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Thread: Keeping your accent when speaking English

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Like in Goya's Ghosts - American, British and pan-European accents, despite all the characters supposedly being Spanish. That ruined the film for me.
    Well, that's hard to avoid though. Even if you got them all speaking in Spanish accents you could still complain that they're not speaking Spanish. Often in period pieces like that they'll have all the actors adopt an English accent, as if everyone in the past all sounded British, which could be considered offensive. All in all, I think the best choice for something like that is to let the actors keep their natural accents, because no matter what they do the audience is going to have to be willing to give a little suspension of disbelief.

    What I dislike is the tendency in Hollywood films to slip an English or Irish character into a movie set in America and then have nobody ever comment on the fact that this person is clearly a foreigner and never explain why they are in America. Jason Statham comes to mind, though anything is better than making him attempt an American accent.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Only somewhat related: I hate, in films, when the characters all have different accents, even though they're supposed to be of the same nationality. Like in Goya's Ghosts - American, British and pan-European accents, despite all the characters supposedly being Spanish. That ruined the film for me.

    I'd feel like an idiot if I changed my accent, even though I hate it.
    I hate this as well. The film (and probably the play itself, haven't seen it) Les Miserables is a good example. It has two Australians acting as French characters while talking (or rather singing) in British. French people don't go around singing in British! At least give the characters a French accent.
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    Well, that's hard to avoid though. Even if you got them all speaking in Spanish accents you could still complain that they're not speaking Spanish. Often in period pieces like that they'll have all the actors adopt an English accent, as if everyone in the past all sounded British, which could be considered offensive. All in all, I think the best choice for something like that is to let the actors keep their natural accents, because no matter what they do the audience is going to have to be willing to give a little suspension of disbelief.

    What I dislike is the tendency in Hollywood films to slip an English or Irish character into a movie set in America and then have nobody ever comment on the fact that this person is clearly a foreigner and never explain why they are in America. Jason Statham comes to mind, though anything is better than making him attempt an American accent.
    True. Some people are bound to get offended, but I guess I just like consistency, and even the slightest attempt at authenticity.

    The new series Vikings is actually very good for this. All the actors put on a Scandinavian accent, and even speak in Old Norse at some points where they are in England, to really show that the two races cannot understand each other.


    Also, I've never actually seen it, but I've heard Colin Farrell has an Irish accent in Alexander? While Angelina Jolie has an Eastern Europeanish accent? What?

  4. #44
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    Alexander is a mess.

    Hey you know how in 7 Years in Tibet Brad Pitt affects a German accent for the German character he plays? It was an awful choice.
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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RageAndLov View Post
    Reminds me of this:

    I often show my students this video to reinforce how important pronunciation is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTM68VbDrMQ

    Quote Originally Posted by dexterone View Post
    yea,it may be rare in the north and in the northeast,but it's quite usual in California and in the whole southwestern area..my research on this has shown that only two people out of 24 pronounced ''cot'' and ''caught'' differently in California..the same result was in Texas..even in Boston,there were a lot of people who pronounced these words the same..on the other hand,around 20 people out of 24 from New York pronounced ''caught'' with rounded lips,thus differently than ''cot''..anyway,I'm sure that you wouldn't find many people who pronounce these words differently in California and its neighborhood
    All of this is so weird. You've tried to jump on me before about my language, but this is by far the most bizarre. In the above paragraph, you admit that you're aware that two of the four US regions still distinguish the two. That's half the country. Yet for some reason, you want to focus on the regions where the merger is frequent. And in your previous post, you said things like:

    there is no /ɔː/ in ''caught'' in the US
    a vast majority of the US has the so-called ''cot-caught merger''
    there is no /ɔː/ sound in ''caught'' except for some areas
    I mean, unless "some areas" means "half the country"..... it's beyond weird that you would try to tell someone they're wrong about their own language... especially when that person has a certification to teach that language, and four years of experience teaching it. Meanwhile, you've learned it as a foreign language. Furthermore, you're arguing about where in my country people talk a certain way - a country I lived in for 22 years, and one I'm guessing you've never lived in.

    Finally:

    ..but your opinion is reasonable because you're both from northern/eastern states where the merger is not so frequent..
    You do realize these aren't opinions, right?
    Last edited by Llamas; 05-24-2013 at 02:43 AM.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llamas View Post
    In the above paragraph, you admit that you're aware that two of the four US regions still distinguish the two. That's half the country.
    Okay, no, the US is made up of more regions than California, Texas, Boston, and New York. The entire American South? The Midwest? Come on. Two out of the four out of CA, TX, Boston, and NY are not "half the country." Also, this "caught" / "cot" debate is kind of asinine. Lots of people in the US pronounce those two words the same way. Lots. Why does how many need to be quantified here?
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Miss_1565 View Post
    Okay, no, the US is made up of more regions than California, Texas, Boston, and New York. The entire American South? The Midwest? Come on. Two out of the four out of CA, TX, Boston, and NY are not "half the country."
    Lol, no shit. Dexterone was simplifying things by dividing the country into the four most commonly-discussed regions. He used studies in California to represent the West, and so on. I'm not sure where you got the idea that a linguist thinks two states and two cities make up all the regions in the US, unless you didn't read the conversation and just wanted to attack, which I know you are quite fond of.

    Also, this "caught" / "cot" debate is kind of asinine. Lots of people in the US pronounce those two words the same way. Lots. Why does how many need to be quantified here?
    Err, because I wrote a post that was on-topic regarding the discussion here, and then was told that a difference in pronunciation between the two words is non-existent in the US. If Dexterone one day goes on to become an English teacher, it's important that he's aware that the merger doesn't exist in a very significant portion of the country.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
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  8. #48
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    Eh, llamas, you may have lived in the US for 22 years, but most of that was spent in the midwest. My experience is mostly in the far east/southeast. Dexterone, your research seems very limited to either the west or the north east. I don't think anyone is in a position to speak definitively on this topic. Its one of those things thats definitely not arguing about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Miss_1565 View Post
    Or what? Or you'll leave as soon as someone returns your rudeness and delete all your posts? I'm so scared.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Lost_ View Post
    Eh, llamas, you may have lived in the US for 22 years, but most of that was spent in the midwest. My experience is mostly in the far east/southeast. Dexterone, your research seems very limited to either the west or the north east. I don't think anyone is in a position to speak definitively on this topic. Its one of those things thats definitely not arguing about.
    Keep in mind the school I went to was the largest in the nation when I attended, with students from all across the country - especially in my department/program, the students were from a huge variety of places both inside and outside the US. Plus I have family from/in Florida and California. And probably most importantly, I studied this topic in pronunciation classes at an American university, again with people from all across the country. But yeah, I'm done with this debate, as there's nothing else to say about it. :P
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
    I do not drink alcohol and coffee

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    I just do bumpin in my trunk

  10. #50
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    Hey Bri, if it makes you feel any better, your literal expertise in this subject is not entirely unapparent to everyone reading this thread.
    Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” – Bill Hicks

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