Skip to comments.An American accent can be charming, admits Tom Leonard - but not if it's his daughter's
Posted on 02/28/2007 10:50:51 PM PST by Muentzer2005
It's started. Rising inflection at the end of the sentence. Sometimes several times in a sentence. Very. Short. Staccato. Statements. As yet no use of "like" four or five times in a sentence, but occasionally once or twice.
Meike, once the vocalisation of Laura Ashley prints and the only girl at her inner-London primary school who never dropped any consonant, let alone an aitch, is starting to speak with an American accent. Perhaps not quite an accent, yet, but the rhythm of her speech has changed in a decidedly US direction. The rest can't be far behind.
We have been on "accent watch" ever since we arrived - monitoring our children's utterances for early signs of infestation ...
I caught our son, Joe, using "awesome" last night - without permission or prior consultation - to describe a Matchbox car.
Still, this was an unusual lapse from him. In London, Joe used to like to drop his aitches in grand style but now he has reversed roles with his sister and set himself up as the defender of the old faith.
He continually asks his mother in a worried tone if he's getting an American accent. He wants to go to an English school where he can be taught in English, he says. Quite where he gets this British snobbery from is beyond us.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Heavens forbid she can't pronounce Bananers properly anymore.
My Canadian brother is married to a native Chinese and lives in Texas. Their six-year-old daughter is perfectly bilingual in Canadian English and Chinese, but it's precious to hear her Texas "y'all". What's really funny is when she's been playing with her African-American friend, and comes away imitating an accent from the 'hood.
Kind of off to the side-my wife is Japanese. She takes it for granted that she can tell where a Japanese person is from by their accent or dialect, but she always seems surprised that I can do the same for an English speaker. They all sound the same to her.
We've all heard foreign language gibberish-what does English sound like to someone who doesn't understand it?
Do you mean that we will no longer be "separated by a common language"?
I guess their daughter is headed for the TX governor's mansion in 2045?
When I was a teenager, some family friends hosted a neat kid from Portugal who was a summer exchange student. We took him around with us even though his English was almost non-existent. Someone asked him to imitate an American accent just to get an idea of what we sound like. He played along by spouting a line of gibberish that was a mix of Brooklyn and Southen accent. We just about died from laughing.
I have friends in Brighton, England. He's Irish Canadian but has lived in England for a long time. His wife is a native of Wales. Both speak proper "estuary English" which to my ear sounds like Tony Blair. They send their little girl to a private school and live in fear - they told me - that she will come home from associating with her playmates having picked up the dreaded glottal stop - that catch in the throat that sounds so unelegant.
The wife teaches English as a Second Language to foreign students in Brighton (which is full of such schools.) One day a Korean girl announced that wanted to learn to speak American English without an accent. "But," Charlotte (the wife) replied, "Everyone speaks English with an accent."
Thank you for the best damn belly laugh I've had in a long tme.
Although the author wrote in a rather kind way, he brings up a big point. Foreigners are expected to take up (American) English. Personally have noted that non-Anglophones are the most probable to try to imitate the "standard" American English accent to the cue. In contrast, people from other countries of the Anglosphere make little if any attempt to copy the American accent, though they will make the necessary vocabulary replacements (they'd need to) such as lift/elevator, boot/trunk, crisps/chips, etc. The Britons continue with their British accents, Australians with Australian, and even Canadian with Canadian. If an American goes to the UK, to live there, they should try to copy the standard British accent (along with the spelling, vocabulary, etc.).
How does the American English (standard) accent sound to other English users? Does it sound drawly (suspect so, as theirs--minus the Canadians--tend to sound clipped)?
The term "jumper" is used here.
What's the American Standard? I was born and raised in Washington State, then I spent 24 years in the Navy. I don't think I have a recognizable regional accent. I cursed like a sailor for many years but I quit that when I realized I sounded like an illiterate, although that is a matter of vocabulary, not accent.
A dropping of the "T" sound, as in "Wa'er bo'le" for "water bottle", or "Mar'in" for "Martin."
In England this is (fairly or unfairly) a sign of a coarse lower-class upbringing, worse than using "ain't" would be in this country.
I hate this and the more so because it is at its root Valley Girl talk, which even grown men have adopted. It is so pervasive it is affecting my speech and when I succumb to it I force myself to say the sentence a second time without the Valley Girl inclines. The only way to stamp this out is wariness and application, but sadly, I don't see many even fighting it. This is the first article I've even seen about it.
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