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I think that it would be really cool to be able to speak as though I was from the Victorian era. How can I learn to do this?

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Would that be Victorian England? –  delete Sep 5 '10 at 8:55
    
@Shinto: Yes it would be –  Casebash Sep 5 '10 at 10:19
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

That time knew many playwrights and many of their plays are still performed, often using the original texts, phrases and sometimes even accents. Joining one of those theaters is your best chance in practicing Victorianish. Here's a nice starting point at WikiPedia.

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Especially en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_and_Sullivan –  mplungjan Apr 25 '11 at 7:15
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Read lots of Charles Dickens novels and copy the words and phrases used?

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Do you want to have a Victorian accent, or do you just want to use their style? If your plan is the latter, upper-class Victorian English is nearly identical to proper English today. It gets different really fast, though, if you're looking at lower-class or regional English.

As for accents, unless you're pretty comfortable with diachronic English phonology and rather handy with pronouncing specific (and sometimes strange-sounding) vowels, you may have some trouble. I'd read as much as you can about the Received Pronunciation accent, and how it has evolved over the past two centuries.

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Along with reading literature from that era you might find these links useful: Victorian slang glossary or Victorian London

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protected by RegDwigнt Apr 8 '12 at 12:16

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