Your English Accents

Leon · 33 · 10277

Leon

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I was wondering: how are your English accents? Do you have thick Greek accents (like trilling the 'r', although I imagine you don't do this), or good English accents with an obvious foreign twang? Just for the record, I have no idea how I sound to Greeks when speaking it. I can pronounce all the letters (such as ones that many people consider difficult (like gamma and ro)), but I think it's really obvious that I'm foreign.

It's strange because you all write almost perfect English yet I have to think that surely you sound Greek when you speak.

Leon.
«Όποιος ελεύθερα συλλογάται συλλογάται καλά»
- Ρήγας Φερραίος


Elias71

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You would think being born and raised in Toronto that my english accent would be perfect... but you would be amazed. I am told I speak too quickly and slurred sometimes (and am often told by my teachers to repeat myself so that they can understand what I'm saying), and that I pronounce my o's a little too thickly, among other things. So thats one out of my two languages that I could improve on...

And my Greek, is not exactly perfect either. I can pronounce most things fine, with a bit of a different accent of course (but it took people a while to realize that I was not actually from Greece when I went this summer, and usually they picked up on it through grammatical mistakes, or awkward vocabulary when I didn't know the word I needed to use, and had to explain myself). Also, some words/names trip me up if I try saying them quickly on occasion (sometimes they come out right, sometimes I can feel they just came out wrong) like Λεύκτρα for example, because it has a sound in it that is NEVER found in English and consists of several consonant sounds back to back (vktr).

I guess this can all be pinned back to the fact that my parents barely spoke English as I was growing up, and so I only really heard Greek around the house during the years that I was developping my speech as a little child. So the result, I would say, is a strange accent in English, and a strange accent in Greek. So I guess I speak with an accent of my own, I am unique. :P



metafrastis

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My time in England and the USA had little effect on my pronunciation. It was kind of American for the British folks I dealt with and pseudo-British to the Americans, and I was not even trying to adopt a certain accent. Weird stuff! Anyway, I think that I really sound like a Greek guy speaking English when I do (there is a certain characteristic accent) and I like it, but I can sound more British or American if I want to with some extra effort.


user3

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My English accent is heavily Greek.
On the other hand, my French accent (as I am told) is
much more imperceptible, more or less like the accent of
a native speaker of the French South (le Midi). 

Still on the other hand, I can write effortlessly good English
while I have to toil to produce some lame lines of text
in French.



spiros

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This reminds me of an incident whilst at Uni.

Our Scottish teacher of linguistics said something like my accent is erotic accent.
At least, this is what we all heard.

What she had actually said though was my accent is a rotic accent.

Quote
English pronunciation is divided into two main accent groups, the rhotic and the nonrhotic, depending on when the phoneme [ɹ] (the letter "r", equivalent to Greek rho) is pronounced. Rhotic speakers pronounce written "r" in all positions (although many rhotic speakers omit it in French loan words where "r" is silent, such as dossier). Non-rhotic speakers pronounce "r" only if it is followed by a vowel (see "linking R"). In linguistic terms, non-rhotic accents are said to exclude [ɹ] in the syllable coda. This is commonly referred to as postvocalic R, although that term can be misleading because not all Rs that occur after vowels are excluded in non-rhotic English.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhotic_and_non-rhotic_accents
« Last Edit: 12 Mar, 2006, 19:11:41 by spiros »


Elias71

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Our Scottish teacher of linguistics said something like my accent is erotic accent.
At least, this is what we all heard.

You weren't completely wrong when you heard that, many people find the rhotic accent to be very erotic anyways. I personally find the Scottish accent to suit drunks best, but some people find that sexy too, I guess. :P


tsioutsiou

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I've heard of a German lecturer on politics at Edinburgh university who spoke truly flawless English but with a distinctive, in fact disturbing, heavy accent, which made him a target of his students' ironic jokes, at times bordering on derision.
One day he had enough; he burst out in the classroom and "gave them a lecture" pointing to each of them: "You' ve got an Edinburgh accent, you 've got a Glaswegian accent, you've got a London accent, I've got a German accent!"

Mine is Greek, and my concern in spoken English is to make myself understood as better as possible rather than having illusions about ever passing for a British, even if I avoided basic oral mistakes that only foreigners make.

PS Spiros, I understand that you were educated in Scotland. If you were or visited Edinburgh you may have seen a scenic old Scotsman nationalist at his usual place featuring a sign which read: Scotish spoken. English understood!


Elias71

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tsioutsiou, what you said is so true. In the end, does it really matter if someone speaks with one type of accent, or another? I'm pretty sure if we examine anyone enough, we will see that they never treak "true" English, Greek, or whatever. I don't even feel that there is a "true" accent for any language. Everyone speaks with their own style, and thats what makes it all so fun. :)


Philip

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  • μεγαλώνουν, μεγαλώνουν ...
Native speaker, though with erotic accent (I looove that!!), being originally from the West Country.  When my wife and I were in Greece once, we were sitting in a trolleybus in Athens and chatting in English.  The vehicle filled up, and I got up to give my seat to someone else.  My wife reported the following conversation between the two ladies sitting behind us:

Ά.  Είδες τι ευγενικοί που είναι οι Άγγλοι;
Β.  Όχι, δεν είναι αυτός Άγγλος, εκείνη πρέπει να είναι.  Αυτός δεν έχει καλή προφορά στα αγγλικά.

Οπότε you pays your money and you takes your choice...

Όσο για τα προφορά μου στα ελληνικά, δεν είναι άσχημα, αλλά έχω ξένη προφορά.  Στην Κύπρο με ρώτησαν, από που είστε στην Ελλάδα;  Στην Ελλάδα με ρώτησαν Από την Κύπρο είστε; ... make of that what you will!

Φίλιπ (ο αιώνιος ξένος...)
But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue?

THE TRANSLATORS TO THE READER
Preface to the King James Version 1611


Philip

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Quote
τα προφορά
- ξέρω, ξέρω, τιμ μπροφορά, σόρυ
But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue?

THE TRANSLATORS TO THE READER
Preface to the King James Version 1611


Leon

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Haha, interesting ιστορίες, παιδιά.

I would particularly like to know nickel's and wings's accents.

I really want to know what I sound like to Greek people. I know with Anglo-Cypriots I pass for one of them since they have a slightly English accent (or in some cases, a heavy English accent) when speaking Greek plus they probably can't tell a native speaker (I mean I do pronounce all of the letters correctly so they perhaps don't notice). But still, I'd like to know how I sound to native speakers. Christ knows what they think of me in Cyprus...

Leon.
«Όποιος ελεύθερα συλλογάται συλλογάται καλά»
- Ρήγας Φερραίος


Carolyn

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Well...

Up until a couple of years ago, I sounded English (although I am not English - long story...)

Now, having lived in Greece for almost three years, I don't really know what I sound like. My accent has become a bit mixed up, between my French (other) mother tongue, spending my days with other anglophones from other English-speaking countries, and speaking Greek all day.

There you go.


Elias71

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Christ knows what they think of me in Cyprus...

Who cares what they think of you? What matters more, the accent you speak with, or the words that come out of your mouth? :)


Marisa_R_C

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My accent in English... well it's very English, although in a rather broad sense - it does not include much by way of regional variation.. I would call it more of a standard British accent.

I used to have a much more American twang adopted in the staff room at the HAU where I started out as a TEFL teacher, then lost it at Reading University in the Phonetics Practical Seminars run by Peter Trudgill (better known for his work in sociolinguistics) who used to make fun of me so I changed it one day and disappeared into the woodwork....

Incidentally, Leon, Greek does not trill the r sound , other languages do. The Greek r is a flap (!), i.e. the tongue hits the alveolar ridge (!!!!!) just once, whereas in the trilled version, there is what we might call... hmmmm....hmmm... repeat action!

Voila!


Leon

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Carolyn, από πού είσαι;

Elias71, of course the accent matters to me more, because at least the words will come out sounding Greek! Anyway, I have no idea whether I soung Greek, as I said, although I just strongly assume that I don't and would love to be able to improve it, somehow.

Hi, Marisa_R_C. Yes, I know that in Greek the letter 'ρ' is flapped. I wrote trilled by accident (sometimes I get mixed up with trilled, flapped, and rolled, but I made a mistake in that post).

Leon.
«Όποιος ελεύθερα συλλογάται συλλογάται καλά»
- Ρήγας Φερραίος


 

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