Hi, I was chatting with some of my friends on the net in English. The topic was about Britain and American accent. I said something like this during the chating:
“Most of the native English speakers don’t care about which accent(Britain or American) you are wearing/carrying, as long as your speech is clear and don’t require much efforts to be understood. However good your pronounce is, you still don’t sound like a native English speaker to them.”
I’m not sure if we can carry/wear an accent. Could you please tell me if it makes any sense to say carry/wear an accent? If not, could you please suggest another word which fits the position? Many thanks.
I couldn’t agree more, Infin1ty. Some friends of mine try to change their natural voice to sound like native speakers, but the more they try, the more awkward they sound. That’s why I think clarity and fluency is the top priority. Only when you have perfected those two, should you focus on your accent.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there is not just one British accent, and there is not just one American accent, for example. Accents vary in the US just as they vary in the UK. Sometimes there are accents that are only used in very small areas, such as in a particular city. There is a ‘Boston accent’, for example.
In a nutshell, everybody has an accent of one kind or another.
PS @ Infin1ty: different, not difference.
[color=darkblue]________________________________________________________ [size=75]“To cultivate an English accent is already a departure away from what you are.” ~ Sean Connery [/size]
I think the voice has nothing to do with accent since the people in Boston have different voices but still have similar accent.
In my opinion, the accent is mostly influenced by the mother tongue and also the surrounding circumstance of a person where and how they learned the first language especially in their childhoods. Therefore most people living in the same place have similar characteristic accent. Once the accent is built up, it’s difficult to change, especially for older people.
However, location is not the unique factor to determine the accent of a person.
Since you are from Beijing, have you observed that even the Mandarin accent of Beijing people is different between the younger and the older generations although they are living in the same city?
Most younger generation speak Mandarin with clearer accent while the elderlies always over roll their tongues and add the “er” sound in the last word of the sentence.
I think the change is due to the newer generation have more language learning sources nowadays such as the TV and the radio as well as there are tons of people going in and out of Beijing every day which alter their traditional way of speaking.
Please correct me if I have made any wrong assumption.
Hi Nick, Thanks for sharing your opinion. You were right. I mixed up accent with voice.
You are right on this point as well. People from the other parts of the Country flood into Beijing and change the way it used to be. On one hand, they contribute to the city and make it richer; One the other hand, they make the city much more crowd than ever and bring more crime problems.