elicits a different response.

Have you lost your accent? Do you get teased about it when you go home?

Last edited by Octang Frye; Aug 4th 2017 at 7:46 pm.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 7:54 pm   #2
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

I haven't lost mine in 43 years here. It's still British with a trace of Yorkshire in it. I use American expressions however and that seems to throw a lot of people off when I'm back in the UK
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 8:24 pm   #3
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

I speak American with an English accent.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 9:30 pm   #4
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Apparently I have an Australian accent even though I have lived in Texas for 28 years. And then back in the UK a few weeks ago 3 different people thought we were Australian as well.

I am from Essex, not with the Estuary Essex accent but the old Essex country accent so I guess mixed with a Texan accent it makes me sound Australian.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 9:52 pm   #5
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

I would say I've sorta lost my English accent after 50 years here. I pronounce some words the American way and dropped English expressions purely for the convenience of being understood.
Even so most people I meet recognize me as British. Personally I find the 'Profession Englishman' rather annoying and pretentious.
My wife on the other hand might of just got off the boat, with a strong Yorkshire accent, and calls people luv and says owt, nowt and intit, an when she tries to say tomato the American way it just does come out right.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 9:55 pm   #6
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octang Frye View Post
I was teasing a poster in another thread about British English, slang, idiomatic speech etc.

It got me thinking about accents. When people ask me how long I've been here (21 years) they're often surprised that I "haven't lost my accent".
It's happened quite a bit recently.

Growing up, I spoke with an RP accent. (Riding a train when I was around 13, two boys asked me if I was a public schoolboy - I wasn't).
Anyway, perhaps it's because I always strove for an RP accent that I don't sound American.

On the ski lift, I'll ask British tourists where they're from. I'll get the usual "Oh, just outside London" sort of response if I ask "where are you guys from?" If I ask "where are you from?", I'll get a specific answer; "Denbigh".
My accent doesn't change but my sentence construction/phrasing does, and it's interesting how that elicits a different response.

Have you lost your accent? Do you get teased about it when you go home?
I have to ask, what is an RP accent?
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 10:03 pm   #7
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

RP is received pronunciation. It's a region-less, neutral accent.

It was literally the BBC accent, which was no accident.
The then head of the BBC - who ironically spoke with a thick Scottish brogue - deliberately hired and trained people who spoke with an RP accent.

There's an American equivalent, too. The Transatlantic accent is what you hear in old Hollywood movies. Most people didn't speak like that in real life.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 10:28 pm   #8
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Nope! I still sound like a New Yawker

My mother was born and raised in Germany and didn't emigrate until she was in her twenties. I never heard an accent when she spoke but yet my many friends did.

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Old Aug 4th 2017, 10:31 pm   #9
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octang Frye View Post
RP is received pronunciation. It's a region-less, neutral accent.

It was literally the BBC accent, which was no accident.
The then head of the BBC - who ironically spoke with a thick Scottish brogue - deliberately hired and trained people who spoke with an RP accent.

There's an American equivalent, too. The Transatlantic accent is what you hear in old Hollywood movies. Most people didn't speak like that in real life.
A friend went on one of those self improvement courses and the first thing he was told was to lose the Northern accent. He wasn't too pleased with that.
Today you're likely to hear all kinds of accents on the BBC.
I watch a lot of British TV and I must say a lot of the time I can't understand what they are saying, could do with sub titles.
Old British movies sound strange and everyone had a posh accent except those that were in menial position, and they spoke with an exaggerated phony cockney accent.
Albert Finney and Michael Cain were among those that broke out of that mold. Although acting is once again heavily skewed towards middle class and privileged.
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Last edited by johnwoo; Aug 4th 2017 at 10:59 pm.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 10:42 pm   #10
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octang Frye View Post
My accent doesn't change but my sentence construction/phrasing does, and it's interesting how that elicits a different response.
Y'all hit the nail on the head.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 11:06 pm   #11
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Accent hasn't changed at all when speaking English.

However, I do tend to altar syntax somewhat to make myself understood.

Imagine Kristen Scott Thomas saying "could I get a glass of water please?" arghhhh.

rather than "may I have some water please?"
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 11:13 pm   #12
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Been here since 2009 (although I spent a year here when I was 18 and forced myself to alter my accent from my strong Scottish accent so I could be understood more and as a result my accent has been a bit odd for a while.)
My accent sounds different depending on who I am talking to and what I am talking about. If I speak to my parents I sound more Scottish, same goes if I am angry at anyone or anything. If I am speaking to people at my kids school I have been told I sound different but they can't place where I am from. I hate having to repeat myself over and over again so I think my brain makes my mouth try to alter the way I say stuff just to save time. It does not always work.
My daughter who was 4 when we came over and is now 12, sounds very American. Her brother who was 6 when we came over and is now 14, sounds like he just got off the plane except for a select few words that sound American. Mainly words like tuna, Tuesday, water, etc.
My husband sounds like he just got off the plane. He uses American words for stuff but with an English accent.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 11:58 pm   #13
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Like many on here, still got my British accent (I've only been in the US for 2 and a bit years), but now use American vernacular otherwise I get confused looks or sniggering (the last one was for calling a subway car a carriage) from colleagues or friends.
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Old Aug 5th 2017, 1:17 am   #14
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

I was speaking to someone a few days ago who asked about the accent. He said he realized it was English, but had some southern in it.

Quite often I put a ridiculous English accent on at restaurants just for giggles.... And to try embarrass other people that I'm with.
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Old Aug 5th 2017, 2:58 am   #15
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Default Re: Accents - have you lost yours?

Today was the first time I've spoken to someone back in Rochdale, Lancs., where we came from, for three years. I could hear my accent come back in, and then lost it again when I came off the phone. Weird.
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