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Thread: Ask a Brit!

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky Charms View Post
    You got them flipped! Lol. The brits are supposed to say "beer can" and it sound like a Jamaican sayin' bacon!
    HERPDERP <_>

    lol, yes..... apparently my mind has been liquified.... S_S I can't believe i messed that up hahaha
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  2. #42
    do us canucks have an accent? not like the sterotypical one but one that you can easily recognize and tell the difference between an american and a Canadian? my great grandmother was from the uk and moved here and she always said how strange she found the canadian accent
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  4. #43
    I can't actually tell the difference :|
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  6. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fcpl Mahoney 106 wrs View Post
    do us canucks have an accent? not like the sterotypical one but one that you can easily recognize and tell the difference between an american and a Canadian? my great grandmother was from the uk and moved here and she always said how strange she found the canadian accent
    I know I am no Brit, but I can tell a British person from an American from a Canadian by accent.

    That 'South Park' episode where the Canadian government official is talking to American government officials holds true to me at least, the Canadians tend to pronounce 'about' as "a boot". I find myself doing it!

    The Americans have more of an accent as well, with New Yorkers talking different than people from Montana, and the Southerners having an accent that gets thicker the more you go South into the nation.

    As for the British, the stereotype of the British is accurate. No offense to our British friends, but the British accent stereotype we have in America and Canada tends to hold true, with British sounding similar to some Australians.

    This is how I have found it, at least. Others may find it differently, but the three nations do have thier own accents.
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  7. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    I can't actually tell the difference :|
    I kind of pride myself on being fairly quick at picking up accents (comes from watching ironically enough too much British and American television).

    Currently, accents are becoming less distinct with the advent of television. However, there are pronounced differences in accents between places in North America:

    New Englanders in general have a twang to their accent and Bostonians in particular are noted for dropping their r's eg. Hahvahd for Harvard. South Philadelphians have a similar accent to a South Boston accent (eg. Just watch Mystic River, The Departed, or Good Will Hunting).

    Accents in New York City alone can vary from Borough to Borough eg. you can tell the difference from somone from Brooklyn as opposed to someone from Manhattan. Buffalonians have a distinct accent "Another fire tonight in Lackawaaanna."

    Mid-Atlantic states there is a combination of soft southern drawl with a kind of a New York accent.

    The South can in some places still be like Gone With the Wind. I was with some people from North Carolina yesterday and I was waiting for Rhet Butler to come out.

    Louisiana and New Orleans in particular have two accents Cajun and Creole. Cajun is a corruption of the Quebec accent, and can be as thick as molasses in some cases. Personally to me a Cajun accent sounds like someone from New York who took a Grade 10 French class at A.Y. Jackson Collegiate in North York, and then got hit in the mouth with a bag of marbles. Creole is startlingly similar to a French accent, but with a Caribbean twist, quite similar to the Haitian accent, but that is to be expected since Haitians and Creoles share the same heritage.

    Texas - Howdy Y'all - enough said.

    Mid-west has a twang similar to a soft Texas accent.

    California, well just watch Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemount High and you get it.

    England is a veritable cornucopia of accents. For the longest time a West Londoner accent was quite distinct from an East Londoner (Cockney) accent. Even at one point accents in East London could vary from street to street. Similarly a person from say the Midlands had an accent distinct from someone from Liverpool (listen to old interviews (eg. 1960) with Paul McCartney and you will hear a good Liverpool accent). Cornwall has a unique accent, so in fact do most English Counties, and if you add in the different accents in Scotland, Wales and Ulster, you are in for an earbending experience.

    The Senior Partner of my firm is from Belfast and a friend of mine who practices in Whitby is from Armagh, listening to the two of them and you would think they were from different countries, when in fact Belfast and Armagh are 40 miles apart in Ulster. As an aside his father was a Sergeant in the RUC and most of her family was involved in the Provos, so I tend to keep them apart.http://www.arm.ac.uk/tourist-info/ge...to-Armagh.html

    Watching All Creatures Great and Small growing up definitely drove home the Yorkshire accent for me (Vitnary)

    In Canada accents can also be broken down geographically. Maritimers have a distinct accent, particularly Newfoundlanders and Cape Bretoners, although I have gauged a trend in Halifax to copy the Cape Breton accent. Quebecers (Eh mon ami, pass me da poutine, eh, si vous please?). Ontario, Torontonians have been accused of having a distinct accent (Tarawna). The Prairies have a similar twang to U.S. Midwesterners, and B.C. well that is Canada's equivalent to the California laid back drawl (Dude). I was outed once in Washington because I said Chesterfield and "no dowt abowt it."

    I haven't even delved into New Zealand, Australian, South Afrikaan, Indian, Malay etc., English accents. I was once with a group of people from Bombay, and I thought I was watching a remake of Brideshead Revisted with their accents.

    Australian accents are only superficially similar to British, they are generally a derivation of Cockney accents since Australia was founded as a penal colony, and ironically that is where most of the original settlers came from. The Australian accent however, is quite different from a British accent, it is harder, particularly with the A's than the "stereotypical" British accent, which is called the "BBC" accent because the BBC tried very hard to standardize the accents of it's announcers, particularly with the World Service, much like the CBC tried to do in Canada.

    Honestly, to avoid sounding too much like Henry Higgins, and bring this lesson to a close, Canada and the U.S. have many different accents.

    By the way if you think this variation in accents is unique to English you are wrong. An example would be that there is a scene in Inglorious Basterds where a Gestapo officer is questioning the origin of the British spy because he can't place his accent, yet he can place his companions by City eg. Lt. Frankfurt, and Captain Vienna. Since Germany was for most of the last 900 years a collection of states each state developed its own accent. These states are really now just towns and cities. There was until recently also High German (Which would be the German equivalent of the "Queen's English" and Low German which is equivalent to Cockney). Same with Chinese, although Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechuan etc. are all written in the same characters, they are spoken quite differently and have evolved beyond mere accents to almost separate languages.
    Last edited by J. Gleiberman; 18th July 2010 at 23:39.
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  8. #46
    What I'm thinking is that the British accents are easy to distinguish betwee... US & Canada are very slight that I don't always pick up, the Canadian Accent is more 'flat' for want of a better word.

    Saying that a S. African and Austrialian person sound the same to me!!
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  9. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by J. Gleiberman View Post
    I kind of pride myself on being fairly quick at picking up accents (comes from watching ironically enough too much British and American television).

    Currently, accents are becoming less distinct with the advent of television. However, there are pronounced differences in accents between places in North America:

    New Englanders in general have a twang to their accent and Bostonians in particular are noted for dropping their r's eg. Hahvahd for Harvard. South Philadelphians have a similar accent to a South Boston accent (eg. Just watch Mystic River, The Departed, or Good Will Hunting).

    Accents in New York City alone can vary from Borough to Borough eg. you can tell the difference from somone from Brooklyn as opposed to someone from Manhattan. Buffalonians have a distinct accent "Another fire tonight in Lackawaaanna."
    The border areas between Southern Ontario and New York (and even Michigan) are very interesting with regards to accents. It never ceases to amaze me how wide the border can be.

    If you got to Niagara Falls Ontario, a local might say the sentence "It costs a hundred dollars":.

    "It cawsts ahundr'd dawllers"

    Shift 1 km south to Niagara Falls New York and you will hear:

    "It casts ah huhnner' dAHllerss"
    Mid-Atlantic states there is a combination of soft southern drawl with a kind of a New York accent.
    There are parts of Vermont that I've been to where the accent is pure Ontario - only the idiom is different.
    In Canada accents can also be broken down geographically. Maritimers have a distinct accent, particularly Newfoundlanders and Cape Bretoners, although I have gauged a trend in Halifax to copy the Cape Breton accent. Quebecers (Eh mon ami, pass me da poutine, eh, si vous please?). Ontario, Torontonians have been accused of having a distinct accent (Tarawna). The Prairies have a similar twang to U.S. Midwesterners, and B.C. well that is Canada's equivalent to the California laid back drawl (Dude). I was outed once in Washington because I said Chesterfield and "no dowt abowt it."
    It's funny how your ear gets attuned to you own accent so can't hear subtle differences between sounds in other people's . Our US cousins swear we say 'oot and aboot' but, to me, I've heard a barely audible extra syllable in there. To me, the stereotypical phrase sounds more like "ah-oot and abah-oot".

    BTW, the only time I ever, ever hear or see "Trawna" is when people say or write that it's the way locals say the name. Sorry, but I can't hear it. It's always sounded "TRAW-noh" or sometimes "t'RAW-noh". When I hear a news anchor from the States saying "Ter-RON-tow", it really grates on my ear for some reason.
    I haven't even delved into New Zealand, Australian,
    And confusing the two irritates a New Zealander as much as it does a Canadian when asked if they are an American.

    What fascinates me is Britons trying to do North American accents. Many seem to be able to do a passable but hard-to-pin-down-a-locale Southern accent (half the cast of True Blood is British!) but a "generic" American or Canadian accent comes out very flat with a little too much emphasis on the letter "R". If there are any Red Dwarf fans out there, Kryten's accent is based on a friend of the actor who is from Vancouver. Worst... Canadian... accent... ever.

    Mind you, most of the "British" accents I hear being done by North Americans are just as bizzare.
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  10. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by J-P Johnson View Post
    What fascinates me is Britons trying to do North American accents. Many seem to be able to do a passable but hard-to-pin-down-a-locale Southern accent (half the cast of True Blood is British!) but a "generic" American or Canadian accent comes out very flat with a little too much emphasis on the letter "R".
    I've seen that, but I've found some to be very convincing: I was surprised to find out that Hugh Laurie and Jamie Bamber were British!

  11. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by N. McKay View Post
    I've seen that, but I've found some to be very convincing: I was surprised to find out that Hugh Laurie and Jamie Bamber were British!
    Jamie Bamber nailed it. I PVR'd a lot of BSG and Law & Order UK so in one sitting I would see him using the two different accents and not be able to tell which one was real.

    Hugh Laurie - I've been a fan of his for too long (Jeeves & Wooster, Blackadder, A Bit of Frye & Laurie, etc) and I can still hear his real accent.
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  12. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by J-P Johnson View Post
    Jamie Bamber nailed it. I PVR'd a lot of BSG and Law & Order UK so in one sitting I would see him using the two different accents and not be able to tell which one was real.

    Hugh Laurie - I've been a fan of his for too long (Jeeves & Wooster, Blackadder, A Bit of Frye & Laurie, etc) and I can still hear his real accent.
    Yes Hugh Laurie in House sounds to me like a Brit hiding his accent, or more accurately a Brit who has been in North America too long and has lost his accent. This happened to a friend of mine in grade school in Grade 3 he was pure Northumberland, by Grade 8 he was generic Ontario. Whereas in Blackadder Laurie is more Oxbridge. By the way where you go to school can also determine your accent. UCC kids used to sound like they were brainwashed by someone from Eton with their accent, they stopped that kind of elocution training in the early 80's, I think because they were afraid all of their graduates would walk around sounding like Christopher Plummer. Christopher Plummer is an interesting case of the reverse, a Canadian adopting a British accent.
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  13. #51
    LastGunner
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    Accents

    I recall a trip to the U.S once and an American officer asking me what I was speaking,my reply was "English Sir,this is just the way it's supposed to be spoken and why maybe you are having trouble understanding me."
    I always found that in the U.K most people after a few moments and into a conversation would ask if your American and then pick up you were not. No offense to the Yanks,but they have a tendency beat the English language up a bit.

  14. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by LastGunner View Post
    I recall a trip to the U.S once and an American officer asking me what I was speaking,my reply was "English Sir,this is just the way it's supposed to be spoken and why maybe you are having trouble understanding me."
    I always found that in the U.K most people after a few moments and into a conversation would ask if your American and then pick up you were not. No offense to the Yanks,but they have a tendency beat the English language up a bit.
    Just a tad I find that those who tend to treat the English Language the best on the continent is the Canadians and you can tell you guys from the way you use the language properly just like us!
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  15. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Just a tad I find that those who tend to treat the English Language the best on the continent is the Canadians and you can tell you guys from the way you use the language properly just like us!
    Well we do speak the Queen's English, as opposed to Queens' English.

    Interesting note - The Tennessee and Arkansas accents associated with the mountain areas (You sure do have purdy teeth) is linguistically similar to the Cornwall accent from about the 17th Century as a lot of the settlers in that area of the U.S. came from Cornwall in the 17th Century.
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  17. #54
    Do you guys(Brits) think Oztralean the same accent as you? Just curious. I can never tell who is lad and mate..you know what I mean...
    There are people that know what they know. They are people that know what they don't know. Then there are people that don't know what they don't know.

  18. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Just a tad I find that those who tend to treat the English Language the best on the continent is the Canadians and you can tell you guys from the way you use the language properly just like us!
    Use the language properly. How offensive. To imply that American English is improper is like saying Mexican Spanish is improper, or that Quebecois is improper French.

    Dialects are dialects. Not one is more proper than the other.
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  19. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by D. Glass View Post
    Use the language properly. How offensive. To imply that American English is improper is like saying Mexican Spanish is improper, or that Quebecois is improper French.

    Dialects are dialects. Not one is more proper than the other.
    Actually to a Spaniard, Mexican Spanish is the equivalent of guttural, and good luck getting a favourable response walking around Paris with a Quebecois accent.
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  20. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by J. Gleiberman View Post
    Actually to a Spaniard, Mexican Spanish is the equivalent of guttural, and good luck getting a favourable response walking around Paris with a Quebecois accent.
    Very true. When I was in France in 2008 and on a battlefield tour, our tour guide mentioned to my friend and I that he has had folks from Quebec in his groups in the past, and couldn't understand a word they said.
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  21. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by D. Glass View Post
    Dialects are dialects. Not one is more proper than the other.
    There is an element of truth to that, but it only goes so far. Some people simply don't talk properly, by the standard of any wide-spread dialect. (Some such people even exist in England!)

  22. #59
    Most Improved Member - 2009 D. Glass is on a distinguished road D. Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. McKay View Post
    There is an element of truth to that, but it only goes so far. Some people simply don't talk properly, by the standard of any wide-spread dialect. (Some such people even exist in England!)
    Quote Originally Posted by J. Gleiberman View Post
    Actually to a Spaniard, Mexican Spanish is the equivalent of guttural, and good luck getting a favourable response walking around Paris with a Quebecois accent.
    Quote Originally Posted by NatoBro View Post
    Very true. When I was in France in 2008 and on a battlefield tour, our tour guide mentioned to my friend and I that he has had folks from Quebec in his groups in the past, and couldn't understand a word they said.
    Well, I must agree with the three above points to a point.

    I do tend to dislike the Canadian English dialect. Canadians can not pronounce about properly. That South Park stereotype is actually accurate.

    However, this does not mean Canadian English is lesser than American English, or British English.

    Speaking of Dialects, quick question. Is there dialects of Russian, by any chance? I am going to attempt to learn the language very soon, and I am curious as to if there are any regional dialects within the Russian Federation.
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  23. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by D. Glass View Post
    Speaking of Dialects, quick question. Is there dialects of Russian, by any chance? I am going to attempt to learn the language very soon, and I am curious as to if there are any regional dialects within the Russian Federation.
    Yes there are, practically every region of Russia has a distinct accent eg. you can generally tell the difference between a Moscow resident and a St. Petersburg resident, and so on. They are not so much dialects though in the sense that they are distinct languages.
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