The southern drawl

American English seems to set the sails for ESL students. Do you dig this? … ture=share

My wife is from Mississippi, but she escaped most of the drawl - although she’s been known to say “I’m fixin’ to leave” and the drawl comes on strong after a couple glasses of wine.

P.S. She managed to escape most of those politics too.

I too have had to overcome my southern drawl as they call it. I had many days spent in front of mirror with recorder in hand trying my hardest to get rid of it. Listening to myself helped but it really took a lot of pronunciation practicing to do it. And yes, couple glasses of wine and the drawl seeps back into your speech…

I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. In fact I find a southern drawl quite charming, particularly on women!

My first few years in America I spent in Kentucky, and I really grew to love the Southern drawl! What the footage didn’t show us and I really miss is that older women call others “Honey” or “Sweetie” (I capitalize these words on purpose because in this case they are being used like a title), people still greet each other in the street even though they don’t know each other, and they wear their “good suit/dress” on Sundays–traditions and habits that got lost in other places. The bible belt is certainly a different sphere even for Americans in other states. When I moved to Illinois (heehee, lots of people pronounce the “s”, something an Illinoisan reacts very allergic to), the views and mentality in general were quite different there.


I’ve been told it was charming, delightful and all the other little cute sayings but have also had it been said behind my back that I was not taken very seriously in the business world by many foreign businessmen here in the States. I worked very hard to get rid. It still comes up like I said when I’ve had my wine but that is alright as I am usually not drinking while conducting business so it doesn’t interfere with work :wink:

Since the Southern drawl is very slow, people tend to believe that the mind of a Southerner is also slow. But don’t worry, other languages have the same problems. Some dialects in German are met with that kind of prejudice, also.


Yes you are correct and also the media and television portray southerner’s as crazy back woods hillbillies. I am southern but southern Florida…beach townie. I am not southern hillbilly. One must be very specific when explaining the region they are from or you run the risk of being segregated into a specific category. It is most likely this way of thinking in many other countries as well. It is sad really, being defined by where you were born.


As I am very much fond of Mark Twin since my boyhood, so I like to give some links here about this -the southern draw, Mark Twain was from Missouri and Florida. His books “Tom sawyer” and 'The adventure of Huckleberry Finn" had his two most successful works in his life that were written on southern dialect ed tons.

These two books are an immortal creation by Samuel Clemence(M.Twain) that made the America towards the world a fantastic country where several country presidents name even never are known to the world!

This is one of the burning example, what is called a true writer!

It can be helpful for other.

To me, the people in southern Florida sound different from the people in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi, and I daresay that the Southern American English spoken in South Florida has had different influences than the three states in the heartland. Not to be derogatory :slight_smile: but a redneck, who is living in the lowlands on a farm speaks a different Southern drawl than a hillbilly from, let’s say, the Appalachian Mountains.


I would agree with Cgk - the only part of Florida that is really in the South is the panhandle.

I think most ESL speakers have no problem whatsoever in understanding a southern accent and the drawl might actually be easier to understand than some British accents. At any rate, the drawl is one of many accents and I think this type of diversity is a cultural asset rather than a drawback. Imagine what a boring place the world would be like if everyone sounded exactly like David Cameron, Tony Blair or Prince Charles.

Also, people usually speak differently in different situations depending on whom they interact with. You might use one accent when you talk to your buddies and another when you give you presentation at an international conference. What really counts is that you sound natural, are easy to understand and think before and while you speak.

Finally, to some uneducated and biased viewers this clip might give the impression that Mississippi is inhabited primarily by poorly educated people who live on the dole and say funny things. It’s certainly not.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A view of an audience[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten, there is actually a technical term for the concept you are talking about - it is called “code switching”. There are a lot of poorly educated people in Mississippi, but it is also the home of Faulkner, one of America’s greatest novelists.

Hi Luschen,

You’re right, William Faulkner is a great writer. His novel As I Lay Dying is one of my favourite books. It’s composition is absolutely brilliant, and the dialogues in it are very authentic. The best thing about it is that you can hear people talk when you read it, and that’s quite an achievement.

Yep, I dig this,
The South will rise again! Long live the confederacy.

On a serious note, I find this accent particularly endearing. It sounds awesome.
I wish I spoke with this accent.

Nice people and pretty beautiful accent. I wish I would talk with them, and especially with one of them who is almost alike to my old good friend:)