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Hi,

I found this guy that tries to imitate accents. He's not a native speaker of English, anyway. I'd like you to take a look at his "Standard American Accent" here:



The comments say that it's awful. An American I know listened to that and also said that it's awful. She said he has a moderately strong Eastern European accent.

Now, I'd like to know where he's making mistakes because I can't figure it out. I thought he sounded American, but everyone says he sucks... would you be able to point out the features that make him sound not American?

Thank you Emotion: smile

PS: at that link there are other accents, I'm not interested in comments on those accents, anyway they're funny! LOL
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My non-native ears can't figure it out, either Emotion: smile To me he really sounds "American", there seems to be some uncertainty the way he speaks that would have made me think he's not a native. But he does a good job anyway, for it's really difficult to imitate accents, even in my own mother tongue I'm able to imitate convicingly not more than 2 or 3 accents.
Awful. The redneck one was terrible. But hey, I can't imagine speaking in another language and trying to figure out how to make it sound like a certain region where they speak that language, so he gets credit for trying.
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Hi Grammar Geek,

What was there that made his 'redneck accent' so terrible? Unfortunately, my connection seems a bit slow at the moment, so I cannot watch his videos myself. Yet, I think you should explain why his attempt to sound 'redneck American' was unsuccessful. Are we talking about the way he pronounces individual sounds, intonation, or prosody?

Speaking a second language with a native-sounding accent is possible. And if you have a native-sounding accent, your accent will obviously be associated with a certain region and/or social class. Most foreign speakers of English who have native-sounding accents do have a 'BBC accent' or a 'General American' accent, but in principle, if you really wanted to, I suppose you could study the sound system of the Scouse or Brooklyn accents of English and start to speak like a Liverpudlian or New Yorker from Brooklyn.

Englishuser
You should listen to his cockney, lol.

The standard American doesn't sound awful to me but it still doesn't sound native either. I guess non-British people would hear something a bit off with the cockney accent but not realise how awful that is either...

I think that as a non-native English speaker he is doing an excellent job. He says in his introduction that he knows his accents are not quite right but that he is studying linguistics and is enjoying playing around with different ways of speaking. He's visited this site too and asked for feedback.

Somehow in all of his accents he sounds as though he has a big gobstopper stuck in his mouth while he is trying to talk. It's the sheer effort of it that is coming across - he sounds better if you shut your eyes and don't watch the video with his 'big-effort' faces (well, a little better). It would be interesting to hear him again in a couple of years time if he keeps up his interest.
Hi nona the brit,

You wrote:
I guess non-British people would hear something a bit off with the cockney accent but not realise how awful that is either...
What exactly is there that makes his Cockney sound awful? I think it would be important to focus on where he actually fails in his attempt to mimic different accents.

Englishuser
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Hard to pin it all down exactly. It's just generally 'off'. However, some specificic points are that all the 'i's sound Australian rather than cockney. the th should sound like v. Wiv not with. The 't's are not right either - he can't do the glottal stop at all. The 'o's quite often sound wrong. The l needs more of a w pronounciation. I'm not sure what he did with the word 'bloody'. He seems to be trying to do a glottal stop on the d for some reason.
Thanks, nona the brit, for the explanation. You might like to know that th-fronting, that is, the replacement of the 'theta sound' with /f/ or /v/, is common in Cockney.

Englishuser
Thanks for the replies.

Anyway, since I'm learning American English, I wanted to know why that standard American Accent was awful. What are the mistakes he's making? Would you be able to point out the wrong features in his speech?

(even though I'm interested in that American accent, you can still comment on the other accents if you want, as did Nona)

Thanks Emotion: smile
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