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English Accents Changing...

English Accents Changing...

Old Oct 9th 2007, 10:35 pm
  #1  
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Wink English Accents Changing...

We have been in PA for 2 Years and 3 months and have two boys aged 6 & 11.

Both my husband and I are English and still do PG tips, bacon butties etc. etc. I doubt if we will ever give up our British cuppa..

But, for fun and interest I would like to know how long we have to be here for our accents to change. I never want to change my (Londonish) English accent and don't feel that it's changed too much so far, apart from saying "You Guys" to the Kids and "right?" at the end of sentences.

My Kids are weird, my 6 year old mainly has an American accent with English bits and pieces and my 11 year just chops and changes, depending on whose around e.g He talks with an English accent at home, but as soon as an American is around, he switches on a full American accent.

I think maybe because we are not married to Americans, that we will keepo our accents for longer...right? Tee Hee..

I would be interested in your view.

Also I can't tell you how many times people have asked me if I'm Australian because of my London twang (not as bad as Geico ads) - I just say yes, just to keep them happy and they feel very pleased with themselves.

One last thing is I am so homesick at the moment for the UK, even though I am enjoying myself here most of the time...is it PMS? (Blokes - I know you won't understand that one...)

Cheers, still enjoy the threads on this board.
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Originally Posted by joyceygreen View Post
We have been in PA for 2 Years and 3 months and have two boys aged 6 & 11.

Both my husband and I are English and still do PG tips, bacon butties etc. etc. I doubt if we will ever give up our British cuppa..

But, for fun and interest I would like to know how long we have to be here for our accents to change. I never want to change my (Londonish) English accent and don't feel that it's changed too much so far, apart from saying "You Guys" to the Kids and "right?" at the end of sentences.

My Kids are weird, my 6 year old mainly has an American accent with English bits and pieces and my 11 year just chops and changes, depending on whose around e.g He talks with an English accent at home, but as soon as an American is around, he switches on a full American accent.

I think maybe because we are not married to Americans, that we will keepo our accents for longer...right? Tee Hee..

I would be interested in your view.

Also I can't tell you how many times people have asked me if I'm Australian because of my London twang (not as bad as Geico ads) - I just say yes, just to keep them happy and they feel very pleased with themselves.

One last thing is I am so homesick at the moment for the UK, even though I am enjoying myself here most of the time...is it PMS? (Blokes - I know you won't understand that one...)

Cheers, still enjoy the threads on this board.
I've been here over five years and I've not lost my British accent. I live in the South too. Still can't say "y'all" correctly... but then again, it's not a word I'm like to use.
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Well have to admit my daughter is 6 and is a full blown southern belle (kinda scares me a bit) and sometimes it feels like I need a translator...

IMO I'm finding myself putting on the twang just to be understood...as I've gotten fed up asking for something in my dulcet northern accent only then having to spend 30 minutes explaining what I mean and then just giving up and asking for it with the twang (perfect example water becomes "warder" and butter is "budder").

well why didin ya jus say soo darlin.......
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Originally Posted by joyceygreen View Post
We have been in PA for 2 Years and 3 months and have two boys aged 6 & 11.

Both my husband and I are English and still do PG tips, bacon butties etc. etc. I doubt if we will ever give up our British cuppa..

But, for fun and interest I would like to know how long we have to be here for our accents to change. I never want to change my (Londonish) English accent and don't feel that it's changed too much so far, apart from saying "You Guys" to the Kids and "right?" at the end of sentences.

My Kids are weird, my 6 year old mainly has an American accent with English bits and pieces and my 11 year just chops and changes, depending on whose around e.g He talks with an English accent at home, but as soon as an American is around, he switches on a full American accent.

I think maybe because we are not married to Americans, that we will keepo our accents for longer...right? Tee Hee..

I would be interested in your view.

Also I can't tell you how many times people have asked me if I'm Australian because of my London twang (not as bad as Geico ads) - I just say yes, just to keep them happy and they feel very pleased with themselves.

One last thing is I am so homesick at the moment for the UK, even though I am enjoying myself here most of the time...is it PMS? (Blokes - I know you won't understand that one...)

Cheers, still enjoy the threads on this board.
I think it has to do with your age largely to a certain extent. After a certain age I don't think that most can learn to speak with no accent at all, or if you were learning to speak a foreign language there are some sounds you would be unable to make (or find very difficult) simply because you haven't done so previously. That's why it's important for kids to study languages early if you'd like them to be billingual - it gets harder as time goes on.

I've found that the French can't pronounce "th" for instance. It's not necessary in their language. My name (Kathy) seems to always come out as "kaht-hee" or similar in France.

So ... I think you're pretty safe!
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Interesting topic. My wife speaks English with a very heavy Thai accent and an odd mix of syntax and mispronunciations. We've been married coming up on eleven years so I'm used to her idiosyncratic use of English. Our daughter, born in Thailand, has a unique Kiwi-American accent. As for me, I sound West Coast Californian, for sure, with a mixture of Kiwi oaths such as Bugger! and Bloody Hell!
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 12:01 am
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Originally Posted by lisag8070 View Post
Well have to admit my daughter is 6 and is a full blown southern belle (kinda scares me a bit) and sometimes it feels like I need a translator...

IMO I'm finding myself putting on the twang just to be understood...as I've gotten fed up asking for something in my dulcet northern accent only then having to spend 30 minutes explaining what I mean and then just giving up and asking for it with the twang (perfect example water becomes "warder" and butter is "budder").

well why didin ya jus say soo darlin.......
lol one of my most amusing memories is my Keith (Scottish) valiantly attempting to convince a nurse that needed the bathroom. Took me, in clear U.S. accent to say "He needs to PEE"

Sadly, he's still in the UK and is losing his accent just from talking to me. I keep telling him to call his mum for "speech therapy" - when he talks to her, he sounds very nicely Scottish.
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 12:17 am
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

I had a plum accent when I came over here... a little yorkshire twang but not a lot... after 4 years I've begun to take on some of the local twang simply because I'm not understood otherwise..

the most memorable accent issue I've heard was a manc friend of mine in LA... we went out to a steakhouse (black angus) and he ordered a steak same as my wife and I.... it all arrived and we started eating... after about 10mins he puts his fork down in dismay and we ask why.... he says.

"I wanted fries... they gave me rice, am I getting fat?"
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 12:40 am
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Twenty years here and still sound like an Essex Girl
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 3:18 am
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

20 years and I still sound like a thick twat.......... I mean a Brummie
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 3:47 am
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Forty plus years here. I kept my vowel and consonant sounds but changed the word usage and syllable emphasis to what is known as a "Mid-Atlantic" accent. This was necessary for work and made communication in general, much easier.

Interestingly, though, I tend to use English spelling and word usage on this forum and another one in England.

I am from London and my wife was from Hull. Daughter No. 1 was "bi-lingual" at first, having both Yorkshire and London accents. She gradually moved to all American when she started at kindergarten. Daughters No.2 & 3, were both affected by daughter No. 1 and her friends and moved more quickly to all American before they started school.

While daughter No. 2 , who also lives in Exton PA, was in high school, there was an exchange student from Scotland. When daughter was in college they took a trip to UK and went to see their Scottish friend. They hadn't been there long, when the friend's dad asked my daughter if she had British parents, he didn't know what tipped him off, just that something did.

It doesn't take me long to slip back into the London accent, but it's my old London accent which, is different from today's London accent.
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 6:57 am
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Originally Posted by joyceygreen View Post
We have been in PA for 2 Years and 3 months and have two boys aged 6 & 11.

Both my husband and I are English and still do PG tips, bacon butties etc. etc. I doubt if we will ever give up our British cuppa..

But, for fun and interest I would like to know how long we have to be here for our accents to change. I never want to change my (Londonish) English accent and don't feel that it's changed too much so far, apart from saying "You Guys" to the Kids and "right?" at the end of sentences.

My Kids are weird, my 6 year old mainly has an American accent with English bits and pieces and my 11 year just chops and changes, depending on whose around e.g He talks with an English accent at home, but as soon as an American is around, he switches on a full American accent.

I think maybe because we are not married to Americans, that we will keepo our accents for longer...right? Tee Hee..

I would be interested in your view.

Also I can't tell you how many times people have asked me if I'm Australian because of my London twang (not as bad as Geico ads) - I just say yes, just to keep them happy and they feel very pleased with themselves.

One last thing is I am so homesick at the moment for the UK, even though I am enjoying myself here most of the time...is it PMS? (Blokes - I know you won't understand that one...)

Cheers, still enjoy the threads on this board.
I come from Weston Super Mare and I'm not changing
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 6:59 am
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Originally Posted by Lord Lionheart View Post
20 years and I still sound like a thick twat.......... I mean a Brummie
Never realisized there were thick twats in Brum though that belonged to Walsall
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 7:15 am
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Originally Posted by Lord Lionheart View Post
20 years and I still sound like a thick twat.......... I mean a Brummie


Honesty at its finest ....

Been here 3 years and the accent is still as pronounced (Wigan)...I did make a point to stop using slang at work as nobody understood me ....it still crops up now and again..but then its a laugh explaining it in Americanese...they love it when I call someone "soft lad" or "butter bollocks"
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

I worked with an English guy a couple of years ago who'd lived here for 15 years. He still had his British accent.

I don't think I'm losing mine (here almost 5 years) but I do pronounce certain words like an American. For example, when talking to my dog, I pronounce "potty" like "poddy", and the last time I saw my brother, he commented on how funny I sound. I haven't noticed it much, but apparently other people have. The funny thing is, when my hubby and I are talking to people, and I say something British that they don't understand, he translates.
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 1:31 pm
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Default Re: English Accents Changing...

Originally Posted by katesbackagain View Post
I worked with an English guy a couple of years ago who'd lived here for 15 years. He still had his British accent.

I don't think I'm losing mine (here almost 5 years) but I do pronounce certain words like an American. For example, when talking to my dog, I pronounce "potty" like "poddy", and the last time I saw my brother, he commented on how funny I sound. I haven't noticed it much, but apparently other people have. The funny thing is, when my hubby and I are talking to people, and I say something British that they don't understand, he translates.
Haha, I try that, Budder/Wadder etc, but just end up sounding (and feeling) like a right twat, and they still don't usually get what I'm saying first time - "Huh"?! I'm very aware I'm doing it though, as I am when drawling out other things - like my name Dan - if I say it normally they always think its Don.

The minute I speak to another Brit, it's all gone - everyone back home tells me I've not lost my accent at all, but I will inadvertantly use some American word variants - especially with kids stuff - never having had a little'un in the UK the American terms are more natural to me - crib instead of cot, stroller instead of pushchair, diaper instead of nappy, etc.

Last edited by Dan725; Oct 10th 2007 at 1:35 pm.
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