After participating in this thread, I noticed no one mentioned whether they like or loathe the American accent. As an American myself, I’m curious as to what the consensus is on the general (not regional) American accent from people who didn’t grow up speaking it. Do some consider it sexy? Annoying? Dull? Other?
I’m a Canadian who thinks my bf’s Wyoming accent is sexy.
When I was 8 and came back from living in Texas, I had a line of kids all round the playground asking me to say words for them. I was numero uno popular little boy in that school for ages. So popular that I maintained my accent well beyond its natural “best before” date (tapes of me when I was 10 reveal a disgusting mid-Atlantic drawl).
There’s a general American accent? Which one is that?
As a Canadian, I speak more or less like a Californian. Is that the American general accent?
As an Englishman living in Canada, except for the “noticeable” dialects, all North Americans sound the same. There are certain dialects which I enjoy listening to and some I don’t just as there are English dialects I do and don’t enjoy hearing.
On the whole…any accent away from it’s regular habitat will sound good.
I’ve never been to the US in my adult life, and only met a few Americans, so i can’t really distinguish between american accents, with the notable exception of the southern drawl!
I do quite like the american accent on women though, but not men. Not sure why really…
A Brit view.
I have spoken to several Americans in my time in my job and I have to say, the one that captured me beyond belief was the soft Californian accent.
I go all soppy every time I hear it.
I rile against it of course but it never works. Bay Area girls can demand my heart and house and I will crumble listening to the American lilt.
If you’ll pardon the slight hijack . . . why is it that when a non-actor European tries to imitate an American accent, they always try to imitate a Southern drawl? “Ya’ll come back now, heah?” Is it because it’s so identifiable?
I admit, though, that when I try to (very poorly) try to imitate an English accent, it always comes out as very exaggerated upper class.
I kinda feel the same way about English accents, actually… all accents.
/me ponders the significance.
Off the original topic too… but I told my nephew prior to his recent departure for 3 months stay in London and around The
UK …something about English dialects and American English…I told him he’d have trouble understanding almost everyone in The UK except that London BBC-English. He confirmed that when he got back. Couldn’t understand the London cab drivers anyone from Wales and no way anyone from Scotland.
But they all understood him perfectly. Now, why is that and what does that tell us?
My wife is PA Dutch. (For those who don’t know “The Dutch” are Americanized Germans, and spoke/speak a southern German.) The only place she had no trouble understanding anyone was in Scotland. I didn’t have any trouble with anybody. But I remember meeting a British bicycling group back in the eighties. The only one I couldn’t understand was the Scot. The English guys told me, “If it sounds like someone is speaking English, and you can’t understand him, he’s Scottish.”
Figure that out. (We visited Edinburgh, and the Isle of Skye.)
Really? :: perks up :: I’ve never heard such a thing. I shall endeavor to fight against the encroaching Midwestern accent.
Wait, I was doing that anyway.
Probably. The Southern accents are the most extreme in terms of difference from SWINE (Standard White Inland Northern English, what the OP referred to as the “general American accent”) and people tend to be drawn to extremes. When Europeans attempt a Southern accent, they always sound like faux 19th-century Virginia aristocrats. When non-Southern Americans attempt a Southern accent, they always sound like rejects from “Deliverance”. When non-Cajuns attempt a Cajun accent, they always sound like they’re from Alabama.
Btw, we don’t say “Ya’ll come back now, heah?”, at least not around here. If we were saying goodbye, it’d sound something like: “Y’all come on back when ya get a chance.”
I’m a non-Chinese (not American either) born and raised in Hong Kong. But I’ve been cultured to speak with a ‘general’ American accent (with lots of British sayings/word pronounciations thrown in, due to schooling in an international school), so it has always been the norm for me. I’ve never been to the US, yet I’ve been exposed enough to it that I can work out many of the regional accents. And you’ll find loads of people like me here in Hong Kong.
Western Canadian here, and I have to admit that I don’t like any American accents. Just for the record, **RickJay[b/] is talking about his Toronto accent, not his Canadian accent. Torontonians are the only ones up here that sound like misplaced Valley Girls.
I was going to say that!! Female with Southern accent here, who loves male English accents.
I’m kind of curious how noticible a New Englander accent is. Is that one of the more noticible “American” accents and what do non-americans think of it?(And for the record I am a New Englander and yes I order frappes instead of milk shakes, tonic instead of soda, and I say “Pahk the cah in hahvahd yahd.”)
I giggle (affectionately) whenever I hear a Massachusetts accent. In a way, the dropped trailing Rs are similar to my accent, but the differences are great enough to make it interesting.
I guess that would make sense if I was from Toronto. I’m not; I’ve just lived here for a few years.
Heard a Scotsman tell of renting a room in London. Landlady was Welsh and the landlord was a Cockney. They worked out the terms using handsignals.