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American accent

American accent

Old Feb 27th 2011, 11:16 am
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Default American accent

Last summer I met two British people in San Diego who had lived there for 5 years and they spoke with an American accent Every now and again you could hear a slight British twang. I didn't think that could be possible, but at this point it obviously is. I have lived in Milan for 20 years and still have my strong Merseyside accent. I was just curious.... do any of you speak with an American accent?
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 11:22 am
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Default Re: American accent

No
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by cosmicjunkie View Post
I have lived in Milan for 20 years and still have my strong Merseyside accent.
When you speak Italian, or when you speak English? I would not expect your english to change much if you live in a non-english speaking country. If you spent 20 years living in the US, Canada or Australia on the other hand, your english probably would change some.

I have lived in the US for almost 27 years, but my native language is Norwegian. I learned English as a second language while in school in Norway, and the English being taught there was british English. So when I first moved to the US, I sounded more like a brit. These days, I speak american English, and have been told on numerous occasions that I do not have an accent. People who don't know my background are usually surprised when I tell them that english is not my native language.

Some people have an ear for languages (I do), others don't. It's something you are born with, and often goes hand in hand with an ear for music (which I also have).

Kids is a different story, their brains are wired to soak up languages up to a certain age. Once past that cutoff, I think anyone who is immersed in a foreign language have the ability to increase their vocabulary and understanding of that language, but not everyone has the ability to mimic a foreign language to the point where no accent is detected. Being able to speak a foreign language without an accent is a talent you either have or don't have - just like any other talent. We are all different - and thank goodness for that, right?
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: American accent

god no! *shudder*
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by cosmicjunkie View Post
Last summer I met two British people in San Diego who had lived there for 5 years and they spoke with an American accent Every now and again you could hear a slight British twang. I didn't think that could be possible, but at this point it obviously is. I have lived in Milan for 20 years and still have my strong Merseyside accent. I was just curious.... do any of you speak with an American accent?
This is probably partly voluntary, partly involuntary. Me, I work in a private liberal arts college in the North East.. it would be an oversimplification to say that I got the job because of my English accent and Cambridge degree, but it didn't hurt. I play the cantankerous, neo-communist fuddy-duddy and it has led to excellent annual reviews and pay-raises every year. So I'm currently a lot more "English" than I was when I left the old sod. If I worked at Bob Jones University or somesuch, I might have taken on a bit more local colour...
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Back in the 90s when I worked on a couple of summer camps, there was a British counsellor who would be genuinely American-sounding by the end of camp (8-9 weeks), drift back to British afterwards, and then do it all over again the following year! He claims he didn't even realise he was doing it.

More recently a work colleague went off to Florida on a K1 and was concsiously Americanising himself before he went. Cue myself using red pen liberally on his documents I was reviewing to "correct" them!
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by cosmicjunkie View Post
Last summer I met two British people in San Diego who had lived there for 5 years and they spoke with an American accent Every now and again you could hear a slight British twang. I didn't think that could be possible, but at this point it obviously is. I have lived in Milan for 20 years and still have my strong Merseyside accent. I was just curious.... do any of you speak with an American accent?
I've lived here for 15 years...the answer is no.
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by discoviking View Post
When you speak Italian, or when you speak English? I would not expect your english to change much if you live in a non-english speaking country. If you spent 20 years living in the US, Canada or Australia on the other hand, your english probably would change some.

I have lived in the US for almost 27 years, but my native language is Norwegian. I learned English as a second language while in school in Norway, and the English being taught there was british English. So when I first moved to the US, I sounded more like a brit. These days, I speak american English, and have been told on numerous occasions that I do not have an accent. People who don't know my background are usually surprised when I tell them that english is not my native language.

Some people have an ear for languages (I do), others don't. It's something you are born with, and often goes hand in hand with an ear for music (which I also have).

Kids is a different story, their brains are wired to soak up languages up to a certain age. Once past that cutoff, I think anyone who is immersed in a foreign language have the ability to increase their vocabulary and understanding of that language, but not everyone has the ability to mimic a foreign language to the point where no accent is detected. Being able to speak a foreign language without an accent is a talent you either have or don't have - just like any other talent. We are all different - and thank goodness for that, right?
Yes, I know what you mean as I too speak 3 languages fluently, but I do have British twang when I speak them. This is quite normal as I am English mother tongue and I learned my other languages as an adult. I work in an International environment and many people I have met over the years have been suprised that I have not lost my accent after all these years, whereas they have. Many of them have this kind of ' international accent' which is a stange mixture and makes it hard to pinpoint exactly where they are from. I am aware that accents can change slightly after spending many years abroad, but I didn't think it possible for an English mother tongue to change dramatically their accent after 5 years and start speaking broad American.
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
This is probably partly voluntary, partly involuntary. Me, I work in a private liberal arts college in the North East.. it would be an oversimplification to say that I got the job because of my English accent and Cambridge degree, but it didn't hurt. I play the cantankerous, neo-communist fuddy-duddy and it has led to excellent annual reviews and pay-raises every year. So I'm currently a lot more "English" than I was when I left the old sod. If I worked at Bob Jones University or somesuch, I might have taken on a bit more local colour...
Hahahahahahaha well done you! That's so funny! I don't have a Cambridge degree and posh English accent, but I am rather attatched to my ole scouse accent and it seems to go down a treat in the States!
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by cosmicjunkie View Post
Hahahahahahaha well done you! That's so funny! I don't have a Cambridge degree and posh English accent, but I am rather attatched to my ole scouse accent and it seems to go down a treat in the States!
Yeah they love all of us "Australians" in the US.
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: American accent

We've only been here a year, and myself, hubby and oldest daughter, absolutely not. However, my 2 younger ones who are 13 and 11 have definitely picked up certain words and certain twangs, very occasionally I can here a slight american accent, but they have become much more polite and pronounce their words a lot clearer than they did back home, so I'm not complaining
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Yeah they love all of us "Australians" in the US.
YES!! You're right!! That's it " Hey, you Austrailian?" Errr Naaaaa mate!
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by Brat1 View Post
We've only been here a year, and myself, hubby and oldest daughter, absolutely not. However, my 2 younger ones who are 13 and 11 have definitely picked up certain words and certain twangs, very occasionally I can here a slight american accent, but they have become much more polite and pronounce their words a lot clearer than they did back home, so I'm not complaining
Yeah, that's pretty normal with kids
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: American accent

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Yeah they love all of us "Australians" in the US.
I am originally from the North East and have a slight Geordie twang, which I have never lost (thank goodness). So I can somewhat understand if I am asked if I am Australian. What I can't understand is being asked if I am GERMAN!! I have been mistaken for being German about 4 times now and am quite puzzled about it. Could it be that Americans somehow know my mother was German and therefore in my genes? Also some ignoramous once asked me if I was "European"....he is still in recovery!
My husband who is from Ghana, speaks with a proper old fashioned BBC accent, because he learnt alot of his English from listening to the World Service. He is always thought to be English, never an all encompassing "Brit".
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: American accent

I've been here since June 2010 and I still have my English accent. So far everyone loves it!!!

I find though that having lived in Scotland for the 20 years before I moved to the US, that although retained my English accent, new, colloquial words that I picked up in Scotland were said with the Scottish twang. I think that that will probably be the same here.....any new words/terms that I learn are said in the US dialect.

However, sometimes, when I meet new people and they have problems understanding me, I have to repeat myself saying words with the US emphasis. Luckily though, most people love the accent and it's not a problem, they adapt to me rather than the other way around.
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