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#22330 03/11/01 05:48 PM
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On the thread about slanguage, we've touched on the subject of accents. I've been wondering which accents are most attractive, least attractive, and most intriguing to difference groups?

For example, I think most people in the US find the British accents and Australian versions of English more pleasing to the ear than the various patterns occurring in the states, although I don't know why. Perhaps from frequent exposure to it, I can pick up a Canadian accent even when the speaker has been long removed from Canada. My favorite US accent is that spoken in Minnesota, which sounds a lot like a lot of Canadians.

I have heard that native German speakers find American accented German attractive, but British accented German unpleasant. What about Italian, French, and whatever else?


#22331 03/11/01 07:54 PM
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I've been wondering which accents are most attractive, least attractive, and most intriguing to difference groups?

I find myself constantly battling a prejudice I have against the accent of South African English speakers, particularly those for whom Afrikaans is their first language. The accent sounds very harsh to my ears, and I have a subconscious association between the accent and the attitudes for so long associated with those who have it, so that I must fight the way "fascist" leaps unbidden to mind every time I hear the accent. The problem is easing as NZ becomes home to more and more immigrants from South Africa, and as I make more Sth African friends, but the accent is still ugly to me.


#22332 03/11/01 09:04 PM
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In reply to:

I've been wondering which accents are... most intriguing to difference groups?


I speak in what is obviously a "Southern" accent, though many people tell me it's not as strong as some (such as those from Georgia, Mississippi, especially Texas). What I find interesting is how many people here in Israel think, upon first hearing me speak, that I come from Australia! When I respond that I am actually from North Carolina, they don't believe me - it seems that people think ALL Southerners have some loooong, slooow drawl, which is simply not always true!

I suppose that's the fault of Margaret Mitchell's only novel which later became an award wining motion picture... (even though the lead was played by a BRITISH actress!).

But now, I must get my beauty sleep, for tomorrow is another day...

Shoshannah



suzanne pomeranz, tourism consultant jerusalem, israel - suztours@gmail.com
#22333 03/11/01 11:45 PM
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My Uncle doesn't have a sothern accent, but, if you think about it, that's because he hasn't lived there for I can't remember how long. My aunt DOES have an accent, only arriving up here permenently last spring.

jimthedog

#22334 03/12/01 12:29 AM
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What I find interesting is how many people here in Israel think, upon first hearing me speak, that I come from Australia!

What's the Hebrew for "deepest sympathies"?


#22335 03/12/01 02:26 AM
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Accents : I was told by Native Hawaiian friends that the "Boston" accent is "the kindest to the Hawaiian language."
Consider that the first real Western presence in the islands was the Missionary contingent from Massachusetts and they wrote down the language and printed the first books in Hawaiian. They listened to spoken Hawaiian with Boston ears and transribed as they heard it. After the language was written down the King sugested that it would be good for everyone to learn to read and write. There was near complete literacy in a year.
wow


#22336 03/12/01 03:25 AM
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I find myself constantly battling a prejudice I have against the accent of South African English speakers, particularly those for whom Afrikaans is their first language.

I'm not a very good imitator of accents, but I find the South African accent very easy to imitate. I tend to wind up my Boer-descented acquaintance by doing gross exaggerations of their linguistic quirks. They find it nearly impossible to imitate our accent, and that drives them nuts!



The idiot also known as Capfka ...
#22337 03/12/01 12:58 PM
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I confess-- i still have trouble diserning australian from south african-- but not boer south african-- [ducking brick bats]

and while it is sometimes hard to understand a strong accent- a soft scots accent to me is the finest-- the soft rolling r's-- the name "Robbie Robinson" become poetic!
I think i prefer northern accect (northumberland, etc) of all th english accents. And while it was true for "Billy Eliot" several english film featuring northern accects have been shown in this country with sub-titles!


#22338 03/12/01 03:45 PM
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My job involves indirect supervision of a number of technical trainers, many of whom are from India. I find their spoken English to be some of the most mellifluous tones I've heard from anyone ~ especially endearing to me is the v/w issue. When someone has to "svap out a hard driwe", I have to work pretty hard to stifle my giggles of appreciation.

Anu? Are you out there? My compliments to you and your countrymen!


#22339 03/12/01 04:26 PM
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Often I find it very difficult to understand people from France speaking English (I don't know any French Canadians, so I don't know about them). Their accent is not only very strong, but it also obscures many of the consonant and vowel sounds for me. Other nationalities, such as Greeks, Italians and Spaniards (count me in!), also have very strong accents (i.e. very noticeable) in English, but the words are clearly pronounced and it's easier for me to understand them.



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