Hi

Sorry this may not be the accurate forum for this question, but...

Tom Alter (an American) came to India after graduating from the US and spent the rest of his life here working in the movies. His Hindi was near perfect. Could you please tell me if the long years spent in India changed/softened his American accent. Or he still sounds like a native American? What about his choice of words?

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Thanks,

Tom

He has a mild Hindi accent. He does not sound American. He sounds more British-Indian than American, but he does not sound British, either. He sounds like an Indian who has smoothed his accent quite successfully.

If you hadn't told me he was American, I would not have guessed it.

He has the accent of Indian English now. Well, actually, somewhere in between Indian and American.

Nothing about his word choices stands out as unusual to me.

CJ

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Thank you, CJ and Anon.

It's very interesting to note how your surroundings have a 'toll' on your accent. His had become almost Indian. Here is his only sister, Martha Chen, who chose to stay in the US.

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Tom

Mr. TomHere is his only sister, Martha Chen, who chose to stay in the US.

Hers is the speech you would expect from a Harvard professor—a neutral accent with perhaps a whiff of Northeast US and obviously a practiced public speaker with measured pace and careful enunciation. Not a trace of Hindi. I looked them up. She and her brother went to primary school in India at an American school. She did college in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She was back in the subcontinent for 15 years after that.

There is a huge difference between those accents, as I'm sure you can hear for yourself.

Personally, I grew up with a North Central accent, and I didn't acquire a General American accent until I went away to college and mixed with a lot of other students from different backgrounds. (Not that there is very much of a difference between those two accents, but my neighbors back home have remarked that I "talk different" now.

CJ

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