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is your accent something that gets commented on alot

is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Old Mar 15th 2009, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by jmh View Post
I belong to another forum populated mostly by yanks and they are hilarious. Some of them are a bit rude (we have a special area for them!). I am often shocked at what I read. However I am guessing if you met them in person, certainly to start with they would probably be a bit reserved. But then so are most people till you get to know them.

When you travel go with an attitude of learning about people who may be different to you. People really are fascinating!

On the accent issue, I had a kiwi accent when I arrived in the UK many years ago and in some parts of the country I had to keep repeating myself. I had to deliberately change the way I pronounced my surname as people kept getting it wrong even when I spelled it out. They kept hearing e when I said a. I shared a flat with a geordie and had to have someone translate for me.
Hi:

Quite a few years ago, I had to deal with an AMERICAN consular officer who had a distinct Liverpool accent [made famous by the Fab Four]. In joking that he "talked funny" he mentioned that his accent was not "posh" so he would have never ever been hired by the British Foreign Service.

For the Yanks who can't be bothered to deal with foreign accents, they are simply not worth it. Most Yanks don't mind. And the differences in the terminology is simply a source of mutual amusement -- the classic being "knocked up." Another one I personally find amusing is the different use of the word " brilliant." [BTW, Bono was not criticized for the use of the word "brilliant" -- it was the preceding word -- one of which American's use a lot.].
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Old Mar 15th 2009, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Is it just me or are you potentially worrying about nothing - your boyfriend 'may be getting a chance to go over there' and you would 'probably' marry him if so.

So he's got to get a visa and you've got to marry him before you need to think about the finer details - no point putting the cart before the horse so to speak! I'd worry about marriage and visas before panicking about whether Americans will understand you.
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Old Mar 15th 2009, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Good point .... marriage is much more scary!!
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Old Mar 15th 2009, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by jmh View Post
Good point .... marriage is much more scary!!
Agreed
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Old Mar 15th 2009, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by sime303 View Post
Get used to being Australian.
The man's right. I hate being mistaken for an Aussie!:curse:
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 2:11 am
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Living in Boston I am always being asked if I am Irish.. I'm from the Home Counties, and very un-Irish sounding. Although I can pull off a reasonable Northern Irish accent
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 2:02 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by NC Penguin View Post
The man's right. I hate being mistaken for an Aussie!:curse:
Yeah, what's that about? I've gotten into the habit of saying "England, actually, but don't worry, I get that a lot."
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

I've been here for six years now and people still comment on my accent. I used to joke about wearing a board around my neck explaining the details of my move, I wouldn't have to repeat it every 30 minutes, but never got around to getting one made up.

In my experience, when asked about my accent I am usually in mid sentence (how else would they notice my accent?) and my general reply is that I don't have an accent. That usually confuses people long enough for me to get back to my original conversation.
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Its all about stereotypes, and how strong your accent is.

A lot of Americans expect all Brits to either speak like Brian Sewell or Ray Winstone. If you don't fit in either category it confuses a lot of people and they will think you are Australian, South African or something else. Likewise a lot of Americans see Scotland and Wales as separate from their idea of 'England' and assume that those accents apply to different countries. Its only because the upper class twit or the Cockney have usually been the most common stereotypes of the 'Brit' commonly seen on TV and in movies in the USA, which is the source of information for most people. But that is changing rapidly, mainly because of the same media now exposes regional accents and other cultures to a wider audience.

People like Russell Brand, David Beckham, Lilly Allen, Daniel Craig and Gordon Ramsey are the current celeb darlings of British-ness in the US media

Mostly you will have to get used to attention and the fact that Americans will see any English accent as a 'Foreign' one. People will look at you when you speak. From ordering in a restaurant to calling your kids in the mall your accent immediately marks you out. But in the US, unlike the UK I have never found it to be a negative thing, but it can be weird to get used to. In the UK when people hear a 'foreign' accent they tend to do the 'SPEAK SLOWLY AND LOUDLY' thing or the 'Does she take sugar?' ignorant thing. My Wife who has a strong European accent and hated the frankly mildly racist/snobby attitude to 'foreigners' she encountered a lot in the UK when she spoke and loves the fact that it does not happen here in the US as by and large most people speak with some form of accent or another, and it simply does not seem to matter. This is after all a country where people will proudly tell you that they are 12/16ths Scottish on their Fathers side and 4/50ths Kazak through their Mothers great, great Grandfathers tennis partners best friend on the other.

One thing I would say, don't try and fit in, don't do a Catherine Zeta Jones, be proud of your accent and maintain it. Nobody will care and it helps you keep your identity... granted certain vocabulary will have to change otherwise you will get nowhere... (try asking for a trolley in a supermarket ) and over time there will be some slippage, but don't do the forced Ameringlish thing... its always awful in an adult. Kids are different and will develop a 'native' accent in a stunningly short space of time totally naturally.

For most Americans, England by and large has only positive overtones. We play all the best villains in movies, and most people automatically think of manners, Shakespeare, chirpy friendly cockney's, the Queen, etc etc.... Just watch TV adverts in the US to see that they use British accents for standout and emphasis. Another poster mentioned the Geico lizard.... google it, you would be amazed that they use a 'saaf London' accent to sell insurance

Your accent should be the least of your worries.

Sir D
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by idk4 View Post
i may be moving to the us. i hear about them loving the uk accent.i was just wondering if its somethingg people notice alot or is it only occasionally people comment on it? does your regional accent make a difference, say a posh southern get more attention for being queen like lol.
im quite self conscious so being different can make me feel embarrased because everytime i speak to someone new they will be thinking 'shes british'. though it may be nice to be the novelty, i dk. plus i have a pretty awful accent anyway, so they will probably be thinking 'she has a shit accent'
and also are american nice people, nicer than british?
Hi - I was born in Zimbabwe, lived most of my life there, then was in the UK for 4 years and now in Texas for 5 years. First everyone asked if I was British or Australia and when i answered no Zimbabwean they said oh well close enough - I would always laugh and say well right hemisphere! I have been asked if I was Austrian as well and of course the favorite is, how do you find it speaking English here? To which I reply, that's all I speak. I do live in a small town so that's probably why all the questions, it's always been a help, everyone usually remembers my voice so if I have to call back somewhere they are like old friends.
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by ShelleyMan View Post

I do live in a small town so that's probably why all the questions, it's always been a help, everyone usually remembers my voice so if I have to call back somewhere they are like old friends.
That can be a bit of a handicap though. If you want to call incognito and ask about something (without stating your name), everyone immediately knows who you are!
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by Sir Denis Eaton-Hogg View Post
Its all about stereotypes, and how strong your accent is.

A lot of Americans expect all Brits to either speak like Brian Sewell or Ray Winstone. If you don't fit in either category it confuses a lot of people and they will think you are Australian, South African or something else. Likewise a lot of Americans see Scotland and Wales as separate from their idea of 'England' and assume that those accents apply to different countries. Its only because the upper class twit or the Cockney have usually been the most common stereotypes of the 'Brit' commonly seen on TV and in movies in the USA, which is the source of information for most people. But that is changing rapidly, mainly because of the same media now exposes regional accents and other cultures to a wider audience.

People like Russell Brand, David Beckham, Lilly Allen, Daniel Craig and Gordon Ramsey are the current celeb darlings of British-ness in the US media

Mostly you will have to get used to attention and the fact that Americans will see any English accent as a 'Foreign' one. People will look at you when you speak. From ordering in a restaurant to calling your kids in the mall your accent immediately marks you out. But in the US, unlike the UK I have never found it to be a negative thing, but it can be weird to get used to. In the UK when people hear a 'foreign' accent they tend to do the 'SPEAK SLOWLY AND LOUDLY' thing or the 'Does she take sugar?' ignorant thing. My Wife who has a strong European accent and hated the frankly mildly racist/snobby attitude to 'foreigners' she encountered a lot in the UK when she spoke and loves the fact that it does not happen here in the US as by and large most people speak with some form of accent or another, and it simply does not seem to matter. This is after all a country where people will proudly tell you that they are 12/16ths Scottish on their Fathers side and 4/50ths Kazak through their Mothers great, great Grandfathers tennis partners best friend on the other.

One thing I would say, don't try and fit in, don't do a Catherine Zeta Jones, be proud of your accent and maintain it. Nobody will care and it helps you keep your identity... granted certain vocabulary will have to change otherwise you will get nowhere... (try asking for a trolley in a supermarket ) and over time there will be some slippage, but don't do the forced Ameringlish thing... its always awful in an adult. Kids are different and will develop a 'native' accent in a stunningly short space of time totally naturally.

For most Americans, England by and large has only positive overtones. We play all the best villains in movies, and most people automatically think of manners, Shakespeare, chirpy friendly cockney's, the Queen, etc etc.... Just watch TV adverts in the US to see that they use British accents for standout and emphasis. Another poster mentioned the Geico lizard.... google it, you would be amazed that they use a 'saaf London' accent to sell insurance

Your accent should be the least of your worries.

Sir D

thanks for the reply. yes i thought the cockney and posh accent would be the ones americans think of as british. what region do you come from??
i guess i just worry about relating to people in terms of humour. Though i do not understand the fascination of americans with english, as we are ntoreally fascinated by americans.
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

i dont think i would get the opportunity for many visits. It is something my boyfriends has to say if he is interested in pretty quickly, even though we are unlikely to go for quite a while
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by idk4 View Post
i guess i just worry about relating to people in terms of humour. Though i do not understand the fascination of americans with english, as we are ntoreally fascinated by americans.
Most of us aren't really fascinated by you, don't worry.

PS: not all the British are funny or have this famous sense of humor either. My Brit definitely shows his German roots when it comes to the ha ha department.
Maybe that's the Queen's problem?
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Old Mar 16th 2009, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot

Originally Posted by idk4 View Post
i guess i just worry about relating to people in terms of humour..

I don't think you have to worry,


Originally Posted by idk4 View Post
Though i do not understand the fascination of americans with english, as we are ntoreally fascinated by americans.

I found this extremely humorous!
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