Accents

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by missbec, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. missbec

    missbec New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Australia - WA
    A thought that occurred to me today: How can American and Australian accents be different yet we speak the same language, not considering some spelling differences?
     
  2. missbec

    missbec New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Australia - WA
    English accents dont go astray either:rolleyes:
     
  3. Wonderboy

    Wonderboy New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    887
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    High Above The Mucky Muck
    Australians (the main population) came from England and were commoners, poor and criminals. The aboriginies of course have their own language and accent and have been around since prehistory, or close to it...

    Americans sailed from all over to get to the new land...so there's a mix of cultures, mostly Europeans I think. Anyway, that could be an effect but also the settlers didn't like the English and wanted to be separated from them in a lot of ways (such as driving on the right side of the road, but that's a bit later). Maybe they purposely made their accents different. Or it just happens. I don't know how many things influence accents.

    I'm pretty sure they don't happen overnight though so it would have to have something to do with the settlers of each country. My English accent is cool, so is my French accent! And my French speaking. ;)

    That's all I know...its probably mainly due to the English descendents of the Aussies. Australians and English do sound alike sometimes but they are becoming AMERICANIZED...so I don't know what's going on anymore hehe.
     
  4. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    2
    Not to mention cultural attitudes (e.g. Queen's English which is overly 'posh' sounding). As an example, I tend to speak English with a dry accent with some weird "americanisms" chucked in. It doesn't sound right to natives, but to foreigners, they know it's British...weird.
     
  5. mjfriel

    mjfriel New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Don't forget that at one point there were more German-speakers arriving in America than English-speaking. There was also Scandanavians, Irish, Scots, Italians etc so it is a mix of accents and influences. Australia, as was said, was mainly populated by lower-class English, Irish, Scots and Welsh. Not as much variety there. So I think the American accent resulted froma greater diversity of languages and accent affectations. That's what I think anyway - absolutely no proof or statistics to back it up!
     
  6. Shelby

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,159
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    in the internet
    Exactly.

    If you were to plop an average resident of Harlem in Pennslvania Dutch country (not that far away really) or vice versa they might encounter a significant language barrier due to local accents and jargon.

    So it's no surprise that cultures on opposite sides of the world diverge.
     
  7. BigPoppaFury

    BigPoppaFury Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    236
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, for a start, the difference between working class English, Scottish and Welsh people's accents is HUGE. I'm working class from London, and I couldn't understand a working class guy from Glasgow if I saw there all day with a tape listening to it. Most likely he wouldn't be able to understand me either. Accents over the UK vary massively for such a small island. I believe that even parts of London have differences (probably not noticeable if you don't live here).

    I think accents just tend to form naturally over a couple of generations. I hear a lot of Irish in many American accents. Also English and Australian accents do NOT sound the same, I think people from both countries are fairly astounded when Americans can't tell the difference. They have kept a fair few English slang words which we still also use which I guess could cause some confusion on first listen. As for becoming Americanised- I wouldn't say this was particularly true for the UK- I think there's a little resistance to Americanisms among us and you usually would end up being mocked for talking like that. The internet is slightly different in that most of the people you end up talking to are from the US and generally we change what we type to suit them, otherwise we tend to go misunderstood.
     
  8. D_Pat_Sayjackoff

    D_Pat_Sayjackoff New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do have an accent....and it sucks!
    I travel around alot and deal mostly with the south (US) and have a drawl.
    I am from California and have no friggin way of correcting my "problem" without going through major speach classes. Most people in the US think people with a drawl are.....less than intellectual shall we say. I am not a hick, I just deal with them all the time and now after 15 years of working with them...I SOUND LIKE THEM.

    I do have to say....when I watch TV shows or movies where britts or aussies or anyone else from outside...and sometimes inside the US have an accent, I put on the closed captioning :cool:
     
  9. Gisella

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    USA
    My opinion:

    In England..between working classes Eglish (that i met in the south of England), Scottish and Irish i do find Irish sounds softly better to my ears and they sound American to me too...Scottish are very very very difficult to understand...

    English from "educated" are the best English to understand they sound clear and dry spoken who is writtten...I dont like the posh Queen noble English bcause sounds like speaking with and imaginary hard egg in the mouth to me...

    Between the ex English Colonies South Africa is the most beautiful musical English to me. Australians goes in second place...and Caribean English is the most sexy of them all!!!

    For my ears i cant tell the difference between US English speaking and a Canadian at all...:redface:

    Inside the US...Californians are the most charming and clean to my ears but the most familiar that makes me smillie are the Bostonians and NewYorkers..i dont like the accents from the south at all...

    Merci...:wink:
     
  10. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    14,610
    Likes Received:
    5
    Roughly true. When I'm in the States, no one thinks I'm other than an American -- and I'm often asked which state I'm from. (For that matter, Brits may also ask me if I'm an American.)

    Many Americans find Canadian speech particularly crisp, you know. There's not much drawl anywhere in Canada.

    But there are regional Canadian accents. The Newfoundland accent is very distinct, I assure you. A lot of working-class Irish intonation in it, I suppose ... though much changed over five centuries or so of evolution in isolation.

    And Montreal English, some people feel, is a bit distinctive in accent, though I don't hear that so much. (The expressions, however, given the French-speaking environment, are often unique.)

    If I'm not mistaken, I read, long ago, an argument that the closest modern approximation of the everyday speech in the England of four centuries ago may well be in parts of the American South.

    BigPoppaFury suggests that speech variations in London might not be evident to a foreigner. Oh, but they are, decidedly so. When I've been in London, most people have been easy to understand, but some, especially young cockney street kids, were impenetrable. Rare, but it's happened several times.
     
  11. mjfriel

    mjfriel New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
     
  12. Gisella

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    USA
    :biggrin1: Let me explain better...

    Between the ones who speak with neutral accent that i dont know to identify the region... like the ones i already know the sound its "easy"...

    Canadians have a neutral accent to me like many Americans do...i cant trace differences of it in my brain files..hehehehe....:tongue:

    And about Native Americans speaking i almost sure they speak similar...or maybe is a Southeastener accent? But i heard some Spanish American speaks sounding like Native Americans...:confused: dont know...

    And i may guess right a Texan accent too..maybe...
     
  13. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    Have a read of "Mother Tongue" by Bill Bryson, it's amusing, but educational and explains a great many things about regional and national English dialects.
     
  14. yhtang

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,565
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    170
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South East Asia
    Hey, it could be worse. I speak English with a slight Chinese accent. But then again, I am Chinese....
     
  15. Gisella

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    USA
     
  16. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,730
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Plimoth Plantation
    BigPoppaFury gets the last word.

    Well said man.
     
  17. mjfriel

    mjfriel New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
     
  18. Gisella

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    USA
     
  19. mjfriel

    mjfriel New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
     
  20. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    14,610
    Likes Received:
    5
    Is your cabinet large enough? Hehehehe.

    Just joking.:smile:

    How did you learn English, BTW?
     
Draft saved Draft deleted