A very old thread was recently added to, so it popped up to the top. It had evolved into the success (or failure!) of American actors immitating UK accents and perhaps vice versa. But how do Brits from London do imitating the very distinct Yorkshire accent? Or how well does a Scot do immitating someone from the Liverpool?

I ask because I'm often appalled how Americans try to imitate a Southern American accent, and do it horribly, or fail completely at a very distinct regional accent like Maine. I lived there for 15 years and I can't do a credible Maine accent - although I sure can tell when it's being done badly. It seems clear to me that you don't have to try to cross an ocean to do an accent badly.

What do our UK cousins have to say? Can you sound like a native from any part of the UK? I expect you have the same trouble as someone from Chicago trying to sound like he's from Texas!
Hmm, I think the purpose of imitating an accent is to entertain, isn't it? So the accents don't have to be perfect, they just need to be very close to the original ones.
If you want to do a perfect accent... heh, that's practically impossible. Let's suppose people from Houston TX have a particular accent. Maybe it's not difficult to sound Texan to New Yorkers. But how about sounding like you are from Houston to people from other parts of Texas? That's more difficult, probably very difficult. And how about triking people from Houston, making them think you are really from Houston? That's extremelly difficult. Maybe you can, but if you just say a short sentence, as Jim said. Not in a long conversation... I think that would be impossible. Emotion: smile
That's a very good point Barb...most of us are rubbish at accents too. We might think we've got one down ok, but then ask a real speaker of that accent... I think most people can just get a 'flavour' of another accent or do a generic 'vaguely related to a large area accent ' instead of a genuinely authentic local accent. There's a TV show called 'Doc Martin' that is based in Cornwall and populated with quite a few recognisable actors from all over the UK. They all put on this terrible 'West Country Ooh-Aar' and not a single one of the actors playing a local sounds even vaguely Cornish, which is a very distinct accent. I still love the show but I'm sure everyone in Cornwall hates it!

I can't do any convincing accents at all, just a few odd words and phrases that I've picked up from people. There is quite a lot of this 'cross-pollination' going on and sometimes you can hear something really incongruous popping out of someone's mouth.
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Well, I can do good Southern, because my father is from there, but I'm hopeless at New England, even after living there. And I have no desire at all to replicate the local Philadelphian accent. It's just amazing how a hundred miles can completely change the way people speak, isn't it?
I find that it's not too difficult to imitate an accent with a specific rehearsed sentence or two, but when it comes to continuing to generate spontaneous speech in the same accent, I find it nearly impossible.

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