Tuesday, September 16, 2003

English Accent

I don’t believe English men really have accents, they just all got together and agreed to talk that way to make the rest of us feel bad.
Carl Riener (not exact words)

I had learned English with British accent when I came to America, but knowing that it would change sooner or later, I didn’t try to keep it, instead I helped to do the change quicker, so its interesting to me that after about four years I am still more inclined and comfortable with my British accent. When I was in Iran, I was fascinated with British accent and couldn’t even be forced to change it to American. It looked to me like a very sophisticated way of talking, very artistic, delicate and refined.
More than anything else, it’s the difference in pronouncing the sound “r” that matters to me, since I don’t have any problem with American intonation. It seemed ironic to me that we have this sound in Farsi, but I am easier not to pronounce it. The reason of course is that Americans pronounce it quite differently which I have trouble doing it when I am speaking fast. I have to put extra effort to do it, so when I speak fast, I automatically turn back to not saying r’s at all, while when speaking slowly, I can do it with some effort.
Listening to English accent always gives me the feeling that they are putting lots of effort and energy to say the words the way they do, but again its ironic that I feel more comfortable to do it this way. Still another thing I don’t quite understand is that why many British singers who have 100% British accent when they talk, try to change lots of words to American accent when they sing.(as jus one case, Phil Collins , pronounces “ask” with American accent in “in too deep”).As the quote by Carl Riener conveys, British accent sounds as a very unusual way of pronouncing to Americans, but now the question is that do English people also feel that at least for songs, many sounds are nicer to be pronounced in American? If not, why they change their accent in songs? And I also like to know if American accent seems as an unusual or strong accent to English people. I think I have to ask Jazz .By the way, if this change has been done deliberately , it’s been Americans who have done it, not English men

(posted by Farid)

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