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What do British people think of the neutral American accent?

jenfitzjenfitz Posts: 121Registered Users
I'm wondering because someone from England said my accent was annoying.
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  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Lemme guess: you'd like to sound more "exotic".
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  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users
    Why do care what other people think of your accent? It is what it is.
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  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    You're really worried about your accent.
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  • HoneycurlsHoneycurls Posts: 1,889Registered Users
    What is the "neutral" American accent? Everyone on the planet thinks their own "accent" is "neutral."
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  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    I'm guessing this isn't a general impression Brits have of how Americans sound, but I had an English guy tell me that 'men sound like cowboys and women sound like porn stars' here. He was in California so that may have had something to do with it. Cracked me up.

    Don't take statements like that to heart. If you put something on the internet like a voice clip, you'll get all kinds of conflicting feedback. Sometimes people will give you a hard time just to give you a hard time. Your voice sounded perfectly fine to me.
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  • damsel_flydamsel_fly Posts: 457Registered Users
    That person's lack of manners is a bit annoying.

    I'd tell them to sod off and that there's nowt wrong with me accent.
  • SunshineGrrlSunshineGrrl Posts: 3,823Registered Users
    I'm thinking by "neutral" they mean an American accent that is more prone to be seen in the middle of the US. You know, not a Georgian, Texan accent (just an example, there are plenty more regional accents, those were just the ones I could think up at these wee hours). Everybody has an accent, it just depends on where you're from and where other people are from.

    I've been told by Brits, French, German, Russian, Polish and all sorts of other nationalities that my accent is strange, probably twangy. I suppose it probably is. I very much have an accent from the place I grew up, but still live there, so it isn't noticed here. My vowels probably sound pretty hard to someone who isn't used to my accent.

  • StarmieStarmie Posts: 6,681Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I think we think it's just that - a neutral American accent.
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  • fraufrau Posts: 6,130Registered Users
    i assume new anchor voices are neutral american accents.
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Posts: 5,132Registered Users
    frau wrote: »
    i assume new anchor voices are neutral american accents.

    Yes. National news anchors have neutral American accents. They actually are taught to speak like that.

    And contrary to popular belief, midwesterners have regional accents that aren't neutral.
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  • damsel_flydamsel_fly Posts: 457Registered Users
    Imagine if we all walked around talking like news anchors. :D
  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users
    Everyone should walk around speaking the way tv presenters did on the BBC in the 1950s.
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  • SCGSCG Posts: 5,416Registered Users
    When I was in France, people kept telling me that my voice sounded very nasally when I spoke in English. Which is odd... English isn't one of those languages that I think of as being nasally.

    And then I tried to explain Pittsburghese to them, and they were like :-|

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  • goldygoldy Posts: 5,455Registered Users

    And contrary to popular belief, midwesterners have regional accents that aren't neutral.

    I have always believed Midwesterners to have an accent.
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  • cyndicyndi Posts: 3,341Registered Users
    SCG wrote: »
    When I was in France, people kept telling me that my voice sounded very nasally when I spoke in English. Which is odd... English isn't one of those languages that I think of as being nasally.

    And then I tried to explain Pittsburghese to them, and they were like :-|

    Yeah, French has many more nasal sounds.
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  • SigiSigi Posts: 2,379Registered Users
    I think people from the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, and Alaska) speak without an accent.
  • maria_imaria_i Posts: 1,760Registered Users
    SCG wrote: »
    When I was in France, people kept telling me that my voice sounded very nasally when I spoke in English. Which is odd... English isn't one of those languages that I think of as being nasally.

    And then I tried to explain Pittsburghese to them, and they were like :-|

    I do think American English sounds very nasally.
    I actually thought that was a known fact :happy3:
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  • SCGSCG Posts: 5,416Registered Users
    Sigi wrote: »
    I think people from the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, and Alaska) speak without an accent.

    Unless you're Sarah Palin... ;)

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  • SigiSigi Posts: 2,379Registered Users
    Yeah, she's definitely the exception. Nobody sounds like that. I wonder if her parents are from a different state originally?
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Posts: 5,132Registered Users
    Sigi wrote: »
    Yeah, she's definitely the exception. Nobody sounds like that. I wonder if her parents are from a different state originally?

    She sounds as if she is from Wisconsin, maybe with a little of Minnesota.
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  • Like.AustraliaLike.Australia Posts: 2,544Registered Users
    frau wrote: »
    i assume new anchor voices are neutral american accents.

    Yes. National news anchors have neutral American accents. They actually are taught to speak like that.

    And contrary to popular belief, midwesterners have regional accents that aren't neutral.

    When I was living in California, everyone told me I sounded like a news anchor. I grew up in Connecticut. :shrug:
  • SarcasmIsBeautySarcasmIsBeauty Posts: 5,640Registered Users
    Sigi wrote: »
    Yeah, she's definitely the exception. Nobody sounds like that. I wonder if her parents are from a different state originally?

    She's from a different planet don't cha know ;)
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  • DedachanDedachan Posts: 1,644Registered Users
    I noticed some CNN reporters, particularly the ones that seem like they might have a different native tongue, speak English perfectly, with no detectible foreign acent, but in a way that is also neither American nor British...sort of reminds me of those old Hollywood accents. I think I've heard people refer to that as a transatlantic accent...???

    It probably sounds more British than anything else, but it's too neutral and devoid of any local flavour compared to even the most standard British accent I can think of.
  • CalberCalber Posts: 126Registered Users
    I've trained myself to speak without any noticeable accent for travel purposes. Traveling through the USA or Barbados with a Jamaican accent could give me hypertension! Under normal conditions I cut loose and speak as before 😁
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  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    I don't care enough about the woman to remember exactly, but Sarah Palin definitely had a Minnesota/Wisconsin connection. College, maybe?
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  • HoneycurlsHoneycurls Posts: 1,889Registered Users
    Sigi wrote: »
    I think people from the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, and Alaska) speak without an accent.

    Every single one of us has an "accent" to someone somewhere. Accents are subjective and relative. Just like we don't smell the ambient aroma in our own homes the way an outsider does. I wonder if most people don't truly understand what an "accent" is.
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  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    I was surprised when I was in England once. I was talking to two guys in a bar and I said something and I realized that neither one of them understood a word I said. I'm in Massachusetts but I don't have a Ted Kennedy accent nor do I have a typical Boston accent.
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  • SunshineGrrlSunshineGrrl Posts: 3,823Registered Users
    NetG wrote: »
    I don't care enough about the woman to remember exactly, but Sarah Palin definitely had a Minnesota/Wisconsin connection. College, maybe?

    I didn't pay a whole lot of attention either, but it seems like she grew up in an area that had a settlement of Minnesotan residents either in the town she grew up in or nearby.

  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users
    Oregon and Washington surely do have their own accents. My husband is from Oregon and they say their short a sound funny. Instead of flag, for instance, he says fleg.
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  • SunshineGrrlSunshineGrrl Posts: 3,823Registered Users
    nynaeve77 wrote: »
    Oregon and Washington surely do have their own accents. My husband is from Oregon and they say their short a sound funny. Instead of flag, for instance, he says fleg.

    I don't know if it was a generational thing or Washington thing, but I remember my Grandma and also my Uncle (who pretty much lived there their whole lives except for about 5 years for my Grandma and 3 years for my Uncle). They both say warsh instead of wash. I think there are a couple others that end up with an "ar" sound rather than the short a.

    In Utah, we have our own accent. Pellow instead of pillow, Mount'n instead of Mountain, Layt'n instead of Layton, melk instead of milk, roof (the "oof" part is pronounced like woof would be), root (pronounced like rut), the list goes on, but that's the general idea. Not everyone speaks like this, but a good enough majority that I would say that it's an accent.

    My mom, who grew up in the Utah country has some weird words she says. She sounds "normal" for the most part, but when she says certain words, she'll get twangy. The one I can remember right now is instead of "yeah" or "yes" she says Yah.

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