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Languages, accents, dialects an' t'ing


mjmooney
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My father had a pronounced Boston accent and my mother didn't. She made an effort to get us to speak ina neutral accent. But when I moved to Chicago in y early 20s, everyone there knew where I was from. I don't drop my Rs, which is the giveaway, but other aspects of the accent come through,  I guess.

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2 hours ago, maqroll said:

My father had a pronounced Boston accent and my mother didn't. She made an effort to get us to speak ina neutral accent. But when I moved to Chicago in y early 20s, everyone there knew where I was from. I don't drop my Rs, which is the giveaway, but other aspects of the accent come through,  I guess.

JFK/Mayor Quimby? 

 

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Fifty-odd years in Yorkshire has almost eliminated my Brummie accent. Almost. The one vowel sound that gives me away is the town/down/round/ground family. Even singing - in a mildly mid-atlantic voice - I can hear it, and I wince. I simply cannot de-midlands it. 

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1 hour ago, chrisp65 said:

Celebrate it.

Very dull place, the mid Atlantic.

I rather like it. Never much liked British accents in pop music (as discussed previously). I'm not going to start singing in Brummie. 

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My former sister in law had a very pronounced Aberdeen accent. I could just about understand her if she spoke slowly and was sober.  When drunk she was totally impossible to follow. 

Her replacement is Spanish with 15 years of living in Scotchland and whilst challenging at times I can generally understand her much better. 

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Between being born in Birmingham, living in Wales for most of my childhood, then Adelaide Australia as a young adult with a few years over in NYC plus the changes from intentionally feminising my voice I'm yet to have anyone be able to place my voice anywhere with any degree of certainty as my speech is full of little quirks and idioms from all over the place I cant shake.

Funnily my sister who is 3 years my younger sounded completely Australian after about a month but she's always been incredibly adaptable whilst I struggle with change...I wonder if that pre-disposes you to pick up an accent quicker.

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5 minutes ago, Eidolon said:

Between being born in Birmingham, living in Wales for most of my childhood, then Adelaide Australia as a young adult with a few years over in NYC plus the changes from intentionally feminising my voice I'm yet to have anyone be able to place my voice anywhere with any degree of certainty as my speech is full of little quirks and idioms from all over the place I cant shake.

Funnily my sister who is 3 years my younger sounded completely Australian after about a month but she's always been incredibly adaptable whilst I struggle with change...I wonder if that pre-disposes you to pick up an accent quicker.

You are Julia Gillard and I claim my £5

spacer.png

the all time South Wales / Australian accent champ, undefeated

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18 minutes ago, chrisp65 said:

You are Julia Gillard and I claim my £5

spacer.png

the all time South Wales / Australian accent champ, undefeated

I've actually met Julia a couple of times (she's a pretty notable and active alumnus at Adelaide Uni where I went to school) and she's a lovely woman, definitely one of the most intelligent people I have met in person...once you can get past the Adelaide bogan drawl 😅

Edited by Eidolon
I think alumni singular is alumnus?
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10 hours ago, Eidolon said:

Between being born in Birmingham, living in Wales for most of my childhood, then Adelaide Australia as a young adult with a few years over in NYC plus the changes from intentionally feminising my voice I'm yet to have anyone be able to place my voice anywhere with any degree of certainty as my speech is full of little quirks and idioms from all over the place I cant shake.

Funnily my sister who is 3 years my younger sounded completely Australian after about a month but she's always been incredibly adaptable whilst I struggle with change...I wonder if that pre-disposes you to pick up an accent quicker.

G'day, I drink in town mate, isn't it? Ya ****' asshole. 

I'd like to hear you say that please. 

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The different accents, and variants even, of the English language is interesting for me as someone who feels very fluent in the English language but can never call English my first language. Do I even have I defined accent? 

I teach English as a second language, and in that setting I have to sound as authentic as possible while still speaking a kind of English 13-16 year old Norwegian kids can actually understand. They’re more used to the generic American TV accent, but I tend to adopt a kind of slowed down RP. 

But the spoken language in social interection is an adaptable entity. My accent seems to change slightly, depending on who I talk to and what setting I’m in. This is true even in my native Norwegian. I tend to «mirror» whoever I am talking to, and this becomes quite pronounced whenever I speak to native English speakers or travel to English speaking countries. I can kind of switch between  very generic variants of southern, northern, Scottish and Irish depending on where I am, and I am guilty of being drawn towards rhoticity and mildly upwards inflections when I spend any time in the company of Americans. 

Edited by El Zen
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2 hours ago, El Zen said:

The different accents, and variants even, of the English language is interesting for me as someone who feels very fluent in the English language but can never call English my first language. Do I even have I defined accent? 

I teach English as a second language, and in that setting I have to sound as authentic as possible while still speaking a kind of English 13-16 year old Norwegian kids can actually understand. They’re more used to the generic American TV accent, but I tend to adopt a kind of slowed down RP. 

But the spoken language in social interection is an adaptable entity. My accent seems to change slightly, depending on who I talk to and what setting I’m in. This is true even in my native Norwegian. I tend to «mirror» whoever I am talking to, and this becomes quite pronounced whenever I speak to native English speakers or travel to English speaking countries. I can kind of switch between  very generic variants of southern, northern, Scottish and Irish depending on where I am, and I am guilty of being drawn towards rhoticity and mildly upwards inflections when I spend any time in the company of Americans. 

Yep, this is normal. My Brummie has almost disappeared after fifty years in Yorkshire, but definitely creeps back in if I'm in Birmingham. Having met you I can confirm that you speak fluent English with no obvious trace of an accent (Norwegian or British regional). 

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I love the wide variety of English accents and dialects and find them fascinating. When you live somewhere for a while, you can start to pick up the local differences that when you don't live there makes them all sound the same. Before I lived up north I would have considered all Lancashire accents to be pretty identical, but when you live you realise there's a big difference between the towns of Wigan, Chorley and Bolton, and even the villages in-between. Same now in the East Midlands, I'd have lumped Leicester and Nottingham in together, but now I can easily tell the difference between the two, and other places like Rutland. I guess it's the same for non West Midlanders, who think that Brummie/Black Country are the same, when to me they're vastly different.

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On 10/10/2021 at 13:13, Risso said:

I love the wide variety of English accents and dialects and find them fascinating. When you live somewhere for a while, you can start to pick up the local differences that when you don't live there makes them all sound the same. Before I lived up north I would have considered all Lancashire accents to be pretty identical, but when you live you realise there's a big difference between the towns of Wigan, Chorley and Bolton, and even the villages in-between. Same now in the East Midlands, I'd have lumped Leicester and Nottingham in together, but now I can easily tell the difference between the two, and other places like Rutland. I guess it's the same for non West Midlanders, who think that Brummie/Black Country are the same, when to me they're vastly different.

I'm exactly the same - I find it all fascinating, especially given the relatively short distance between places where an accent/pronunciation can be wildly different.

I've solely lived around the middle of the country (West Mids/Derbyshire/South Yorkshire/East Mids) - went to uni in Sheffield, had a long term girlfriend from Oxford (who got called posh but actually wasn't at all, just spoke like someone from Oxford).  My Mum is a Geordie, my Dad is Welsh.  I think my standard is generic non-Southern; 'bath' not 'barth' but with no proper root of accent.  The strangeness around it all is:
a]  I've lost whatever accent I had until I'm drunk.  Once that happens, I'm a mild-Brummie - it's just pronunciation of certain sounds (typically -ay and the ever-so-slightly slower delivery of words). 
b]  I can't hear my parents' accents at all.  Maybe very occasionally in my Mum now that I've lived away from home for 15 years or whatever, but can barely hear that they're Geordie or Welsh at all.  Anyone else who speaks to them?  Yeah, both broad as anything.  Really strange how that happens.

I don't think I'd ever really noticed what a Leicester accent is until recently.  There's some similarity to Notts - where I live now - definitely in the 'eh' replacing 'y', but then an 'ah' sound to replace 'er' (So Leicester is Leicestah) and some weird sort of 'i' derivative that I can't quite think of an example for.  It's almost like a New Zealand 'i' being an 'e' (pen being pronounced 'pin') but isn't as noticeable as that.

Edited by bobzy
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