Pronunciation characteristics of a certain individual, location, or nation. Generally does NOT include learning to speak with various accents or identifying accents.

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19
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3answers
9k views

Where do accents and dialects come from?

Why do people in different areas speak differently? Where do accents come from, how do they change and/or survive over time and why do we have them? Reading recommendations on this topic would be ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there software that can determine whether I speak with a neutral accent?

I have a query regarding enhancing my accent. I am searching for a software in which I speak a paragraph and it compares my speech to find out whether it is accent-free or not.
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How to explain accent variations to students

I am an ESL teacher working in China. During lessons, I am occasional interrupted by students or parents who point out that my pronunciation of some words is incorrect. They then produce a dictionary ...
16
votes
5answers
8k views

How did the Australian accent come about?

Can anybody tell me how the Australian accent came about? It seems strange to me that it is not more like an English accent taking into account that the first and the majority of settlers were ...
14
votes
4answers
22k views

What are the important differences between Canadian and American (USA) English?

English is not my first language; the little English I know is mostly from the USA. I know some of the differences between British English (or just English?) and American English, and the same with ...
14
votes
5answers
14k views

Did regular Americans speak the way actors in the 30s and 1940s did?

I watch a lot of old movies, and I've noticed that American actors of the 1930s and 1940s often spoke in a quasi-generic-posh-British accent. Katherine Hepburn's accent would be the perfect example. ...
12
votes
2answers
812 views

What are the 'distances' among the major English dialects?

Yes, I admit, as an AmE speaker, that all non-North American accents sound the same: BrE, Irish, Scottish, Australian and South African. Or rather, I can tell they are different if placed side by side ...
12
votes
5answers
12k views

Is there a 1950's American accent?

Listening to old recordings, there is a distinct accent that radio and television announcers used that is different from a modern-day "Standard American" or neutral accent. It seems that over the ...
11
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8answers
3k views

Identifying British accents

Are there rules of thumb for pinpointing British accents regionally? What other accents do Americans tend to mistake for British? Are there good online resources that can help with this? Audio ...
11
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4answers
704 views

In what contexts is it important to maintain your accent or dialect?

I'm an American who lives in Germany and hear many kinds of English spoken by many nationalities. Just as "one can either write organization or organisation but the main point is to be consistent" I ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there an American English dialect that sounds as “distingushed” as British English?

Obviously there are a lot of subjective words in the question. There are dialects of British English that don't sound distinguished at all (Cockney). Also, what sounds distinguished is somewhat ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Has the Tangier island accent truly remained unchanged since the Elizabethan period?

I'm not sure how well known Tangier Island is outside the Chesapeake region. To make a long story short, Tangier Island is an isolated fishing community in the Chesapeake bay. It has been mostly ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Which native English speakers are linguistically the most “germanic”?

English is a Germanic language. Another significant Germanic language is of course German. Which native English speakers are the closest to German basing on the following criteria? accent-wise ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Recognizing a Welsh accent

For an American, I'm pretty good at UK dialects. I can immediately tell an Irish or Scottish accent from a typical (educated, Londoner) English accent. But I'm on shaky ground with Welsh accents, ...
8
votes
1answer
769 views

Proper way to pronounce “Pyrzqxgl!” [closed]

In my youth, my father used to read me The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The magic word that was used to transform, Pyrzqxgl, was very difficult to pronounce. Are there any guidelines on pronouncing ...
8
votes
1answer
477 views

Australian regional shibboleths

I have been living in Australia for 7 years now, and still haven't been able to pin down the local regional accents. I can tell a "Town" from a "Country" accent, but I can't reliably tell which state ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

Accents of characters in Downton Abbey

To continue the question started in identifying accents of British actors, there is one popular current cultural artifact with an excess of non-standard British accents, and that is The BBC series ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

When does realisation of velar nasal /ŋ/ as alveolar nasal [n] happen along with tensing of the preceding vowel (/ɪ/ to [i])?

I have observed some English speakers in North America who seem to produce this assimilation in words like "running" /ˈrʌnɪŋ/ (as /ˈrʌnin/) or "winning" /ˈwɪnɪŋ/ (as /ˈwɪnin/). I'm specifically ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do American dialects differ?

I grew up in a very homogenous suburb, and was quite shocked when I moved to Philadelphia for college and started hearing how many different dialects exist even within one city. My untrained ear could ...
6
votes
5answers
7k views

What is a West Coast (U.S.) accent?

I've seen references to the American Midwest as being the home of the least accented form of American English. I always think of the Northern Midwest as having an accent that I associate with ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Dropped g's in upper-class 1930s Britain

‘Now take huntin'…’ ‘Oh, bull-fightin' — that's quite a different kettle of fish.…’ Italics bred italics. Dropped g's fell as thick as confetti. (Jan Struther, Mrs Miniver, 1939; 4th chapter, ...
6
votes
2answers
206 views

What Defines a Utah Accent?

I have heard a number of people refer to the "Utah accent." What is it that distinguishes a Utah accent from others? I have noticed that, in some cases, people from Utah omit the 't' from words such ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

“It's a-me !” — just an imitation of an Italian accent or something more?

I've seen and heard this at various times: It's a-me! [first name]! (Most of the time, seemingly as a reference to Mario.) I was wondering what the intent was behind the construction "a-me". Is ...
5
votes
2answers
453 views

What kind of accent is this?

What kind of accent is this? Is the speaker there speaking American English or Canadian? It is quite obvious it's not British or Australian accent. If it's American, can you, please, say what part of ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Hwat, hwere, and hwy?

In which English accents do they put an h before every word that starts with wh? Example from Youtube. Notice his pronunciation of whisky.
5
votes
4answers
295 views

Communicate via written notes - although native speakers?

In another forum I read the following amazing thing: "In the middle 1980s, when I was in the Navy, the submarine I was in operated out of Holy Loch, Scotland. Our Xerox copier needed maintenance and ...
4
votes
6answers
22k views

Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US

I was under the impression that all Americans pronounced aunt like the insect, ant (/ænt/), or relatively similar sounding variants such as the southern aint (/eɪnt/). According to both Webster and ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

In which accent does Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) speak?

I don't know if Stack Exchange is the right place to ask this question but I am very keen to find out: Which accent has Brad Pitt adopted in the movie Inglourious Basterds for the role of Lieutenant ...
4
votes
2answers
312 views

Cockney wh-dropping

The Cockney accent typically, or at least stereotypically, drops the initial /h/ from many a word. Does it drop the initial /h/ from who, whole, whore, and whose? Wikipedia says yes, but I seek a more ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Pinpointing British accents

After having watched British TV and movies for a while, I came across several accents I liked. But I'm not completely sure what they are, so I need your help :) David Tennant as The 10th Doctor ...
4
votes
1answer
592 views

Sam Weller in The Pickwick Papers: What accent is Dickens portraying?

In Dickens' Pickwick Papers, there's a character "Sam Weller". Weller's dialogue is written somewhat phonetically, I presume, but I'm struggling to understand what accent Dickens is trying to portray. ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Website giving pronunciations of English words recorded in different dialects?

I'm aware that there are certain websites around that provide recorded examples of English words pronounced in different accents/dialects. Could anybody list some of them?
4
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1answer
1k views

Accents in Pacific Rim

In a smililar vein to the question Accents of characters in Downton Abbey: I recently saw the movie Pacific Rim. One of the conceits of the movie appeared to be that the main characters were all from ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Why is the Yorkshire dialect called 'Tyke'?

From Wikipedia: The Yorkshire dialect refers to the varieties of English used in the Northern England historic county of Yorkshire. Those varieties are often referred to as Broad Yorkshire or ...
4
votes
1answer
383 views

Do vocal pitch and timbre differ by accent?

Guys from the UK and India seem to have higher-pitched voices than Americans. Similarly, I have heard comments from Japanese-American women that they make an effort to lower their voices when speaking ...
3
votes
2answers
868 views

Palatalization of the initial “s” in words starting with “st-”

Sometimes I hear native speakers pronounce the s at the beginning of a word as [ʃ]. For example, straight as [ʃtreɪt], or struggle as [ʃtrʌɡl]. It sounds like German words. Is it a certain English ...
3
votes
5answers
462 views

Are the speakers in this video speaking standard American English? [closed]

I want to improve my American English accent, and I found Learn Real English, which is quite interesting to me. Anyway, I don't know much about standard American accent, so I want to know if those ...
3
votes
3answers
427 views

Pronunciation of “lib”

I've been a computer programmer for many years, and recently my father has been learning computer programming. Programmers often times will use a folder called "lib." Not a native English speaker, ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

English pronunciation of “charade” as in Pink Floyd song Pigs

I was recently listening to the Pink Floyd song "Pigs (Three different ones)" and a line in the chorus goes, Ha ha, charade you are! In the context of the song I am nearly sure that the word ...
3
votes
1answer
561 views

What are some effective ways a foreign speaker can improve pronunciation in English? [closed]

How can a foreign speaker (where a "foreign speaker" speaks English as a second language) effectively improve their spoken English by improving their pronunciation and reducing their foreign accent. ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the best way to get rid of international accents?

I have lived in the United States for more than five years now, and I am over 20 years old. Although I do not have that many problems with my verbal or written skills, it is not hard for people to ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

Is there a term for speaking English with a foreign accent to make it easier for foreigners to understand?

I was just recalling Joey Barton's interview with the French media in which he speaks with a French accent, seemingly to make it easier for his audience to understand. As humourous as it may be, is ...
3
votes
0answers
492 views

What's the best resource for improving everyday speaking? [closed]

I'm having a job interview in a month. My writing, reading and listening are good. However, I have weak conversation skills. I need an efficient resource to improve my speaking. Any resource is ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

Is the line blurring between “accent” and “dialect”?

The definition that I have had in my head for most of my life is: dialect: a variation of the original language (usually regional), sometimes even using different vocabulary and grammar ...
2
votes
5answers
686 views

How To Classify A Way Of Speaking Other Than Pronunciation Or Accent?

When you hear certain people talk, there's something distinct about the way they speak that you insist is not their accent. It's not even the pronunciation (e.g. can't vs. cahn't). It's also not their ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

What's a Denver accent sound like?

I'm trying to learn to imitate the accent of someone from a slummy area of Denver (for a roleplaying game). Info on different local accents is welcome; a sound bite would be especially useful. If you ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is a Scot's accent so difficult for Americans to understand? [closed]

When I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, the locals could understand me just fine, but I was flummoxed by their accent, which did not remotely sound like English to me. Necessity forced me to request that ...
2
votes
3answers
222 views

Where does this accent belong to?

I'm going insane trying to identify this accent that appears in The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It's supposed to be bumpkin accent, but I don't have much more information about location. ...
2
votes
2answers
643 views

New Orleans Accent

I'd heard that New Orleans residents are more New York- than Southern-sounding. Recently, I saw some of the Khan Academy videos, and noticed that Salman Khan, who, as Wikipedia says, is from New ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

Waiteen for waiting

While it's reasonably common for people to drop the g in words such as waiting, hating, and dating, I seem to be stumbling upon a number of Americans additionally drawing out the final syllable of ...