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News & Politics News & Politics

Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

Posted by on Sep. 29, 2013 at 5:38 AM
  • 10 Replies

By Natalie Wolchover   |   January 09, 2012 01:47pm ET



by on Sep. 29, 2013 at 5:38 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 6:15 AM
Quoting SallyMJ:
The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

That's a pretty good summary; though it doesn't take regional accents into account.

There's a vast difference between cornish and cockney, just as there is between the way a rancher in rural Texas speaks and the way a cabbie in New York speaks.


http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php

http://www.theworldwideaccentproject.matthewperks.co.uk/

JustCJ
by on Sep. 29, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Wow that's interesting.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting SallyMJ:
The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

That's a pretty good summary; though it doesn't take regional accents into account.

There's a vast difference between cornish and cockney, just as there is between the way a rancher in rural Texas speaks and the way a cabbie in New York speaks.


http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php

http://www.theworldwideaccentproject.matthewperks.co.uk/


kcangel63
by Amanda on Sep. 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM
This is cool.

Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting SallyMJ:
The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

That's a pretty good summary; though it doesn't take regional accents into account.

There's a vast difference between cornish and cockney, just as there is between the way a rancher in rural Texas speaks and the way a cabbie in New York speaks.


http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php

http://www.theworldwideaccentproject.matthewperks.co.uk/


Its.me.Sam.
by Bronze Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 11:43 PM
1 mom liked this

all of my dads side is in the UK (all born there - my dad is the only one to come to the states) they ALL have different accents.  i love some accents - Russian is one of my favorites.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

My cousin from upstate NY and I always tease each other and say the other doesn't say words the right way. I always kid her on how she says "chocolate" and "orange juice." I tell her, "I talk like the news." And she says, "No, I talk like the news!" And she says "pockebook" and "seashore," and we say "purse" and "beach."  :)


Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

all of my dads side is in the UK (all born there - my dad is the only one to come to the states) they ALL have different accents.  i love some accents - Russian is one of my favorites.



Its.me.Sam.
by Bronze Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 12:03 AM


lol its funny because i was born here in the USA... but because of my dad (he was 27 when he crossed the pond) i say some very 'British' things.. or word things in a more 'British' way.  i cant think of any at the moment but sometimes people will cock their head and squint at me when i say certain things. lol
i have a thing for language.. i love the way people speak.  i am especially sensitive to the way people form words - both physically with their mouth - and the actual sound of the word.  the tone and way a person emphasizes words really gets me.  certain people i just love.... like.. their voice has a real affect on me.  rarely does anyone's voice bother me terribly.. but one that i just cannot bear is Erin Andrews.  her voice is like.. painful.  I have a list of favorite speakers tho.. i will watch a program they are in JUST to listen to them speak... no matter the content... i just want to hear and watch their mouth form the words.  its really weird... but its a major thing for me.

Quoting SallyMJ:

My cousin from upstate NY and I always tease each other and say the other doesn't say words the right way. I always kid her on how she says "chocolate" and "orange juice." I tell her, "I talk like the news." And she says, "No, I talk like the news!" And she says "pockebook" and "seashore," and we say "purse" and "beach."  :)


Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

all of my dads side is in the UK (all born there - my dad is the only one to come to the states) they ALL have different accents.  i love some accents - Russian is one of my favorites.





SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 2:30 AM

OMG - I am that same way about accents! And noticing the details makes all the difference. The first accent I could recognize and imitate is Minnesota. It's all in the "O's."

Who is Erin Andrews? Can't find anything on Youtube.

We used to kid our parents on how they said a short "o." My dad is from Chicago, my mom from the East Coast. We would tell them to say words like bog, fog, frog, etc. - because they said them completely differently.

This is my favorite personal story about pronunciation. I used to teach elementary school. One of my student teaching experiences was a K-1 combination. There was a little boy in the class that was so sweet, and unusually well mannered for a 5 year old. His name was Dario. The teacher always pronounced it, "DAHR-ee-oh." One day when his parents picked him up from school, I learned they were Romanian. They pronounced his name, "Doo-dee-OH." (A rolled "r".)

COMPLETELY different. So I started saying his name the way his parents did. He got the biggest crush on me - after I started pronouncing his name the right way. One day, he came up to me and said, "Ms. MJ - Do you have a little boy at home who looks just like me?"  I said, "You know, I don't have a little boy at home right now - but if I did, he'd look just like you!"   

I've always tried to do that ever since - say people's names the way they do.  :)


Quoting Its.me.Sam.:


lol its funny because i was born here in the USA... but because of my dad (he was 27 when he crossed the pond) i say some very 'British' things.. or word things in a more 'British' way.  i cant think of any at the moment but sometimes people will cock their head and squint at me when i say certain things. lol
i have a thing for language.. i love the way people speak.  i am especially sensitive to the way people form words - both physically with their mouth - and the actual sound of the word.  the tone and way a person emphasizes words really gets me.  certain people i just love.... like.. their voice has a real affect on me.  rarely does anyone's voice bother me terribly.. but one that i just cannot bear is Erin Andrews.  her voice is like.. painful.  I have a list of favorite speakers tho.. i will watch a program they are in JUST to listen to them speak... no matter the content... i just want to hear and watch their mouth form the words.  its really weird... but its a major thing for me.

Quoting SallyMJ:

My cousin from upstate NY and I always tease each other and say the other doesn't say words the right way. I always kid her on how she says "chocolate" and "orange juice." I tell her, "I talk like the news." And she says, "No, I talk like the news!" And she says "pockebook" and "seashore," and we say "purse" and "beach."  :)


Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

all of my dads side is in the UK (all born there - my dad is the only one to come to the states) they ALL have different accents.  i love some accents - Russian is one of my favorites.







Debrowsky
by Silver Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 11:20 AM

I have the same fascination for accents, and how people say words.  I have a good friend that was born and raised in New Hampshire and I get such a kick out of her way of saying vowels and adding r's where there isn't one in the word.

I had heard before that the Brits used to speak more like Americans long ago, but I had never heard as to why they had changed the way they spoke. 

JanuaryBaby06
by on Sep. 30, 2013 at 11:29 AM
1 mom liked this

Fascinating! Great post Sally!

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM
1 mom liked this

Someone on this post linked an international language project - with hundreds of videos of people all over the world pronouncing the same English-language paragraph. It is really interesting.

Check out speakers from some of the northern, more remote places in the UK. Their pronunciation actually sounds more "American" than British.  So their ancestors must not have gotten the memo from London that they were supposed to change their accent.

How ironic that WHY the British accent changed is just the human condition - "Keeping up with the Joneses." And ahead of the McJoneses, MacJoneses, and the O'Joneses.


Quoting Debrowsky:

I have the same fascination for accents, and how people say words.  I have a good friend that was born and raised in New Hampshire and I get such a kick out of her way of saying vowels and adding r's where there isn't one in the word.

I had heard before that the Brits used to speak more like Americans long ago, but I had never heard as to why they had changed the way they spoke. 



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