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How to speak American - Not!

How to speak American - Not!Nobody thinks they have an accent - it's everybody else who sounds weird.

In China, every dialect is stigmatised in every place in which people don't speak that dialect. In Australia, speakers of the Aussie Yobbo accent would have to be the most stigmatised. America is no different; every non-New Yorker thinks that New York accents are THE most annoying in the world.

So imagine the fun when a group of non-native speakers try to imitate a "real" American accent. If these videos of non-U.S. Anglophones imitating American accents are any indication, our manner of speaking is two parts Valley Girl, one part cowboy, and one part superhero.

2 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...
    This may be tangential to the spirit of this particular topic, but the accents wrongly associated with New York City are those from Brooklyn, the Bronx and Jersey City, NJ. New York public schools have taught the King'English traditionally and thus you would be more accurate to associate a true NYC accent with FDR, Katherine Hepburn, William F. Buckley, Jean Kirkpatrick, Grace Kelly - it is closer to an aristocratic British accent (and many older NY'ers of all socioeconomic categories still speak this way)than it is to those of the two boroughs and the nearby city that I cited.
    Anonymous said...
    I am from the south (born in Louisiana and grew up there and in Mississippi), and when I travel to the northeast, I get strange looks when I speak because there is nothing aristocratic about how some of us sound!

    I don't think limiting the seeming negative comments about accents to New York buroughs, though, is accurate. There are accents from Massachusetts and other northeastern states that are more "irritating" to those of us from other parts of the country.

    One thing that has always struck me as unusual concerning accents is that many Californians speak with an accent that would be indistinguishable from some in the northeastern part of the country.

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