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improving voice

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by sloaney, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Jared

    Jared Senior member

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    A compromise solution: get a Canadian accent. (I have read in our jingoistic local press that ESL students prefer to study Canada because our accent is the most easily understood by English speakers with other accents - I think that's a nice way of saying: even the Canadian accent is boring! [​IMG])
     
  2. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    I won't pass judgement on your views of what you term a British accent.

    I would think that in the UK, you would be able to find language schools that also offer ESL classes. Any good ESL teacher uses specific pronunciation exercises. An accent/dialect coach would probably be more expensive, but I don't know so much about the UK market. Universities also typically offer ESL classes, and language lab time, which in my opinion, if monitored by a competent professor, can be very valuable.

    You might find this story interesting:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/insideld...t_london.shtml
     
  3. metkirk

    metkirk Senior member

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    I fail to see how adopting a false accent to hide where you are from is improving yourself in any way shape or form. To me its a pretty telltale sign of shame of some sort of form that you're compensating for.

    By all means improve yourself by any means you can. Improve your body. Improve your mind. Improve your social standing. However do not cross the line into trying to be someone you aren't. Embrace your heritage while improving yourself. Even if you dislike your heritage it has made you what you are. Do not be ashamed of it and try to hide it. If you're are American. Be a god damn American. Don't start down some pattern of self-hate and forcing yourself to become someone that you are not.


    I have an American accent for English and another completely different accent when I speak my own language. It's possible for me to speak with a "bastardized" American accent but it's easier to blend in the other way. You remind me of people in my highschool who label those who could speak proper foreign accents as posers... [​IMG]
     
  4. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Senior member

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    Sloaney,

    If you really want the accent, I have a great way of you getting it. Here is how:

    1) Get an account at bitme.org, a bit torrent website.
    2) Search for "accents"
    3) There is a program to download there that teaches you all kinds of accents. If I recall correctly it had two types of British, Australian, Irish, Scottish, etc. It basically teaches you how to speak with different parts of your throat/mouth and use different types of mouth and tongue movements to emulate different accents. Very educational, and free.

    If you do not know how to use bit torrent or what it is, or if you cannot get an invitation to the site, then you don't want the accent badly enough.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    when I lived in the US, I used to have to use a fake Californian accent when ordering food. Otherwise no one could decipher my Australian.

    Incidentally the first word that I mastered when attempting to learn how to Talk American was 'fucker'. Once youve got that down, youve pretty much got the essentials.
     
  6. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    sloaney

    I have "nuetralized" my accent over the years - I get comments all the time on how clear my english is, and how it lacks any type of regional accent. I work mostly with people who speak english as a second ( or third) language, and I have put effort into making sure that regional accents or vocabulary wont confuse them.


    my wife, columbian born and educated at a british private acadamy, took a number of lessons from a speech therapist a few years ago, when she was teaching in university, to get rid of her accent. even though she has been living in the US for only 3 years, nobody ever guesses that she isn't american born, she has no accent.


    I would suggest that you find a speech therapist in london.
     
  7. sloaney

    sloaney Senior member

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    thanks for all the advice, really appreciate it
    globetrotter, i find it really interesting that your wife wanted to get rid of her english accent when she moved to america .... i thought americans loved the english accent

    i found that international british schools overseas often teach the best accent. a friend of mine went to an international british school in hong kong, and then went to america for college but she still maintains her british accent to this day .... in fact her english accent is better than that of english people, so it was quite amazing listening to her converse in london with the natives.....
     
  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    thanks for all the advice, really appreciate it
    globetrotter, i find it really interesting that your wife wanted to get rid of her english accent when she moved to america .... i thought americans loved the english accent

    i found that international british schools overseas often teach the best accent. a friend of mine went to an international british school in hong kong, and then went to america for college but she still maintains her british accent to this day .... in fact her english accent is better than that of english people, so it was quite amazing listening to her converse in london with the natives.....



    actually, to clarify - my wife had a spanish/british accent and wanted to clar it up. more importantly, columbians speak very quickly, and she was tought to slow down her speech.
     
  9. gamelan

    gamelan Senior member

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    in my opinion, voice is probably the 2nd most important thing after physical appearence, and cannot be discounted. especially if you would like to sound credible and learned when giving your views and forecasts on the market to institutional investors.


    ummm...i think both Condoleezza Rice and Tony Blair sound credible (no potshots here please) and learned. i'm pretty sure having an accent one way or the other has nothing to do with it.

    -Jeff
     
  10. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    my wife, columbian born and educated at a british private acadamy, took a number of lessons from a speech therapist a few years ago, when she was teaching in university, to get rid of her accent. even though she has been living in the US for only 3 years, nobody ever guesses that she isn't american born, she has no accent.


    I would suggest that you find a speech therapist in london.


    I think there's always something that gives you away (Fabienne assumes sleuth demeanor). Maybe once or twice a year, someone will ask where I'm from (without seeing my first name). I have a fairly neutral American accent, but then I might pronounce some words with more of a British twist, and some of the 'r's cause me trouble, and I get lazy, at times, with my 'th's. The inconsistency is what gives me away, I believe, if we're only talking accents. There are many other cues by which a non-native may be identified. It's always a fun game to play, isn't it Globetrotter.

    On Thursday morning, I'm doing a voice-over. I was chosen for the job because my accent, though American, has "something" about it (these are the words of the producer). This isn't my profession, I do it for fun, I get recommended by word of mouth. [​IMG]
     
  11. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    A compromise solution: get a Canadian accent.

    (I have read in our jingoistic local press that ESL students prefer to study Canada because our accent is the most easily understood by English speakers with other accents - I think that's a nice way of saying: even the Canadian accent is boring! [​IMG])

    i think the candian accent and the american 'stoner' accent are the same, no?[​IMG]
     
  12. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I think there's always something that gives you away (Fabienne assumes sleuth demeanor). Maybe once or twice a year, someone will ask where I'm from (without seeing my first name). I have a fairly neutral American accent, but then I might pronounce some words with more of a British twist, and some of the 'r's cause me trouble, and I get lazy, at times, with my 'th's. The inconsistency is what gives me away, I believe, if we're only talking accents. There are many other cues by which a non-native may be identified. It's always a fun game to play, isn't it Globetrotter.

    On Thursday morning, I'm doing a voice-over. I was chosen for the job because my accent, though American, has "something" about it (these are the words of the producer). This isn't my profession, I do it for fun, I get recommended by word of mouth. [​IMG]



    yeah, I used to say it was about every 6 months somebody would "Catch" my wife - but it hasn't happened in a year or so. it usually happens when its a word that she has only read, but never heard, but it doesn't happen that much any more. what is very funny is when she tells people she is from columbia and it takes them a while to believe her. or, more funny, when she talks spanish to a mexican and they look at her like she is a funny american trying to show off her spanish.
     
  13. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    I think you should look in the phone book for Professor 'iggins. [​IMG]
     
  14. trajan

    trajan Senior member

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    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    NY, NY
    Sloaney,

    If you really want the accent, I have a great way of you getting it. Here is how:

    1) Get an account at bitme.org, a bit torrent website.
    2) Search for "accents"
    3) There is a program to download there that teaches you all kinds of accents. If I recall correctly it had two types of British, Australian, Irish, Scottish, etc. It basically teaches you how to speak with different parts of your throat/mouth and use different types of mouth and tongue movements to emulate different accents. Very educational, and free.

    If you do not know how to use bit torrent or what it is, or if you cannot get an invitation to the site, then you don't want the accent badly enough.

    Hope that helps.


    Can I get an invite to bitme.org? It's invite only.

    thanks,

    --trajan
     
  15. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    Mar 15, 2006
    Vocal hygeine will improve the voice. There are more obscure ways, including care of sinuses, improved posture, and boosting hormone levels through means such as diet and probably exercise.
     
  16. Mbogo

    Mbogo Senior member

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    Jun 12, 2005
    Since this is the Style Forum, here's a quote from someone who created his own accent, and is considered one of the most stylish men of all time:

    "I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me."

    -Cary Grant

    I see nothing at all wrong with changing your accent a bit. I had a truly obnoxious regional accent when I went away to college, which I didn't realize until friends there teased me about it. I still work to keep it in check. Does that make me a phony? I'll tell you something, when I hear the local accent in my home town now in all its glory (TV ads for car dealers seem to be the worst) I get the willies.

    If OP wants to change his accent, I encourage him to do so.
     
  17. Quirk

    Quirk Senior member

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    "I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me." -Cary Grant
    I never knew that CG had a consciously-developed accent. Does anyone know whether it evolved somewhat over the course of his film career, or had it already pretty much developed into its final form by the time he started making his earliest films?
     
  18. oldseed

    oldseed Senior member

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    Sep 27, 2006
    You fashion your life based PURELY on your aspirations. As JPS said, existence before essence. You should never be hindered by where you came from or your cultural heritage.

    indeed; your post reflects very much your existence before essence philosophy. the shallowness of the approach, the emphasis on appearance over reality, feeling the pressures of your career/life/society... heidegger, of course, was another existentialist, who felt just this way, who, having felt the pressures of society, became a nazi.

    i prefer aquinas. essence over existence.

    keep the way you talk the way you talk. it will transform itself without your urging.

    seed
     
  19. BankerBoi

    BankerBoi Senior member

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    Trust me, it does NOT give you instant credibility
    everywhere. I wish I could when necessary do a greek accent when speaking
    english. Oftentimes it is better to fit in more than stand out without meaning to.


    Try to avoid the Chavspeak.
     
  20. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    I would suggest adopting Brad Pitt's dialect in Snatch [​IMG]

     

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