Ukulele & Languages

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Accents : Language Fun

12 2010

Accents are a really fascinating subject for language lovers.  During the year I spent in Northern England for my studies, I was amazed by the variety of British accents and by the fact that British people had problems understanding each other if they were not used to their respective accents and dialects.

I remember the “how will I cope” feeling I had when I attended my first Managerial Ethics lecture given by a Glaswegian. I was however quickly comforted by the fact that British students were as puzzled as myself.

I discovered at that time that it only takes a short amount of time to adjust your ear to different accents. It does require a great deal of concentration at first in order for you to pinpoint exactly what is different from the accent(s) you know, whether it be the rhythm of speech, the melodic pattern, the swallowed consonants or exaggerated vowels sounds or the use of specific regional words.

Knowing my interest in languages and accents, Herman sent me the link to a video of an English student doing 24 different English accents. I think he did very well. Maybe not on all the accents, but some of them are really spot on (spo’ on). What do you think? Is your accent represented? If so do you think it is rather accurate ? Let us know in a comment.

Warning : there is a fair amount of swearing in this video.

If you intend to learn an accent in any language, actress, singer, and director Amy Walker has some very interesting tips in the following two videos.

It is striking to see how changing one’s accent does seem to alter one’s personality. Watching Amy doing different accents, you wouldn’t think it is the same person talking.

How to Learn Any Accent / Part One by Amy Walker

And Part Two :

5 Comments »

  1. craig on the 12th of October 2010 @ 22:20

    fan-fucking-tastic! Accents are fascinating. Growing up, I always wondered why the Rolling Stones never sounded British when they were singing…

    I still wonder that.

  2. Acilius on the 13th of October 2010 @ 00:35

    The guy’s pretty good, though his West Country farmer sounds a lot like a Yorkshireman to me. And no American of any kind would say “take the piss.”

  3. Armelle Europe on the 13th of October 2010 @ 19:11

    Craig: Glad you enjoyed! I have been wondering about the Rolling Stones’accent too. Especially in songs like this one :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVEdYYMlOJ4

    Acilius: I have to disagree with you about his West Country farmer impersonation sounding like a Yorkshireman : 2 of my housemates in England were from Yorkshire and they definitely didn’t sound like this (although I grant you they were not farmers :)

  4. Ryn on the 14th of October 2010 @ 20:16

    That was fantastic! His generic American accent was very good; if I saw him using it on the street I would think he was a native (I live in the U.S.)

  5. Armelle Europe on the 14th of October 2010 @ 21:10

    Ryn: Glad you enjoyed and thanks for validating the generic American accent!

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Language Fun

A place for language lovers where I’m trying to demonstrate how fun it is to learn other languages and how much of a culture you understand through its language.
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