Tag Archives: accent

#EngKnowledge: The birth of British and American Accents

All this time, we have been learning about the difference between British and American accent. You know it when you hear it. But have you ever wondered how these two accents came to be? Online magazine Mental Floss tried to answer the big question in the article “When did Americans lose their British accent?” As you may have known, the history of these two countries are strongly related.

The first English colony in the land that would be America arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1667. They certainly carried the language and accent that they used in their homeland, England. So how did their accent change? Now here comes the most interesting part … It wasn’t the American accent that went through changes, it was the British accent! The current American accent is actually much closer to the ‘original’ British accent.

We must first remember that British and American accents are very diverse. There are various accents used in the UK, such as Geordie, cockney, or Yorkshire. American accents also varied. There are Southern accent, and even black people have their own accent.

What we call “British accent” is actually a standardised Received Pronounciation (RP). Also known as Public School English or BBC English. What we call “American accent” is actually ‘general American accent’ or ‘newscaster accent’ or ‘Network English.’

Back to the story about the English colony in America. Remember, we first had the technology to record human voice in 1860. 300 years after the colony arrived, the difference between the British and American accents was already apparent. Since recording technology wasn’t available in those 300 years, we can’t say for sure when the change happened. But changes in British society might provide us the clue to the answer.
To explain that, first we need to know the major difference between British and American accent: Rhotacism.

Rhotacism is the excessive use of the letter ‘R’ in pronunciation. American accent is rhotic and speakers pronounce the ‘R’ in words such as ‘hard’. Meanwhile, British accent is non-rhotic, making the way they pronounce ‘hard’ sounds more like ‘hahd’.

In the 19th century, there was a hot trend among the upper and upper middle class in southern England to become non-rhotic. The trend was to not pronounce the ‘R’. It became the signifier of class and status. This posh accent was later standardised as Received Pronunciation, and being taught widely by tutors to social climbers.

Slowly but sure, the accent spread across England and is being used by people across levels and professions. Across the pond, there were also societal changes that further strengthen the use of American accent. Big cities like New York, Chicago, and Detroit became the new centers of economic power in the region. The cities are populated by Scots-Irish and North English migrants. Southern English elites have no significance in there. The Received Pronunciation then lost its influence among people in the cities.

Source: Mental Floss

#EngVocab Extra

  1. Came to be. Arti: asal mulanya.
  2. Strongly related. Arti: berhubungan erat.
  3. Apparent. Arti: nyata, terlihat, tampak.
  4. Signifier. Arti: penanda.
  5. Posh. Arti: mewah.
  6. Social climber. Arti: orang yg ingin meningkatkan status sosial (dengan memakai barang mewah, mengubah cara bicara).
  7. Across the pond. Arti: di seberang Lautan Atlantik, cara orang Inggris menyebut Amerika.
  8. Societal change. Arti: perubahan masyarakat.
  9. Further strengthen. Arti: semakin memperkuat.

 

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, May 17, 2015

 

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^MQ

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#EngPic: “School of Accent” artworks

So fellas, ready for the #EngPic session? :D Here it goes!

Recently London was filled with art institutions/academies’ exhibitions showcasing students works. It occurs every summer.

One of the things I found from the MFA Fine Art show in Goldsmiths are these artworks

School of Accent I_1school of accent II_1The “School of Accent I” consisted of a screen with school chairs and a menu

School of Accent I_2

The menu is a dvd interactive menu, so you have to choose it using the remote control.

I was so curious, so I tried, I chose one of them. And this came up.

School of Accent I_3

It turns out the choices were usernames of people that the artist interviewed. The one I chose came from South Africa.

The person talked about what the South African accent is like and how it sort of relates to British accent.

School of Accent I_4

The “School of Accent II” consisted a clip of her giving some sort of presentation..

School of Accent II_4

Throughout it, a British man was commenting on her pronunciations. Every word commented, it became like this

School of Accent II_3

So here the British man commented on her accents. Correct on the things she pronounced not quite right. Commenting on how she talks.

It’s interesting how she chose this performance/installation way of making an artwork with the title “School of Accent”

Are fellas confused of what’s going on? Is it really an artwork? How is it an artwork? Let us know what you think :)

Remember this session we had on “Grammar” https://englishtips4u.com/2014/07/12/engtrivia-why-grammar/ … ? Is it something to do with it? What’s your view as an audience?

@GiboSinatra: does it sound like british? Thought SA also speak with French” Yes it does actually, interestingly :)

“@Ferverferver: awesome!”

Might be a challenging Q: If you are in Ting’s position, would you ever make an artwork about English accents? Or any other accents?

Well I hope you enjoyed the #EngPic session :) Who knows it can inspire some of you to do artworks related to languages :D

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on July 12, 2014





#EngTrivia: Rupert Grint’s Accents

Hey fellas how has your Saturday been? :)

Well I hope our session today will cheer you up despite your bad day :)

Does anyone here know Rupert Grint from Harry Potter?

Did you know as a British actor he has been using different English accents in his characters?

What did you notice? :) “@cindydyrdi: I noticed that #EngTrivia

Well Rupert as one of the emerging Brtish actors have been in different kinds of movies that are considered unique.Since a lot of you have been asking how many different accents there are,admin thinks he’s one good example to hear what it is like.

Such as in Harry Potter he uses a standard British English accent

While in the un-aired Super Clyde he uses American accent 

Oh here is also Rupert using Irish accent in Cherrybomb

In his recent theatre show, called Mojo, he uses a Cockney accent, which is one of the British accents that still existed today.

Sadly there have been no clips that I could show on that :(

Yes you can also see it from that :) “@cindydyrdi: His British accent was different than when he’s talking (on the Talk Show) :) #EngTrivia

As some of you have mentioned, like Daniel Radcliffe, Andrew Garfield and Robert Pattinson also have been using American accents for their different characters in their different movies and theatre plays.

But what do fellas think? Do you think different accents from your favourite actor will help you understand accents differences?

@rainyummy: absolutely yes..”

@Electroboyzz: I can hear the differences between AmE and BrE, such as the intonation and stress in words.”

@puttrisetyana: yessss”

@magnainsani: yeaaa, i love actor with british accents :D.”

So I hope you have enjoyed today’s #EngTrivia on Rupert Grint’s accents :) Thank you for your participation fellas :)

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4U on February 8, 2014

#EngTips: The Importance of a Proper Accent

Hi, fellas! Some people learn a foreign language, English in this case, because they just want to speak it fluently. However, some people learn it to speak it fluently and with a non-foreign accent almost like a native speaker.

Sometimes we feel tired when people asking us to repeat because they don’t understand us. And sometimes people laugh because of our funny accent, right?

Also, how many of you think that British accent sounds sexy? I do. Hehe…

So, today I’m going to give you some tips on how to get rid of a foreign accent!

  1. Learn to pronounce the sounds the way they are originally pronounced in the native language. This is the most important step. Realize that the same letter can be pronounced differently in many languages. Practise very hard to memorize the new and native pronunciation.
  2. Listen to the language spoken with its native accent and try to imitate the pronunciation. At this step, you don’t have to focus on the meaning of the words. Repeat the pronunciation again and again.
  3. This way, your brain will start to replace your old foreign accent with the new one.
  4. If you’re a language freak, why don’t you learn the linguistics behind your target language. It helps you break up the accent you want to learn and know how it is made.
  5. Practise with a native speaker. Have a discussion with them and let them correct your accent.
  6. Stay consistent. If you want to learn British accent, then pronounce all words with the accent. On the other side, if you want to learn American accent, don’t pronounce a few words using British accent.

That’s my tips for you, fellas. Do you have your own tips? Share it to other fellas!

 

Compiled by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on April 19, 2013