How do I learn to Do Accents?

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Great Plains
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Post by Great Plains » August 23rd, 2008, 12:24 pm

We should practice. We have representatives from a wide variety of languages and dialects in our community. We could post attempts to speak with an accent and suggestions from natives of that accent on how to improve.

Edit: I guess Skype would be better for real-time interaction, but the sessions should be recorded so we can all benefit 8-)
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simonlarois
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Post by simonlarois » August 23rd, 2008, 1:15 pm

We should practice. We have representatives from a wide variety of languages and dialects in our community. We could post attempts to speak with an accent and suggestions from natives of that accent on how to improve.
Sounds like a great idea to me :)

Dick Van Dyke is the source for my Cockney (guvner) and my 'generic' American.

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catchpenny
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Post by catchpenny » August 23rd, 2008, 5:09 pm

Honestly, I practice in public. For example, I wanted to have a character with a British accent in a book I'm reading for something else...so I just spoke in a British accent everywhere I went, until I finally ran into a British person who thought I was Australian.

I then politely explained that I was trying to be British, and asked him for tips. Very Happy
Oh very good. My mother always tells me to knock it of if I try this at home. She says it sounds presuming. I must now go somewhere I am not known, and practice on some poor, unsuspecting soul. If they are British chaps I will innocently say I am trying to sound American.

simonlarois
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Post by simonlarois » August 23rd, 2008, 5:39 pm

I watched a clip of an American amateur dramatic production of Pygmalion and I sniggered at the *awful* British accents...

... before suddenly realising that if that's what I thought of their British accents... imagine what they would think of my American accent...

:oops:

unto thine own self be true - act and then accent, and hopefully no-one will notice if your Dutch drawl is more of a Scotch snap :D

A cliché of amateur accents in the UK is, bizarrely, Welsh slipping into Indian.

On a more serious note, can't accents be stepping into dangerous territory a little, lest we slip in aural stereotypes? Perhaps a bit like the painful experience of reading a Colonnial author trying to portray the speech of racial minorities phoenetically.

Simon :)

PS - I'm being melodramatic and a devil's advocate. I think any attempt at character voices including accents are great and add to the listening (and reading!) pleasure :D
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SmokestackJones
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Post by SmokestackJones » August 23rd, 2008, 5:58 pm

simonlarois wrote:PS - I'm being melodramatic and a devil's advocate. I think any attempt at character voices including accents are great and add to the listening (and reading!) pleasure :D
I like the way you think. :mrgreen:

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hefyd
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Post by hefyd » August 24th, 2008, 3:03 am

I remember hearing a recording of Eisenhower speaking French, and although he was speaking French, it was obvious that he was an American - and I mean an American, not just an English-speaker. I believe that you can tell someone's native language simply by listening to them cough, sneeze,or [very much so] laugh - which, if true, would indicate that an accent is something to do with the unique way in which particular groups 'hold their mouth' when they speak. I have worked in scouse-land for years, and think I can say 'Bebington' now, reasonably convincingly, but beyond that one word, I wouldn't dare go ! hefyd
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Starlite
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Post by Starlite » August 24th, 2008, 4:06 am

hefyd wrote: I believe that you can tell someone's native language simply by listening to them cough, sneeze,or [very much so] laugh - which, if true, would indicate that an accent is something to do with the unique way in which particular groups 'hold their mouth' when they speak. hefyd
Oh I agree with you there. We have a little joke in our house. My 16 yr had a girlfriend who spoke French fluently (Though not a Québecois). He would start laughing and then one of us would say "en Francais" and he would go into this nasal, strange laugh and I swear it sounds French!!

As for accents, we do not seem to have the regional accents like UK even though our country is much much bigger. You can always tell though, a native Québecois or an East coaster.

For example, if you listen to aradlaw who lives approx 50 miles to the south of me, you will say our accents are very much alike. Now in the UK, if you travel 50 miles, it is my understanding that you will get completely different accents!

Esther :)
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musicmaiden
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Post by musicmaiden » September 29th, 2008, 7:30 pm

Cori, I looked for this link when you first posted here and just found it: http://web.ku.edu/idea/. I like it b/c there's unscripted speech, so you get an idea what the accent would sound like just talking. I have noticed sound quality fluctuates quite a bit though.

FYI, I try and copy your accent all the time. :P Drives my brother nuts. (He likes your accent, just not me trying to copy it.) If anyone wants to coach me on my pitiful attempts at a British accent I'd love it. The other accent I like to mimic is Southern. :)
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Jc
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Post by Jc » September 30th, 2008, 6:43 am

Starlite wrote: Oh I agree with you there. We have a little joke in our house. My 16 yr had a girlfriend who spoke French fluently (Though not a Québecois). He would start laughing and then one of us would say "en Francais" and he would go into this nasal, strange laugh and I swear it sounds French!!
Hey! does that mean I have a strange nasal laugh, or am I save b/c I'm Quebecois?
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RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » September 30th, 2008, 6:47 am

Jc wrote: Hey! does that mean I have a strange nasal laugh, or am I save b/c I'm Quebecois?
I think we need an MP3 so we can vote. :twisted:
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Starlite
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Post by Starlite » September 30th, 2008, 6:58 am

RuthieG wrote:
Jc wrote: Hey! does that mean I have a strange nasal laugh, or am I save b/c I'm Quebecois?
I think we need an MP3 so we can vote. :twisted:
Hee hee YES. I will have to see if my son will let me record him doing it! :lol:

Esther :D
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

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