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BiggerBomb

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#1  Edited By BiggerBomb

I have a question for you that has been an itch in a place I can't scratch.

*Pause for BiffMcBlumpkin's sexual innuendo*

Do you (Germans, British, Irish, etc.) percieve us (Americans) as having accents? It may be a dumb question, I just felt the need to ask this. I view my "talk" as plain, or a blank slate so to speak. Though when I hear a foreign voice, it is like some sort of exotic spice on a bland meat.

Would you describe our usage of language as accented?

plz dunt mak fun fo me

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Thrawn1

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#2  Edited By Thrawn1

somebody please answer this. I've always wondered what my accent sounds like as well.

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BiggerBomb

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#3  Edited By BiggerBomb
Thrawn said:
"somebody please answer this. I've always wondered what my accent sounds like as well."

At least I'm not the only one! :O
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CaptainScarLeg

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#4  Edited By CaptainScarLeg

I'm British and yes, you lot over there DO have accents. Many people from all over the world believe they don't have an accent but this just isn't true.
When you hear a different accent, it automatically sounds different because the people you usually talk to don't sound like that.
I don't know what else to say... oh yeah, there are many different American accents, and many different British accents. Don't automatically think I sound like some posh guy because I'm a Brit ^_^ Absolutely spiffing, eh wot?

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Thrawn1

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#5  Edited By Thrawn1

 we know everyone has an accent, but can you give a description of what an american accent sounds like?

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Rowr

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#6  Edited By Rowr

I considered straight out lieing to you, but I could see it getting to confusing.

So the straight answer is that everbody accustoms to the accent they are around.

Everyone has an accent to someone else.

I actually see the Canadian Accent as the blank accent, the american accent typically being a bit more "ladi-da".

But i lived in Canada for a year.

I am Australian, I can see how our accent is just modified british, but it still sounds like the base language when talking to Aussies.

The funny thing is if I talk to Americans or Canadians, my Canadian accent comes back because i have an understanding of what sounds clear to them. Its subconscious.

This follows one of my favourite American stereotypes of the American who thinks they dont have an accent and everyone else does. I have had this conversation many times. Many times I just gave up.

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BiggerBomb

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#7  Edited By BiggerBomb

But what does it sound like? Everyone describes the British accent, but never the American accent (standard, not midwest or southern.)

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L

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#8  Edited By L

I think your own native language you'll always think is just standard / plain. However, others will recognise it and vice versa with them thinking their accent is plain.

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BiggerBomb

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#9  Edited By BiggerBomb
L said:
"I think your own native language you'll always think is just standard / plain. However, others will recognise it and vice versa with them thinking their accent is plain."

No, no, I know that. I wanted a description, if possible via keyboard, of how other cultures/peoples percieve our accent.
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Rowr

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#10  Edited By Rowr
Thrawn said:
" we know everyone has an accent, but can you give a description of what an american accent sounds like?"
umm you over pronounce your O's Y's W's and R's to my ears.

Then again us Australians barely pronounce our R's at all.

Also your words are all pronounced so individually and slow, Our sentences take about half the length of time to pronounce I swear. But then again, we use a lot of slang.

Its all relative.

A good example is my username. Americans tend to pronounce it as if they were saying the word Rower.

In Aus its more like Rauwe
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BiggerBomb

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#11  Edited By BiggerBomb

Hrmmm, interesting.

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Rowr

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#12  Edited By Rowr

The only real way to find out is to live in another english speaking country like Aus or the UK for a period of time, your brain will accustom to the accent, and then when you hear an American accent you will hear it through our ears. The one problem your going to have with this is the fact you wont escape hearing american accents if you watch any television.

When i got to Canada I didnt have the slightest problem understanding their accent, because its such a regular thing to listen to, since a large proportion of our media is American. But they couldnt understand a word i was saying for weeks.

When i got back from canada i couldnt believe how overpowered the Aus accent sounded to my ears.

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adam_grif

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#13  Edited By adam_grif
BiggerBomb said:
"I have a question for you that has been an itch in a place I can't scratch.

*Pause for BiffMcBlumpkin's sexual innuendo*

Do you (Germans, British, Irish, etc.) percieve us (Americans) as having accents? It may be a dumb question, I just felt the need to ask this. I view my "talk" as plain, or a blank slate so to speak. Though when I hear a foreign voice, it is like some sort of exotic spice on a bland meat.

Would you describe our usage of language as accented?

plz dunt mak fun fo me"


Everybody has an accent. Yes, you have an American accent. An "accent" is a common pronunciation amongst a group. Thus, even if everybody had the SAME pronunciation, they would still have an accent.

You are using "an accent" to mean "an accent other than the one people around me use".
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Rowr

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#14  Edited By Rowr

maybe a good way to get an idea of what you sound like to us is everything in our accent that sounds underpronounced to you, sounds overpronounced to us and vice versa.

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CaptainScarLeg

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#15  Edited By CaptainScarLeg
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Shocker

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#16  Edited By Shocker

I have always wondered this. Very interesting.

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Rowr

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#17  Edited By Rowr
Newten said:
"Check this video out this guy can do lots of accents including an American one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHlI2KdCWgQ&feature=related"
the question is, where is that guy truly from?

My mate does a pretty awesome xbox live American accent, he confuses the fuck out of people with it.
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Lozz

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#18  Edited By Lozz

I think everyone feels like they have a "normal" accent. I'm from the UK and I do think you guys have accents, but don't really notice it as my uncle lives in Oregon and I visit him when I can. I also watch a lot of your tv shows and listen to podcasts so I generally don't notice as much. We have a ton of accents in such a small country so I can't imagine the ranges you could come across in parts of the US.

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Magnum

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#19  Edited By Magnum

Anyone who speaks a language has an accent. English people don't speak old english. Just look at the US. There are regional accents. So, pretty much the only people that speak english correctly to me are Oregonians because I grew up there. 

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trulyalive

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#20  Edited By trulyalive
BiggerBomb said:
"But what does it sound like? Everyone describes the British accent, but never the American accent (standard, not midwest or southern.)"
Gargh! Nononononononono!
Trust me when I say that your perception of the British accent (be it all upper class, or completely cokney) more or less died out about 200 years ago.
Being British, I've travelled my country a bit and it is impossible to pinpoint one specific definitive British Accent. We have hundreds, and they all sound different.
Same goes for Americans. For the most part, people assume you all have a standard yankee accent, but having been to America and knowing quite a few Americans, I've found that there are so many different accents there as well that it still proves impossible to generalise, and some people just have accents that completely contrast the environment in which they're brought up in, meaning the whole idea is void because everybody is Different and by generalising you just start demeaning people who don't conform to such a standard (be it on purpose or by accident)
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Rowr

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#21  Edited By Rowr
Bo17 said:
"BiggerBomb said:
"But what does it sound like? Everyone describes the British accent, but never the American accent (standard, not midwest or southern.)"
Gargh! Nononononononono!
Trust me when I say that your perception of the British accent (be it all upper class, or completely cokney) more or less died out about 200 years ago.
Being British, I've travelled my country a bit and it is impossible to pinpoint one specific definitive British Accent. We have hundreds, and they all sound different.
Same goes for Americans. For the most part, people assume you all have a standard yankee accent, but having been to America and knowing quite a few Americans, I've found that there are so many different accents there as well that it still proves impossible to generalise, and some people just have accents that completely contrast the environment in which they're brought up in, meaning the whole idea is void because everybody is Different and by generalising you just start demeaning people who don't conform to such a standard (be it on purpose or by accident)"
Quite!

Jolly good! I do concur, old chap.

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zeus_gb

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#22  Edited By zeus_gb

Everybody has an accent, there are thousands of them.

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crunchUK

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#23  Edited By crunchUK

american accent is kind of like... i dunno o_0. the vowels are done differently and you speak slower. although when i went to spain they said american english was 100000 times easier than english english. coolest accent in the universe is scottish though :D

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OGCartman

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#24  Edited By OGCartman

I was born in UK, parents in Africa, great grandparents in India and i am Muslim. I dont judge accents lol
But im from Canada, so i know better. But many of my UK cousins do think americans have an accent

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Meowayne

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#25  Edited By Meowayne

English teachers in Germany do a horrible job in teaching differences between accents of the english language. Most people know that there's a difference between british and american english, and those who speak the language are generally aware of the major differences between the two. Those who speak and understand the language consider british english to be more easily understandable.  Even those who do a god job and speaking and understanding english usually have a hard time differentiating between different english or american accents. I know there are many different american accents, but I could not tell one from the other. With european english, I am able to detect the Irish and the scotts (and french and italians and germans in their respective attempts at the language) but that's as far as it goes.

The vast majority of Germans who speak english, regardless of how good their grammar is, have ze tippikal djerman eck-sent, unless they have actually spent a longer time in english-speaking countries. We are annoyed by that accent as much as everybody else, but it's really, really hard and requires a lot of concentration to actually pronounce things right. When you grew up speaking German, things like "these clothes" are terribly hard to get right. On the other hand, Germans generally perceive german with foreign accents, especially british people speaking german with heavy accents, as pleasant and interesting.

People tell me I speak a very british english, but with a noticable german undertone, especially when I get nervous. The less concentrated I am, the heavier my accent gets.

Which sucks.



Edit  Accents in the german language are a different thing altogether. Germany is relatively small, but there are about 20 different accents and dialects to be found, with some major differences between some. There is "hochdeutsch", though, "high german", that is considered to be "right", or the correct way of pronouncing things, which is used in grammar books, movies and television, etc.
Fortunatly, I speak hochdeutsch.

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Rowr

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#26  Edited By Rowr

German accents are cool. Why are germans so obsessed with not sounding german?
the thing about teaching english is that you couldnt possibly cover the accents and slang of some countries.

I could communicate just about anything i wanted using a heavy accent and slang to another Australian, without foreign english speaking (American especially) people around me having a clue what i said. British people might be able to catch on to some of it.

When i moved to the south of the state 3 years ago, for the first week I could hardly catch what some of my coworkers were saying (southern country folk) till i got used to the different emphasis in the accent, and its not a big state (population wise). And ive lived here all my life.

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Red

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#27  Edited By Red
BiggerBomb said:
"I have a question for you that has been an itch in a place I can't scratch.

*Pause for BiffMcBlumpkin's sexual innuendo*

Do you (Germans, British, Irish, etc.) percieve us (Americans) as having accents? It may be a dumb question, I just felt the need to ask this. I view my "talk" as plain, or a blank slate so to speak. Though when I hear a foreign voice, it is like some sort of exotic spice on a bland meat.

Would you describe our usage of language as accented?

plz dunt mak fun fo me"
I lived in Switzerland for 4 years mostly with Brits and they said I have an American accent, so yes, they do. And I don't have ya know a southern accent or a New York voice, it's just a normal voice.
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Endogene

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#28  Edited By Endogene

Since for me British English is the real English for me (mind you i say British not English) Americans do have a accent, a huge one.

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Gizmo

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#29  Edited By Gizmo

I dont give a shit what my or anyones accents are, their either shooting with me or against me.

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mracoon

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#30  Edited By mracoon

We do think that you have accents. Every one has accents but you don't really realise when you hear it all the time.

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hair001

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#31  Edited By hair001

Yeah, but everyone has accents. I'm actualy more comfortable with an americain accent than a scottish one though, (as in it dosnt sound so different).

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MattyFTM

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#32  Edited By MattyFTM  Moderator

America is a huge place, it has a huge variety of different accents, so yeah. They all have some similarity, but so do accents between countries.

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BiffMcBlumpkin

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#33  Edited By BiffMcBlumpkin

I've heard some English people say sometimes American and Irish accents sound very similar to them, seems strange to me. 

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Oriental_Jams

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#34  Edited By Oriental_Jams

Everyone has an accent obviously. I mean really...>__> I don't particularly care for the American accent though, it's a little unexciting.

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BiffMcBlumpkin

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#35  Edited By BiffMcBlumpkin
Oriental_Jams said:
"Everyone has an accent obviously. I mean really...>__> I don't particularly care for the American accent though, it's a little unexciting."
I compensate for this by constantly screaming and opening my eyes as wide as I can whenever I speak.
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MattyFTM

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#36  Edited By MattyFTM  Moderator
BiffMcBlumpkin said:
"I've heard some English people say sometimes American and Irish accents sound very similar to them, seems strange to me. 
"
I have a friend who thinks that. But he's the same friend I was talking about in this thread, so as you can tell his intelligence isn't exactly of Einstein proportions.
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BiffMcBlumpkin

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#37  Edited By BiffMcBlumpkin

I've heard it from quite a few English people actually, there must be something there that gets meshed up.

Quite a few Americans get Australian and English accents confused. Even more of us get Irish and Scottish accents confused for whatever reason.

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BiffMcBlumpkin

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#38  Edited By BiffMcBlumpkin

Also I can't tell the difference at all between NZ and Aussie accents. It's plain as day to tell the difference between the other native English accents (Scottish, Irish, English, Aussie) but it's impossible to tell the difference between NZ and Aussie accents.

I've heard lots of non American and Canadian people say it's almost impossible for them to tell the difference between a "standard" (not something odd like certain Eastern Canadian accents) Canadian and a "Standard" American accents (not something odd like hardcore Southern Drawl of NYC/Boston/Chicago/etc.) accents.... so I guess that's a similar thing. That standard ones are almost identical, I have a buddy from Ontario and if I didn't know he was from Ontario I never would've known he's Canadian. His Canadian accent sounds completely identical to out standard American accent.

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RandomHero666

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#39  Edited By RandomHero666

its hard to explain accents, iv always thought i didnt have one til my friend from Denver said i did. which was pretty cool.
My fave accents are Russian and German

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Otacon

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#40  Edited By Otacon

I know exactly what you mean, I'm British and have a British accent. To me it seems boring and normal to speak the way that I do, but to others from other countries it sounds different. 

Can some americans really not tell the difference between English and Australian accents?
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Lashe

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#41  Edited By Lashe

 I'm Scottish.. and I speak far from the typical 'British' accent -- people forget the Britain/the UK is 4 countries!

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BiffMcBlumpkin

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#42  Edited By BiffMcBlumpkin
Otacon said:
"Can some americans really not tell the difference between English and Australian accents?"

Some, yes, although it's probably a matter of exposure more than anything else (as in they're not hearing both of the accents on a consistent basis, enough to pick up on the nuances of each.) They sound similar to many people here. I can tell the difference easily, but I know some people who hear an Australian accent and think it's an English accent. It's even more common for people here to confuse Irish and Scottish accents.
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xionpunk

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#43  Edited By xionpunk

ha this is an interesting thread.

Anyways I'm from Atlanta, so I have a more drawn out way of talking, but I've also had people (southerners) tell me I kinda sound like I'm from the west coast.  dunno where that comes from. When I talk to friends from the northeast though I always feel like I talk like a NASCAR fan lol...


Oh and just an afterthought... girls with australian accents are automatically 10 times hotter. 
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KillaMaStA

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#44  Edited By KillaMaStA

it depends on the person, some americans speak really weird accents but others speak normally

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crunchUK

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#45  Edited By crunchUK
BiffMcBlumpkin said:
"Otacon said:
"Can some americans really not tell the difference between English and Australian accents?"

Some, yes, although it's probably a matter of exposure more than anything else (as in they're not hearing both of the accents on a consistent basis, enough to pick up on the nuances of each.) They sound similar to many people here. I can tell the difference easily, but I know some people who hear an Australian accent and think it's an English accent. It's even more common for people here to confuse Irish and Scottish accents."
no way i refuse to believe you can't tell apart an english and australian accent. i mean wtf
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Otacon

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#46  Edited By Otacon
crunchUK said:
"BiffMcBlumpkin said:
"Otacon said:
"Can some americans really not tell the difference between English and Australian accents?"

Some, yes, although it's probably a matter of exposure more than anything else (as in they're not hearing both of the accents on a consistent basis, enough to pick up on the nuances of each.) They sound similar to many people here. I can tell the difference easily, but I know some people who hear an Australian accent and think it's an English accent. It's even more common for people here to confuse Irish and Scottish accents."
no way i refuse to believe you can't tell apart an english and australian accent. i mean wtf"
It may sound odd to us but Londoners and some Australians have similar nuances in their speech so its actually understandable.
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BiggerBomb

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#47  Edited By BiggerBomb
Bo17 said:
"BiggerBomb said:
"But what does it sound like? Everyone describes the British accent, but never the American accent (standard, not midwest or southern.)"
Gargh! Nononononononono!
Trust me when I say that your perception of the British accent (be it all upper class, or completely cokney) more or less died out about 200 years ago.
Being British, I've travelled my country a bit and it is impossible to pinpoint one specific definitive British Accent. We have hundreds, and they all sound different.
Same goes for Americans. For the most part, people assume you all have a standard yankee accent, but having been to America and knowing quite a few Americans, I've found that there are so many different accents there as well that it still proves impossible to generalise, and some people just have accents that completely contrast the environment in which they're brought up in, meaning the whole idea is void because everybody is Different and by generalising you just start demeaning people who don't conform to such a standard (be it on purpose or by accident)"

We don't have hundreds of different accents here, but I know what you mean.

We have: East Coast, Midwest, Southern, and Californian. If you want to count the Alaska/Oregon/Colorado accent you can as well, but I do not know how to classify it.

One thing that I heard from a Brit over XBL was that the British do not have a hard time understanding us, which is strange because often we have trouble understanding you. Was that just him or is that a general truth?
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BiggerBomb

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#48  Edited By BiggerBomb
crunchUK said:
"american accent is kind of like... i dunno o_0. the vowels are done differently and you speak slower. although when i went to spain they said american english was 100000 times easier than english english. coolest accent in the universe is scottish though :D"

You can take our lives, but you can't take our FREEDOM!!!!!!!!
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crunchUK

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#49  Edited By crunchUK
BiggerBomb said:
"crunchUK said:
"american accent is kind of like... i dunno o_0. the vowels are done differently and you speak slower. although when i went to spain they said american english was 100000 times easier than english english. coolest accent in the universe is scottish though :D"

You can take our lives, but you can't take our FREEDOM!!!!!!!!"
orly well we'll just go to africa and take their freedom :P
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BiffMcBlumpkin

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#50  Edited By BiffMcBlumpkin
BiggerBomb said:
"Bo17 said:
"BiggerBomb said:
"But what does it sound like? Everyone describes the British accent, but never the American accent (standard, not midwest or southern.)"
Gargh! Nononononononono!
Trust me when I say that your perception of the British accent (be it all upper class, or completely cokney) more or less died out about 200 years ago.
Being British, I've travelled my country a bit and it is impossible to pinpoint one specific definitive British Accent. We have hundreds, and they all sound different.
Same goes for Americans. For the most part, people assume you all have a standard yankee accent, but having been to America and knowing quite a few Americans, I've found that there are so many different accents there as well that it still proves impossible to generalise, and some people just have accents that completely contrast the environment in which they're brought up in, meaning the whole idea is void because everybody is Different and by generalising you just start demeaning people who don't conform to such a standard (be it on purpose or by accident)"

We don't have hundreds of different accents here, but I know what you mean.

We have: East Coast, Midwest, Southern, and Californian. If you want to count the Alaska/Oregon/Colorado accent you can as well, but I do not know how to classify it.

One thing that I heard from a Brit over XBL was that the British do not have a hard time understanding us, which is strange because often we have trouble understanding you. Was that just him or is that a general truth?"
No, we have way more than that. We have an unbelievable amount of accents. Chicago, Mass, NYC, Minnesota, Kansan, New Orleans, etc. More than I can think of off the top of my head.
Generally, the larger your country is and the more "ethnic" influences it has (as in number of different immigrant groups settling in and altering local ways of speaking) the more varied its accents will be. The US, being huge and a nation of immigrants, has a shit ton of 'em.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_English_regional_phonology