Which American regional accent to do you find hardest to understand?
I was watching a 'Celebrity Ghost Story' earlier and this episode focused solely on Loretta Lynn and I had to really concentrate to understand what she was saying. She's apparently from Kentucky.
I'm from England and was wondering if there are regional America accents that even Americans tend to find especially hard to understand.
|by Anonymous||reply 128||03/09/2013|
Yes OP. I'm from Texas and cannot understand a word a Cajun speaks and fine the accent in some parts of the US hard to understand. Think of the movie Fargo and their kind of weird American/Swedish thing.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||03/06/2013|
I find it very hard to uunderstand a Bostonian accent.
I can never catch up to what they're saying, the words are so stretched out.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||03/06/2013|
I have lots of trouble with Appalachian accents and with Cajun accents.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||03/06/2013|
The way I can tell that its a real Boston accent is that I barely understand it at all.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||03/06/2013|
Loretta looks like a witch
Was she speaking in tongues OP?
|by Anonymous||reply 5||03/06/2013|
Cajun and Eastern Maryland Shore.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||03/06/2013|
I have a hard time understanding Honey Boo Boo and her family. They're from Central Georgia. I also have a hard time understanding certain mush mouth varieties of AAVE, patricularly the ones who appear on "Maury."
|by Anonymous||reply 7||03/06/2013|
I tripped up every now and then w/ how Baltimore people pronounce some of their words.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||03/06/2013|
I agree the thick Baltimore accent is hard for outsiders to understand, as is the thick Philadelphia accent.
Yet all of these pale before Glaswegian, which not even other Scots understand.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||03/06/2013|
Some southern drawls are indecipherable.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||03/06/2013|
South Carolina low country outside of Charleston is hard to understand--and I live in the SE!
|by Anonymous||reply 12||03/06/2013|
I had trouble with watching Reba MacIntyre's show back in the day - the whole thing was really difficult to follow.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||03/06/2013|
Amy Walker has it all sussed out
|by Anonymous||reply 14||03/06/2013|
Deep south black talk. I once had a patient who was black from the deep south and couldn't understand a world he was saying. Another patient who was a cop could understand him.
I remember the patient telling me something about "a hank been." I asked, "A hank been what?" and the cop burst out laughing. "He's asking you for 'a ink pen.'
Hearing this guy talk was like watching the Andy Griffith Show from a tv set that was underwater.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||03/07/2013|
"Think of the movie Fargo and their kind of weird American/Swedish thing."
That Upper Midwestern accent is indeed unusual. But difficult to understand? Really. To my ears, the speech is slow, plodding and the enunciation of each vowel and consonant overdone, making each word clearly intelligible.
I find many regional American accents strange. But I can't think of one I find hard to understand.
"I can never catch up to what [Bostonians are] saying, the words are so stretched out."
If the words are stretched out, shouldn't that give you more time to catch up with what they are, not less?
|by Anonymous||reply 16||03/07/2013|
I'm amazed that anyone from England would complain about American regional dialects.
I watch English shows on TV frequently. I always have to turn on closed captioning because of all the mumbling.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||03/07/2013|
Me too R17. I was watching a British movie last night and I could not understand a word they were saying without the subtitles.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||03/07/2013|
R17 & R18 must be from down South or the Midwest.
No offense intended there. My partner is from the Midwest and he can't understand English either, even Londoners. It baffles me. It's English!
I grew up in the Northeast and while I don't have too much trouble understanding people from down South, that hick accent is one of the most grating, annoying thing on Earth. Christ no matter how smart they may be, those people sound so stupid.
I confess I immediately tune out anyone who speaks with a Southern accent because they generally are stupid, religious, bigoted, or Republican. Usually all three.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||03/07/2013|
I can handle Cajun unless they're really excited and/or drunk. At that point I'm convinced they're just making random noises anyway.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||03/07/2013|
Southern and British are what have me reaching for the CC button on my remote.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||03/07/2013|
Well, R19, as a Southerner I find some NE accents annoying especially that Joisy/NY accent. Horrible.
BTW, I'm neither dumb, religious, bigoted or Republican.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||03/07/2013|
Louisiana Cajun. I think the southern drawl is endearing and melodic, but for some reason, parts of Louisiana is indecipherable... especially those living in the bayou.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||03/07/2013|
I'd be the first to agree with you, R17 & R18.
I trained as an actor in England (a long time ago) and the first thing they did when you walked in the door was teach you diction and projection and ironed out any regional accent.
But, because of the 'class thing' mumbling and muttering and heavy regional accents have become the norm. In fact people with so called 'posh accents' find it hard to get work.
&...the outcome, people in foreign countries can't understand a word people say in most British productions. (Great for international sales).
But, this doesn't stop me from asking about American regional accents, if I'm interested, does it? No. No, siree.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||03/07/2013|
[quote]I confess I immediately tune out anyone who speaks with a Southern accent because they generally are stupid, religious, bigoted, or Republican. Usually all three.
Wow, what an asshole you must be.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||03/07/2013|
Yeah, the UK is getting all militant about its regional accents and putting lots of Geordies and Scots and Lancastrian accents in its TV shows.
The funny thing is how old these people sound to me, because my grandparents were Northern Irish and had Scots and Southern Irish friends. Their accents were fairly heavy. In the 1960s, UK films and tv shows kind of lightened up on the accents unless showing older farm-type people (All Creatures Great and Small). Younger UK actors had lighter accents. Even The Beatles had "light" scouse accents.
But now they've doubled down on the heaviness of the accents and it's weird to hear young people with heavy Scots or Geordie accents. They sound old and uneducated to me.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||03/07/2013|
I'm from neither the South nor the Midwest.
R19 is a bigot who dismisses anyone with a Southern accent as being a hick. Some NE accents are very difficult to listen to because they sound so backward – Boston, Baltimore, New Jersey and Brooklyn. I had a boyfriend from Queens whose voice sounded like that Carvel soft-serve guy.
I watched a BBC show on PBS some months ago and was amazed I understood every word spoken by the leading character. I believe that was a first.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||03/07/2013|
OP, here again.
My BF is always saying 'There's a new Thriller or drama on the BBC tonight' as though I should be excited and I always ask, how are the accents?
Because there's no way I'm going to sit and strain through an hour and a half of heavy regional dialect. No way, baby.
The only productions that allow clear pronunciation are the period dramas.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||03/07/2013|
I love the show Elementary but if I don't pay close attention I can lose the thread when Jonny Lee Miller is speaking. I think part of it is that he speaks quickly. I don't usually have difficulty with British accents.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||03/07/2013|
Hi R17. Thanks for proving my point.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||03/07/2013|
R28, you sound incredibly thick
|by Anonymous||reply 31||03/07/2013|
I don't know much about British accents. I am lucky if I can tell Enlish, Irish, and Scottish apart.
Can someone define regional English accents with examples?
|by Anonymous||reply 32||03/07/2013|
R19/30, you never made a point beyond your own bigotry, nor have you proved anything.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||03/07/2013|
The most difficulty I've had with any American regional accent is gullah. I eventually caught on, but I had to work at it.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||03/07/2013|
Let's just state what we all know. Americans don't5 speak English, they speak a patois. And in general destroy a beautiful language. Why don't you people try to speak properly the way Canadians do.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||03/07/2013|
R35 has never listened to newfie before.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||03/07/2013|
No, I don't at all, R31.
It's because you're so stupid, you perceive me as thick.
Look it up or run upstairs and ask your mother what it means.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||03/07/2013|
Um, R19, I am the original R17 and I did not post @R27. Don't know why he signed as R17 unless his numbers screwed up.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||03/07/2013|
Good lord R35. Who wants to sound like that? They sound weirder than Brits to me.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||03/07/2013|
Can anybody decipher what I am saying half the time?
|by Anonymous||reply 40||03/07/2013|
Real R17 R38 It's not just you. Someone confused someone else with me on the hair dyeing thread. I wish there were a quote function on DL. But I guess that would make things too easy.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||03/07/2013|
There is a quote function on DL but you have to copy/paste, then at the beginning of the quote type [ quote ] with no spaces.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||03/07/2013|
Your numbers are screwed up, R38. Go out of DL and come back in. I just did and I'm R17, the person R19 attempted to insult.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||03/07/2013|
No R38 I'm the original R17 unless it's my numbers that are screwed up.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||03/07/2013|
Boy this is getting confusing but I did as you asked and, yes, it was my numbers being off. What causes that?
|by Anonymous||reply 46||03/07/2013|
So we have three different posters identifying as R17?
|by Anonymous||reply 47||03/07/2013|
I am not R17, real or fake, but I definitely put the CC on to watch anything UK.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||03/07/2013|
Lol R38 (the Real R17). He really did prove my point.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||03/07/2013|
I have trouble with English working class accents, particularly in crime movies which have the crooks speaking in slang. [italic]Layer Cake[/italic] had sections I could not understand until I turned on closed captioning. I have the same problem with Irish accents. Hulu picked up an Irish series, [italic]Love/Hate[/italic], which I gave up on because closed captioning is not available. I really couldn't figure out what was going on because the accents were unintelligible to me.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||03/07/2013|
Worst for unintelligible dialect is any Guy Ritchie movie.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||03/07/2013|
[quote]My partner is from the Midwest and he can't understand English either, even Londoners. It baffles me. It's English!
Why is it baffling. I'm French and wouldn't understand a full sentence from a Quebequois... just words here and there. I always need the French subtitles on while watching Canadian movies.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||03/07/2013|
I don't think OP was making any claim that British accents are more intelligible to the uninitiated than Americans are to his ears. He was simply asking whether to American ears, some regional accents are difficult. To my mind, often American regional accents are jarring but I can almost always discern the content of their speech.
BTW, I understand practically every word of Downton Abbey and - although the central characters are equally as posh - couldn't understand much of what was being uttered in Parade's End (although when I could make out the words, Stoppard's wit often came through).
|by Anonymous||reply 54||03/07/2013|
I can easily understand Estuary Englsh, but I hate it. It's so fake. "I'm going to posh up my cockney and cockney down on my posh accent."
Yes, I know there will be cock jokes made by the usual idiots who delight that there is a cock in cockney.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||03/07/2013|
Sorry R55 but "cockney down on my posh" just sounds so dirty. And fun.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||03/07/2013|
I can't understand Philly / New Joisy accents. One of my former BF's family was from Philly and I couldn't understand them at ALL! Think sly Stallone x100 !! BF spoke clearly, but when around his family, the Philly / Joisy "honk" came out:
"Wad youse guise tink 'bout da Iggles dis yeeya?"
Translation: "what do you guys think about the Eagles this year?"
|by Anonymous||reply 57||03/07/2013|
My Portuguese friend can't understand spoken Brazilian Portuguese.(She can easily read it, though) I asked her to translate once for a Brazilian patient and to my ears they sounded like they were speaking two different languages.
I'm good at identifying accents and languages -- I amazed a patient once by saying "Your name is Russian but you sound Estonian." There was only one language I couldn't place. It sounded like a Italian and Arabic and it turned out to be Maltese.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||03/07/2013|
Years back, a group of us (all teachers) went to see the movie, The Full Monty. After it ended, one of group said that she didn't understand a word anyone in the movie was saying for about the first ten minutes. She missed all of the humor and didn't know why we were laughing. After she had given up trying to understand, she suddenly realized that she was now able to understand. As a language teacher, I explained to her that no one understands or even listens to every single word someone speaks. As soon as she gave up trying to do that and just listened normally, her understanding increased.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||03/07/2013|
The anti-Chicago troll must be in detox because there's been no entry on that subject.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||03/07/2013|
[quote]"He's asking you for 'a ink pen.'
Yes, in the South (sorry, R19) we have to specify "ink pen" because our pronunciations of pen and pin have merged.
[quote] It sounded like a Italian and Arabic and it turned out to be Maltese.
Yes, Maltese developed from a dialect of Arabic in the middle ages, with lots of lexical borrowings from Italian. Good ear!
|by Anonymous||reply 61||03/07/2013|
Definitely AAVE. I have long gotten over my reluctance to tell them I simply can't understand them.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||03/07/2013|
R62, I know what you mean. A friend and I were waiting to board a shuttle to the airport one day, and an African American porter approached us and asked, "What Allen?" I replied, "Excuse me?" and he repeated, "What Allen?" My friend and I turned to each other to see if the other understood what this guy was saying but we were both confounded. The porter just looked at us like we were idiots and when he started to turn and walk away, it finally clicked in my head and I replied, "Oh, United!"
|by Anonymous||reply 63||03/07/2013|
I have a terrible time understanding teenage girls and very young women. They seem to have developed speech patterns that rely on never enunciating any words. I'm sure if I spent more time around them I would learn to decipher the dialect but so far no success.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||03/07/2013|
"As a language teacher, I explained to her that no one understands or even listens to every single word someone speaks."
r59, that may be true in real life, but it isn't my experience when watching a play, film or tv show. I try to attend to every word of dialogue I can make out. At least when I am engaged by it. Isn't that generally the case with most people?
Moreover, if I zone out when people are speaking in a way that I can understand them it's one thing, but when people are speaking so that I can't understand them it doesn't matter whether I am zoning in or out.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||03/07/2013|
Accents and class in England @ link
|by Anonymous||reply 66||03/07/2013|
I can't understand the thick,Southern drawl.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||03/07/2013|
[quote]I confess I immediately tune out anyone who speaks with a Southern accent because they generally are stupid, religious, bigoted, or Republican. Usually all three.
Sorry, r22 and r25, but I have the same bias as do my friends and family. I don't tune anyone out but I unconsciously think "they're proud to be ignorant Americans" when I hear certain Southern accents. It comes from experience but I do realize that there are many exceptions!
Southern accents for me can range from me not understanding to absolutely charming. There are so many variations. Many people in the South drawl and speak slowly, but I find it difficult to understand when they speak quickly.
I am accustomed to hearing all of the East Coast and numerous foreign accents because there are so many transplants here. New Joisey and Baaahston and Balmeere accents make me laugh. As long as the speaker is Liberal, any Texan can charm the pants of me.
I find Midwestern accents and upstate New York accents easy to understand but not terribly attractive. It's that Flat 'A' thing.
When I hang out with other native Northern California males, I'm sure we sound like totally hella idiot stoners with a fetish for the letter 'R' to the rest of the world!
|by Anonymous||reply 68||03/07/2013|
My friends always make me do my imitation of a ticket agent at the airport counter in Charleston, when I was there for a conference. I was supposed to be flying back to Philadelphia, but I noticed she tied a tag that said "ICT" to my bag.
"Excuse me, ma'am, but is this taking me to Philadelphia? That's my return flight."
She stared at the computer screen. "Filler-DELF-yer? Dis YERE sez you-ez gohne ta WITCH-ah-TAWWWR!"
|by Anonymous||reply 69||03/07/2013|
I find I make an unconscious selection when I hear the American Southern regional accents. If the voice is higher pitched or baby-ish or sounds like it's being put-on, I immediately presume the person is stupid. If the voice is deep, I immediately start anally ovulating.
I recognize the problem is mine.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||03/07/2013|
I prefer to watch certain British movies with Spanish subtitles. I'm American and my Spanish isn't all that great, but it helps a great deal.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||03/07/2013|
r66, the woman in green needs to be slapped. Double standard-pushing twat.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||03/07/2013|
[quote]I have a terrible time understanding teenage girls and very young women.
Annnnd another raging faggot with rabid pussy envy
|by Anonymous||reply 74||03/08/2013|
I ffed r73.
Let me write the following in an accent that you'll be sure to understand because I'll type slowly: Get the fuck out of here.
Oklahoma is, well, Oklahoma, but I love the softly melodic accent of an Oklahoman. The accent isn't sharply Southern. It's a combination of that western twang and the South.
I fell in love with someone from Oklahoma just because of their accent, and a few other things, so I know exatly what r70 is talking about.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||03/08/2013|
I know this is going to sound racist, but I sometimes have trouble with the urban/ebonics dialect. I had to pretend I was hard of hearing once at a Subway. I had no idea what the polite girl was asking me. She repeated the sentence 3 times for me and I was still clueless. I'm shocked when I walk through the local university campus and overhear young people, mostly girls and think they got their language skills from outer space. It's often just simple stupidity, "you be" and the like, but other times I just have no clue what words they're trying to say. I'm not uptight about how people express themselves, but why bother with English classes if a large percentage of students don't use at least some of what is taught. Maybe they can pass a test but what about practical daily use? This isn't regional either. I've heard the same sloppy speech from New York to L.A. Make it stop!
|by Anonymous||reply 77||03/08/2013|
Della has a crush on Oklahoma bred PPSM! I knew it!
|by Anonymous||reply 78||03/08/2013|
I'm busted, r78. Ya got me.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||03/08/2013|
Our English OP may not realize that there are many many many different accents across America.
I think the accent in the southern Appalachian mountains (of which Loretta Lynn's accent is typical) is one of the hardest to understand. Most of the residents of that area are Scots-Irish and their accent has remained relatively unchanged for almost 200 years.
There are hilarious accents in parts of New Jersey, too. I went to a mall in Wayne NJ once and couldn't understand much at all of what anyone said. Since that area & Long Island in NY have so many people of Italian ancestry I assume that accent is strongly influenced by that.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||03/08/2013|
Salt Lake City. It's a language of code words and bigotry.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||03/08/2013|
I used to teach English to Russian immigrants to America. They always told me they couldn't understand many black people they encountered so I adapted my class to include some words and expressions used by African Americans which one never sees in textbooks. This was not just a different accent; it included phrases like "slap your mama" and variant pronunciations of standard English words like "aks" for "ask" and "it's more than one" for "there are more than one." Etc. etc. I've heard southern whites say "ast" for "ask," too. There are countless variations across the US.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||03/08/2013|
I want to slap people from Albany all the time for saying things like "Alls I want is some melk from the stow. I shouldn half to axe ya twice!"
|by Anonymous||reply 83||03/08/2013|
Does anyone know how these different dialects emerge? Why do Southerners sound so much different than Californians, for example?
|by Anonymous||reply 84||03/08/2013|
[quote]Our English OP may not realize that there are many many many different accents across America.
No, love, I had gathered there are lots of different accents in America.
I'm sure it's the same in every country in the world.
The French always seem to be very amused by Marseillaise accent for some reason.
They think it's très drôle.
Here they are gathered round some old bag begging her to talk to them in her Marseillaise, so they can have a good laugh at her expense.
I love the look of the restaurant in the background. Very simple French fayre, it looks like. I want to have lunch there NOW.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||03/08/2013|
Some American accents are similar to the accents of the immigrants to that region, e.g., Southern accents to English accents of that era, Minnesota/Wisconsin accents to Scandinavian accents.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||03/08/2013|
My husband's family has an old farm up in the EXTREMELY RURAL low country of SC. The county it's in is 90 percent black and they're all descendents of slaves. The accent is amazing. The first few days you are there it's nearly unintelligible but once you realize that it's a cross between West African, Caribbean and "southern black" you catch on real quick. They have some unusual verb conjugations which I can't remember for the life of me but they make total sense. My father in law has the same accent (as an old white dude) and black people love his ass. The feeling is mutual. If the shit ever hits the fan and we have to go somewhere and live like survivalists, we'll have a place.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||03/08/2013|
[quote]black people love his ass.
I had to read this several times for it to make sense.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||03/08/2013|
What R87 said. Listen to Ozzy Osborn, you can hear how the Southern accent came into being. Listen to the singers from ABBA, there's your Upper Midwest.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||03/08/2013|
We're hillbilly guys
And we cheat on our wives
With gays and Bis
And we have all our lives
|by Anonymous||reply 90||03/08/2013|
[quote]I know this is going to sound racist, but I sometimes have trouble with the urban/ebonics dialect.
Sorry to tell you that you do come off as racist when you use a controversial term like "ebonics" instead of "AAVE." I understand why you used it since its a term that became popular in the media several years ago, but the term is now verging on derogatory and politically incorrect.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||03/08/2013|
The word "ebonics" was originally coined in 1973 by African American social psychologist.
It has become somewhat derogatory because it was often used derisively. It will happen to "AAVE" to.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||03/08/2013|
[quote]Does anyone know how these different dialects emerge? Why do Southerners sound so much different than Californians, for example?
The basic principles of language change are that 1)each generation speaks slightly differently from the preceding generation, and that 2) language will evolve differently over generations in different locations. The languages of populations who start out speaking the same dialect or sociolect will diverge over time when isolated from each other by distance or by social forces.
Plus, the Southern and Midwestern accents started out differently because the people who settled those areas were from different places to begin with: England in the south and Germany/Scandinavia to the north. Canadian accents are different still because the (English-speaking) settlers tended to be from Scotland.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||03/08/2013|
I wonder why the 'generic' American accent sounds so Irish in its roots.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||03/08/2013|
Because the U.S. was swamped with waves of immigration from Ireland?
There are also patterns of accents following immigration within the country. There's a New Orleans accent that sounds like Brooklynese. Remember Sarah Palin's odd accent? That's supposed to result from upper midwest immigration to Alaska.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||03/08/2013|
Thanks, R91. Interesting to read.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||03/08/2013|
Years ago there was a cooking show on PBS starring the Cajun Chef. I could understand maybe every couple of words he said. Attached he's talking about hunting squirrel.
I'll never forget one day he was making a stew and he said "you put some vinegar in a pot". Poor Cajun Chef, any time he said vinegar it came out as "Nigger" so here he is talking about "you put some Nigger in a pot"
I laughed do hard that I cried. Sorry to not be PC just had to share.
|by Anonymous||reply 97||03/08/2013|
[quote]Yes, in the South we have to specify "ink pen" because our pronunciations of pen and pin have merged.
"have merged"? You make it sound like it's some event out of anyone's control, like a hurricane. Just pronounce it correctly. Problem solved.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||03/08/2013|
OP/r85, my French teachers, from grades 7-12 (age 12-17) were both native Parisians (husband and wife) who went to Hunter College in NYC ("Huntuh Cwaahlege"). They spoke English with funny French-Brooklyn accents.
I spent a year in college in Paris and hung out with a lot of working-class dudes.
Today I work in California with many French people -- none of whom are from Paris. They say that I speak French with a non-specific foreign accent and crude Parisian intonations.
I've always struggled to understand spoken French, especially when listening to Parisians speak it on radio or TV. Probably has something to do with rapidity. While I don't speak Spanish, I can understand it because I grew up hearing it. Quebecois and Provincial French are so much easier for me to understand.
Meanwhile, last night I watched this gay short British film and just couldn't understand the accent (what the hell is it?), so I had to read the French subtitles!
|by Anonymous||reply 99||03/08/2013|
I think the California accent comes from that state's youth obsession. It's so weird to hear 75 year olds who have the inflection of teenagers.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||03/08/2013|
R99, I understand all of it.
|by Anonymous||reply 101||03/08/2013|
I agree, R99, hard to understand and a perfect example of very poor diction in many British productions these days.
I had to listen for quite a while before I could place the accent geographically.
It's a combination of gayvoice and the north of England. Probably Yorkshire. Somewhere like Sheffield.
|by Anonymous||reply 102||03/08/2013|
R100, it's worth noting that the California accent has been going through a vowel shift for the past 15+ years, starting with teenage girls and spreading to the general population. Words like 'bit' and 'did' sound like 'bet' and 'dead', 'bet' and 'dead' sound like 'bat' and 'dad', 'bat' and 'dad' sound like 'bot' and 'dod'; while the vowels in other single syllable words have stretched into diphthongs - 'dee-yu" for 'do', 'seh-oh' for 'so' 'bay-ud' for 'bad'.
These teen girls are now grown adults in the workforce, so it's a bit jarring hearing working professionals sounding like schoolgirls at the mall.
|by Anonymous||reply 103||03/08/2013|
R102 = Op
[quote]I've always struggled to understand spoken French, especially when listening to Parisians speak it on radio or TV. Probably has something to do with rapidity.
I'm the same. I speak French very well. Much better than I understand it. So they talk back to me at great speed and then look all disappointed when I don't understand.
This is because I learnt French in England with teachers who spoke very clearly and slowly ans in Geneva, where the French is slower and easier to follow than in Paris.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||03/08/2013|
I've also noticed this new very lazy way of talking in America. Maybe it's California.
For example : IMPORTANT has become im-por-en.
No T and barely an R.
Brandi from The Real Housewives does it.
|by Anonymous||reply 105||03/08/2013|
Apparently I have Loretta's accent (that's what people tell me, anyway).
I can pretty much understand most accents (even the Scottish, Irish, French, Cajun, Spanish and Welsh) but I absolutely hate that NY "joisey" accent with a passion. It sounds so trashy to me (but you can blame reality TV for linking the two forever in my mind).
|by Anonymous||reply 106||03/08/2013|
Why the F do black people ask for an ink pen? Don't most pens contain ink? They just be trying to make theyselves look all uppity.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||03/08/2013|
According to my aunt in Tennessee us northerners (Illinois) speak very quickly and nasal. I'm sure this is as annoying to them as it is for us to hear their drawn-out slow speak.
|by Anonymous||reply 109||03/08/2013|
r108, what is an "ink pin"? Why would anyone put ink on a pin?
|by Anonymous||reply 110||03/08/2013|
r111 I don't get your point. You do see the vowel difference, right? "e" as in bed vs "i" as in sit.
|by Anonymous||reply 112||03/08/2013|
I live in the south, and I have a hard time understanding black men immersed in thug culture. I'm amazed seeing them talk to each other, and I don't understand any of it.
It's like when Boo got shot.
|by Anonymous||reply 113||03/08/2013|
I hear at least 3 types of California accents and I am not talking about the "valley girl" thing. It is difficult to describe them, but I know them when I hear them. It is funny to me.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||03/08/2013|
R108, as mentioned up-thread, in some dialects of English, 'pin' and 'pen' are pronounced exactly the same -- 'pin'. Therefore, speakers of this dialect add 'ink' in front of 'pen' to avoid confusion.
R111, but a lot of times, the pronunciation of words are counterintuitive. For instance, there are certain dialects where "milk" is pronounced /melk/. The British pronounce "clerk" as 'clark' and Berkeley as 'barkley'.
|by Anonymous||reply 115||03/08/2013|
[quote]The British pronounce "clerk" as 'clark' and Berkeley as 'barkley'.
& lieutenant as left-tenant.
|by Anonymous||reply 116||03/08/2013|
The Mind Of The South discusses the origin of the Southern accent. Most of us are English, Irish or German. I find this fascinting. My Italian is pretty good but I have a horrible time with my French. Fortunately for me the French are incredibly nice as I try to communicate, laugh and say " we speak English" it's funny but Middle Easterners think I'm English ( I'm Southern ) and ask what country I'm from.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||03/08/2013|
[quote]For instance, there are certain dialects where "milk" is pronounced /melk/.
You mean where milk is MISpronounced. What kind of ignorant fuck says "melk"?
|by Anonymous||reply 119||03/08/2013|
[quote]What kind of ignorant fuck says "melk"?
|by Anonymous||reply 120||03/08/2013|
Yolanda is foreign-born, no?
|by Anonymous||reply 121||03/08/2013|
R99 I could understand a bit of it, but I turned it off after two minutes. It was too frustrating that the captions were in French.
|by Anonymous||reply 122||03/08/2013|
Cajun or Gullah.
But almost all american accents are understandable. Unlike say, Scottish versus English, where you'd think the Scots were speaking a different language sometimes.
|by Anonymous||reply 123||03/08/2013|
[quote]Unlike say, Scottish versus English, where you'd think the Scots were speaking a different language sometimes.
Scotland's a different country, dumdum.
The Scottish accent comes from Scottish Gaelic.
|by Anonymous||reply 124||03/08/2013|
[quote] For example : IMPORTANT has become im-por-en. No T and barely an R.
The Scots do it too.
American regional accents reflect the region of the British Isles from which large groups came. Scots and Irish dialects are rhotic and so are midwestern and western U.S. dialects. The non-rhotic reflects English influence.
Meanwhile UK English dialects have also evolved. The English during the American colonial period didn't use Received Pronunciation. We all sound different than we did back then but certain small pockets of speakers - tidewater region coastal speakers, for example - probably sound a lot more like the English then than Downton Abbey.
Today's Irish English speakers, as well as some Scots speakers, sound a lot more like Americans than like RP pronunciations.
The Welsh-English accent is the most beautiful dialect, in my opinion.
The only regional American accent I have trouble with sometimes is urban African American, and that depends solely on how fast the speaker talks.
|by Anonymous||reply 126||03/09/2013|
[quote] Remember Sarah Palin's odd accent? That's supposed to result from upper midwest immigration to Alaska.
That was completely wrong and elicited an angry uproar in Alaska when it was misstated by some boneheaded linguistics professor who hadn't done his homework. Sarah Palin didn't even sound like that before she was running for governor, and she isn't a native born Alaskan. Nobody talks like that in Alaska unless they brought the accent from somewhere else. She made that shit up.
I am a native born Alaskan and our regional accent, to the extent we have one, is indistinguishable from the rest of the west coast. Not the inland west, but the coast. The reality is that most people bring their accents with them. My dad never lost his North Carolina accent in 27 years there, but my mom's is pretty much gone. People from outside the U.S. usually guess that I'm either from British Columbia or Ohio.
That said, Native Alaskans (indigenous people) who are American Indian (i.e. Tlingit/Haida, Athabaskan) sound much like Native Americans from elsewhere. The Yupik and Inupiats (commonly known as Eskimos) and Aleuts who still live out there have a very different and much more pronounced accent.
Nobody could identify a non-Native white Alaskan based upon accent.
|by Anonymous||reply 127||03/09/2013|
A friend lived in Hamtramck years ago. When I visited we went shopping together and I was often baffled. I finally figured it out, but it took some work.
|by Anonymous||reply 128||03/09/2013|