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Speech accents of native and non-native speakers of English

 
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 09:16 am
306 speech samples currently archived in the George Mason University Speech Accent Archive
That site examines the accented speech of speakers from many different language backgrounds reading the same sample paragraph.

So, if you want to know, how funny some of us foreigners may sound, click on the link above :wink:

But honestly, can you always tell the home country, when you hear a foreigner speaking?
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George
 
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Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 10:15 am
Not unless the speaker has a "stereotypical" accent, the kind an actor would adopt.

Side note:
When my daughter was studying French in high school, the teacher showed an "Asterix" animated film. One of the characters was supposed to be speaking French with a horrible English accent. That character, of course, was the only one the students could understand!
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 10:37 am
Up to a very limited point, yes.

I agree with George: Americans, I think, have a stereotypical model of certain foreign accents which may or may not be accurate. For instance: French speakers replacing the hard "th" sound with "z" ("zis is ze way zey talk"); Germans replacing "j" with "ch" ("chust a minute"); Japanese confusing "r" and "l"; etc.

But this only goes so far. Certain accents, I think, are just plain "foreign," without being identifiably specific to a single locale. Some actors have made careers out of being unidentifiably foreign: for instance, Omar Sharif, a native of Egypt, has been Arab, Russian, Austrian, Cuban, Italian, and Genghis Khan (!). Anthony Quinn, a Mexican by birth, could be Greek, Arab, Italian, American Indian, Spanish, or Kublai Khan (!!). All that mattered, it seems, is that they had some kind of an accent, not that they had a particular kind.
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 10:42 am
When the First Mr. Noddy and I lived in England in the '60's (18 months in London and 18 months in St. Ives, Cornwall) civil rights and the Viet Nam war had created a certain amount of anti-American feeling. Not being obiviously Ugly Americans, we were assumed to be Canadian.

During the '80's the second Mr. Noddy and I visited England and Scotland several times. He was recognized as an "Amurrican". My accent (Western PA overlaid with stage training) seemed to be difficult to place, but usually the consensus was "not Amurrican".
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whl626
 
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Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 06:13 pm
horrible accent
Sometimes certain people can't help it but pronouncing English words with horrible accent. They just can't seem to get it right. This is because of the conflict between their native tongue and English. Smile


Learn English every day
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 10:27 pm
Welcome, whl626, to A2K!

I'm sure to speak both English and French with a rather teribel accent, and you are correct: that's due to the conflict of my native tongue.

However, I suupose, even native English have different pronounciation, which sometimes sounds for other native English speakers horrible?

Are you speaking THE pure English? American or the pure (posh )British English?

And how many foreign languages do you speak? Without any (local) accent as well?
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roger
 
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Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 11:48 pm
Of course you can always tell the home country by the accent, Walter. I put Urs somewhere between Topeka, Kansas and St. Louis, Missouri. Bigdice would be from the Northeast, probably Bahston area. You can tell, alright.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 12:28 am
roger wrote:
I put Urs somewhere between Topeka, Kansas and St. Louis, Missouri. Bigdice would be from the Northeast, probably Bahston area. You can tell, alright.


Yes, I can imagine that they can't speak ENGLISH properly Laughing


.... and, roger, you really should have noticed by now that my accent is kind of Scottish, with a peculiar funny Pidgin-touch :wink:
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roger
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 12:43 am
Actually, I could sense the Scotch, without ever having heard the voice. :wink:

If they can also do ENGLISH, they are even better than I thought.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 12:49 am
roger wrote:

If they can also do ENGLISH, they are even better than I thought.


Only, if they are forced to. [Similar to me: I CAN wirte with just a few typos ... :wink: ]
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Thok
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 01:43 am
Thanks,for the link Walter. That was I wanted.
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whl626
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 06:27 am
Even I think that British accent sounds somewhat posh. I gradually turn my liking to American accent since almost all the movies I watched are from Hollywoods and most of the slang I picked up so far are American slang. People from all over the world to some extent are trying to act a little Americanized to get the sense of living in the modern era Smile


Learn English every day
Edit (Moderator): Link Removed
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Thok
 
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 11:15 pm
whl626,please read the FAQ. :-)
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