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British/ American accent: your opinions (1)

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British/ American accent: your opinions
Message from tidus posted on 23-08-2007 at 23:40:36

What do you think about the differences between American and British English in term of pronunciation ? Which "accent" do you prefer ? Why ?

I prefer American English because it sounds more natural and beautiful than British English.
And, in my opinion, it easier for a French person to get an American Accent than a British one.
But the fact is that in almost all over the world people are learning British English.
So many people are more intersting to get a British Accent.

P.S: My accent is a mixture of American and British English. (LOL)
But I wanna get them both.

Modifié par bridg le 23-10-2007 07:35

Edited by webmaster on 15-04-2009 19:40

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by TravisKidd, posted on 24-08-2007 at 02:14:03
I would agree that the American accent is better, but maybe I'm biased.

Women seem to love a man with a British accent though ... just think about all those James Bond movies!

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by bisi, posted on 28-08-2007 at 16:20:29

Personnally I think that the British accent sounds more refined and much harder to catch. Englishmen speak by using different tones which is totally different from the French language for instance. As for the American English, if we pronounce the words properly, put the stress at the right times we can have something that is not very different from the american accent. Moreover we are surrounded by the american culture so people tend to catch it more easily. I've been said my accent was pretty similar to the american one, now I wish I can get the English one as well .

ps: Traviskidd, can you tell me wheter it's very difficult for an american to get the British accent as well?

thank you

Modifié par bisi le 28-08-2007 16:21

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by nick27, posted on 28-08-2007 at 16:30:59
I guess it's pretty much the same situation for a French person who'd try to speak with a Canadian accent. Some people just can't do it whereas some others are very good at it. Personally, I'm not that great at imitating the Canadian accent so maybe it's the same with the Americans imitating the British.

As for me, I definitely prefer the American accent ! The British one sounds like there're no "R" in the sentences and, to me, it sounds more snobbish than the American accent that sounds more natural that's why I won't try to get the British accent for anything in the world!

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by TravisKidd, posted on 28-08-2007 at 17:29:49
Yes, the British accent is considered more "refined" or "snobbish" (depending on your point of view ). Americans are (stereotypically) more "practical", and would rather express themselves naturally and efficiently than eloquently.

The ability to imitate a British accent varies from person to person, of course. I myself am not very good at it.

There is a scene from the movie "Love, Actually" where Colin, a British guy, is sitting at a table with three American girls who are admiring his accent. I forget the exact words of the conversation but it was something like this:

Girl: So what do you call this?
Colin: A bottle.
Girls (giggling, imitating him): BO'AL!!!
Girl: And this?
Colin: A straw.
Girls: STROOOA!!!
Girl: What about this?
Colin: Uh, a table.
Girls: TAAY-B...
Girls (to each other):, it's the same, yeah, the same.

Of course, not all British accents are haughty. Someone speaking with a heavy Cockney or Scottish/Irish accent will be almost incomprehensible to an American ear (subtitles are sometimes required!!).

Usually in songs the difference between accents is obscured. We can sing along with any Beatles or Rolling Stones song without any problem, but when we hear them talking we quickly recognize that they are foreigners!

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by nick27, posted on 28-08-2007 at 18:24:01
Yep that's the same with the Canadian accent. Some Canadians have such a strong accent that we sometimes need subtitles to understand what they say.

I'd understand an American easier than a British. Mr Bush seems more relax when speaking than Mr Blair, for instance,

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by bisi, posted on 01-09-2007 at 10:14:26
Thank you for your answer. And that's what I like in the american accent, it's more natural. Regarding the canadian accent :s, well or it's maybe because I don't have the American ear but I don't see any difference with the American one. And, last question, what about the Austalian accent? Some people say they have a special accent, that's not pretty beautiful to hear, as if they spoke like american but by exegerating the pronunciation (I don't know if you know what I mean).

I know that english changes according to the place we are (like every other languages) like French in France and French in Canada for instance.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by chrislondon, posted on 01-09-2007 at 14:44:37
Hello everybody!
Someone once said that the best American English is spoken in America, the best British English is spoken in Britain, the best Australian English is spoken in Australia, and so on.....
I'm British and I don't sound 'posh'. I once worked with an American teacher and her parents thought that she had picked up a terribly rough accent speaking to British people!
Personally, I simply love it when I hear American speakers from the South of the States. It's so beautiful. Or a Scottish accent! So it's a question of taste.
Best wishes to all, whatever accent you have!

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by TravisKidd, posted on 01-09-2007 at 15:28:00
In fact the Australian accent is very funny; it is hard to listen to an Australian talk without laughing! Once on TV there was an Australian talking about a murder. I was thinking "Murder is very serious! Why is he talking in an accent that makes people laugh?!?"

The most perceivable characteristics of the Australian accent are that they pronounce the long A like a long I (so that the famous Australian greeting "G'day, mate!" sounds like "G'die, mite!") and the long I is prononced like "oy" (so that "buy" sounds to my ear like "boy").

I once read a joke about an Australian who came to America. The day following his arrival, he rented a car and was speeding on the highway. A policeman stopped him, found out he was from Australia, and then said "Speeding is not only illegal but also very dangerous! Did you come to America to die?", and the Australian answered "No, yesterday!"

As for the Canadian accent, essentially it is not much different from the American one, except for different pronunciations of certain words. In particular, in the Canadian accent, "been" is a homophone of "bean" and "sorry" rhymes with "story", whereas in the American one, "been" is pronounced like "bin", and "sorry" rhymes with "starry". (One could say that this is due not to a difference in accent, but rather to an actual difference in how these words should be pronounced.)

Another distinguishing feature of Canadian speech, particularly in Ontario, is that they tend to pronounce every sentence with a rising intonation, as if it were a question: "So yesterday?? We went to the movies?? We saw Terminator?? And it was really good??"

And finally there is the famous Canadian question tag "eh", as in "Canada is beautiful, eh?"

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by tidus, posted on 01-09-2007 at 23:15:36
Yes,it must be a question of taste.
But,I think however that a French person can produce an American sound more easily than a British one, just like I do.
And when you hear French people speaking in English, they sound more American than British, don't they?
For example, the American "R" sounds so similiar to the French "R" that French people learn it easily and pronounce it always, even at the end of a word,
a mistake that British people tend to correct.
e.g: If a French person says "doctor"/dctr/ with the "R" pronunced, a British listener may repeat that word to show him that he is wrong and should say("doctor"/doct/).Which sounds less natural to us.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by justrca, posted on 02-09-2007 at 01:39:02
for me , I can't see the difference between english and American accent but i know that's exist.

Modifié par bridg le 29-11-2007 11:53

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by TravisKidd, posted on 02-09-2007 at 02:31:03
Well in fact the French (and, I believe, German) R is a rather guttural sound (similar to the Spanish J, the Scottish CH, or the Greek "chi" (X)). Essentially, if I am trying to pronounce a French R, I will make this gutteral sound with my lips rounded as if trying to pronounce an English R. But this sound does not exist in English at all.

The English consonant R is a semi-vowel; the pronunciation of R is as UR, but quicker (in the same way that the pronunciation of the semi-vowel W is as OO, but quicker).

What you are talking about when you say that we pronounce the R in "doctor" is that we pronounce the usual semi-diphthongs that involve R (AR, ER, IR, OR, OOR, UR(/R)). The American pronunciation of UR is as in the French EUR, so that "doctor" sounds rather like "docteur" (except that the accent is placed on the other syllable). If the British simply pronounce instead of UR, then yes I would say that the American pronunciation more closely resembles the French.

While I haven't noticed the British pronunciation of "doctor", I have heard a Briton pronounce "beta" (the name of the Greek letter) as "beater". So perhaps the difference exists vice versa as well?

By the way, in Boston, the R in "ar" is not pronounced, so that "car" is pronounced "ca".

Modifié par TravisKidd le 02-09-2007 02:37
By coincidence, I happen to be listening at this moment to the song "Champagne Supernova" by the British group Oasis. They seem to prounounce it correctly by itself, but as "supernover" when followed by "in" ("champagne supernover in the sky").

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by danisongjiang, posted on 02-09-2007 at 14:28:55
I prefer American English because it sounds more natural and beautiful than British English.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by tidus, posted on 02-09-2007 at 22:16:59
Sorry, I was talking about standard American English,the most common accent.
Same for British English,I wasn't talking about the dialects.
And French people assimilate very easily the American "R".

Modifié par tidus le 03-01-2008 21:52

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by jonquille, posted on 03-09-2007 at 13:26:38
TravisKidd you're right about the Boston "accent!" It is a rather unique one! Growing up one hour west of Boston, I heard it all the time. The common phrase that we use to tell if someone is from Boston is "Park the car in Harvard Yard." In Boston, you would not hear the "r" sound! But outside the Boston area, the "r" sound begins to be pronounced more and more. But for words that end in "a" like Barbara, an "r" sound is added.... Barbarer !

When I went to school in Ohio, people often thought I was from Boston. After a year spent in France, my accent was "neutralized" somewhat and now, having lived in New Hampshire for more than 20 years, people often wonder what my "accent" is! (Some have even thought it was a British accent... not quite!!) But the New England area has many different "accents" that vary from northern (ayuh!) to southern New England.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by jeffderneville, posted on 03-09-2007 at 23:56:36
American accent is difficult but it's better than British accent.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by neandt_ben, posted on 08-09-2007 at 09:57:13
british accent seems more classical and traditional.
and U.S accent is full of time spirit
by the way ,i prefer american girls

a question: why the forum language is french? for me it's difficult to read.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by TravisKidd, posted on 10-09-2007 at 07:33:52
Because this website is based in France! (The same reason the name of the site, Anglaisfacile, is French for "easy English".)

"Allons, enfants de la patriiiii-e..."

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by yellowishstone, posted on 10-09-2007 at 14:57:39
I like American English because of many reasons. To begin with, It's the accent most required in global economy and foreign affairs and so on. More important, most people around the world use the American accent. Mastering this accent enables me to be more successful socially and economically. In other words, a huge number of people tend to be more natural with speakers of American English. Also important, I feel more comfortable when I'm speaking American English because it's light and somehow sweet. On the contrary, the British accent is slow and dreary. Thank you,

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by doumyra, posted on 10-09-2007 at 16:13:13

What a great subject!
I do prefer the American accent too, but the British accent is posher and since I want to become an English teacher I think I'll have to learn both.

I don't know which accent I have got, people keep telling me I speak English with an accent from North Europe, maybe a Russian accent
British accent is really hard to understand and to imitate, but I find it fun and charming.

But American accent is great, more understandable, and so more natural!
I am sure that French people experience less problems when they try to speak with an American accent than when they try themselves on the British one.

The Scottish accent is really funny but also really hard to catch so it isn't really and option for frenchies...

I am also interested in slang, even though I don't use it, but it tells a lot about one country's history, and it helps with speaking common English "naturally".

I have never heard the Australian accent yet so I can't give my opinion on that one, sorry.
Wouldn't it be great to post here means to imitate the American accent?

I know there's something with the R like every one said but I think American tend to use the sound everywhere and to pronounce or instead of or as in 'problem'.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by baron1, posted on 22-10-2007 at 23:56:19

Don't hesitate: speak American or English with a French Accent.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by merl33, posted on 23-10-2007 at 13:35:46
British accent as generally defined hard to understand is not really easy to speak. But, as with any accent, listening to and imitating is the most important and fastest way to learn. The sounds of American English is different, pronunciation is more or less clear and speaking English in an American way is quite comfortable.

Watching and following specific news spokesmen on any English news channel is another way to practice an English accent !

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by feiniao17, posted on 24-10-2007 at 10:45:00
Very nice to hear so many people talking about accent here.Now I use "prison break", a TV series to improve my American accent.I'd prefer American accent because it is easy for me to immitate.
However I still think British Accent carried a more refined meaning compared with the same words in American ways.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by yanzi, posted on 26-10-2007 at 04:56:48
Hello,I prefer to American english accent,it sounds beautiful and natural,and it's easier for me to catch.^_^ And I love those"r",sounds perfectly.
As to British accent,I think it sounds elegant and formal.^_^
I heard that Canadian accent is the most beautiful one,How do you think?
Whatever it's a beautiful language.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by solence, posted on 30-10-2007 at 16:38:27
it's funny, most you say that American accent its easier, but I know someone who is french and had a girlfriend english, and by now when I listen him he speak British english easily and it's too elegant,it's just a digression!

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by williamengland, posted on 06-11-2007 at 12:51:39
Well I am obviously in a minority here, I find British English far more expressive in range and power, but I could be biased. I can assure you that male or female, if you speak English with a French accent it will be considered anything from charming to irresistible.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by life76, posted on 07-11-2007 at 10:24:56
I think each one has got its charm and what's important and I see you can do it is to distinguish them. I mean few spelling differences are easy to spot but words' uses. for eg, in American english the place where bread is prepared and sold is a bakery but in British English it's called the baker's. i learnt this yesterday only.
you're lucky if you know all these differences

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by hennoune85, posted on 29-11-2007 at 11:48:05
I think I'm lucky because I see all these opinions and I would like to tell (to) all my friends who(se) wrote their opinions that I'm agree with those who said that the American accent is good but I'm agree too with those who said that the British accent is the better.
Modifié par bridg le 29-11-2007 11:52

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by boubata, posted on 29-11-2007 at 17:33:27
Thanks for this subject,
For me I like British accent but when I want to listen to music I like american one specially in country songs .It adds another flavour to them.

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by pit47, posted on 27-12-2007 at 12:07:47
I have a problem with accents because my daughter is living in New-zealand and I can't understand the Kiwi of my grand-children!

Re: British/ American accent: your opinions by patrie7, posted on 27-12-2007 at 16:57:50
I have difficulties to understand..are you French or British ?

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