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 Post subject: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:11 pm 
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Here in the US on St. Patrick's Day one hears too many people trying to speak with what is commonly called an Irish lilt or accent. Do people in Ireland perceive we Yanks as speaking with an accent? The same question with a Scottish brogue.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:27 pm 
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We've all got accents - not only people from different countries, but also from different regions of a country. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:44 pm 
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Google tells me the ´American Accent´ is called RHOTIC. This means Americans (´Murcans :D ) pronounce the letter ´r´ every time it is in the spelling, and never when it is not. *
Anyone care for some ´Worcestershire Sauce´? :D
As a yout´ I participated in a summer grain harvest. There were very many Southern teenagers who came across the country to participate since there seemed little employment at home. I would amuse myself by trying to identify what States they were from by listening to their speech.

Bob

edit: *this is not entirely true as my Grandfather´s DownEast Maine accent would render ´thirty´ as something like ´thutty´.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:58 pm 
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an seanduine wrote:
This means Americans (´Murcans :D ) pronounce the letter ´r´ every time it is in the spelling, and never when it is not. *

Haven't you ever heard some Americans pronounce "wash" as "worsh"? I think that's regional, but I couldn't say where - somewhere east of Wisconsin, I tend to assume.

Then there's Archie Bunker's famous pronunciation of "toilet" as "terlet". Puts a whole new spin on the phrase, "the Queens English".

an seanduine wrote:
Anyone care for some ´Worcestershire Sauce´? :D

"Wash-yer-sister sauce".

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:05 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
Here in the US on St. Patrick's Day one hears too many people trying to speak with what is commonly called an Irish lilt or accent.

Jeez, but that's annoying as hell.

Michael w6 wrote:
Do people in Ireland perceive we Yanks as speaking with an accent? The same question with a Scottish brogue.

From what I understand, Right Pond actors are better at doing convincing Yank accents than it is the other way around. There seems to be something we get wrong every time, and it's hard for us to tell. For example, sometimes I can tell an Australian accent from an English one, but not always, and don't even ask me to tell an Aussie from a Kiwi. There are scores of English accents, and sometimes I can tell them apart, but often the differences are too subtle for my ear.

And it takes a sharp ear for a Northerner (American) to imitate a Southern accent, because there's not just one. But I think Southern accents are simply just not easy to get right if you didn't grow up there. I would have thought Kenneth Branagh did a good Southern accent in Wild Wild West, but apparently Southerners don't think so. Shows what I know. Everybody says Hugh Laurie's American accent is flawless, but not for me; if anything, I would have pegged him as Canadian, somehow. And it's hard to put my finger on why. In the upcoming movie Mrs. America, Cate Blanchett seems to have a pretty good Yank accent. I don't know how they do it.

I know a fellow from the Shetlands who can do a Midwest accent and speech patterns hilariously well. I couldn't do his, though, without sounding faux-"Scottish".

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:19 pm 
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@Nano - Yes, it is beyond annoying but the perpetrator always thinks supremely humorous. And to actors, it seems odd to be to have an actor try to imitate this or that accent. Why not cast a native speaker?

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:21 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
an seanduine wrote:
This means Americans (´Murcans :D ) pronounce the letter ´r´ every time it is in the spelling, and never when it is not. *

Haven't you ever heard some Americans pronounce "wash" as "worsh"? I think that's regional, but I couldn't say where - somewhere east of Wisconsin, I tend to assume.


Warsh is a Warshington, DC, and Maryland thing.

And a lot of Vermonters put an r at the end of the word idea, despite dropping most r's.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:25 pm 
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PS I suspect that when a Northerner (US) is imitating a Southern accent, it is quite intentionally very exaggerated to indicate ridicule.

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Last edited by Michael w6 on Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:30 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
Here in the US on St. Patrick's Day one hears too many people trying to speak with what is commonly called an Irish lilt or accent. Do people in Ireland perceive we Yanks as speaking with an accent? The same question with a Scottish brogue.

Oh, yes. I nearly fell over laughing once when a friend from England showed me his "American" accent. He sounded like someone trying to put on a cross between Southern and "cowboy," badly.


Nanohedron wrote:
Then there's Archie Bunker's famous pronunciation of "toilet" as "terlet". Puts a whole new spin on the phrase, "the Queens English".


"Terlet" for "toilet," but then "New Joisey." He swapped his "er"s and his "oi"s, lol.

I used to have fun listening to a couple of my bosses talk... one was very obviously from Noo Yawk; the other from Boston and I'd only pick it up in a few certain words. They had some great conversations, accent-wise:

"So he moved to Singapaw after his divawce."
"Oh yeah? What did he do theah?"


Nanohedron wrote:
I know a fellow from the Shetlands who can do a Midwest accent and speech patterns hilariously well. I couldn't do his, though, without sounding faux-"Scottish".

I saw a movie once-- can't remember what it was as I saw only a few minutes of it-- but it had this dialogue:

Character 1: "Where are you supposed to be from?"
Character 2: "Well, I'm from Scotland, obviously."
Character 3-- who was actually from Scotland-- as an aside to someone else: "Not any part of Scotland I know."

(Character 2 turned out to be an actor trying to pass as Scottish... can't remember why.)


I honestly don't identify with a "Midwest" accent. When people talk about it, I look at them quizzically because no one I know speaks that way-- the pronunciations, the slang, most of it is foreign to me. I'm not sure much of it applies to Michigan, except for the northern parts; more Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Although I had a friend years ago who was originally from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. When she got married, it was in her hometown. We showed up for the wedding and I couldn't figure out why I'd never before noticed her strong northern accent. Then realized: it was because it had only come back while she was there; she didn't have it living further south.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:40 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
PS I suspect that when a Northerner (US) is imitating a Southern accent, it is quite intentionally very exaggeratedly to indicate ridicule.

Not every time. Some Southern accents are very gracious and elegant-sounding, and I know some people who occasionally try to emulate such accents for that very effect.

While it's true that in the past the general Northern perception of Southern accents tended to be one of lowbrow hillfolk, I believe that perception has been losing traction, and that is a good thing.

Michael w6 wrote:
And to actors, it seems odd to be to have an actor try to imitate this or that accent. Why not cast a native speaker?

Star power.

Katharine wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Then there's Archie Bunker's famous pronunciation of "toilet" as "terlet". Puts a whole new spin on the phrase, "the Queens English".

"Terlet" for "toilet," but then "New Joisey." He swapped his "er"s and his "oi"s, lol.

That's probably the stereotypically classic feature of the Queens accent (hence my little pun, above). I don't know how common it still is, though.

Interestingly enough, you come across it in New Orleans, too.

Katharine wrote:
Character 1: "Where are you supposed to be from?"
Character 2: "Well, I'm from Scotland, obviously."
Character 3-- who was actually from Scotland-- as an aside to someone else: "Not any part of Scotland I know."

(Character 2 turned out to be an actor trying to pass as Scottish... can't remember why.)

Here's a Scottish comedy sketch of Scots trying to navigate a voice-activated elevator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMS2VnDveP8

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:08 pm 
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I know I cannot do a southern accent of any sort. But as an 18 yr old exposed to at least six distinct regional Southern accents, after about 3 mos I got fairly good at guessing where the speaker came from. This was in the early 60´s, and things may have homogenised somewhat lately. I do know the hardest ones for me to pick out were from the large metropolitan centers like Atlanta, Miami, and Dallas. . .although the Texans could give a tip-off with a different cadence. The more ´country´, the easier to distinguish. I was surprised to find the Northern Panhandle of Florida was quite distinct from just a few miles north across the border into Georgia. The Alabama natives, as well as the Floridians would be distinctly annoyed if you confused them.

A good friend related this story to me after she moved from Texas to the Winston-Salem area. She was drinking iced tea with one of her new neighbors, when she realised she no longer heard her young daughter´s voice, or any of the children´s voices for that matter. ¨Where can Mimi have gone off to?¨ ¨Oh, she´s down at the branch playing with the others.¨ delivered with a hard, long ´eye´substituted for the ´a´. ¨The what?¨. ¨The branch¨. Hannah understood her neighbor when she substituted ¨the Crick¨ for the ´branch´. ¨Creek¨ for us Northerns. . . :D

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:34 pm 
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I saw a movie once-- can't remember what it was as I saw only a few minutes of it-- but it had this dialogue:

Character 1: "Where are you supposed to be from?"
Character 2: "Well, I'm from Scotland, obviously."
Character 3-- who was actually from Scotland-- as an aside to someone else: "Not any part of Scotland I know."

(Character 2 turned out to be an actor trying to pass as Scottish... can't remember why.)


Robert Altman's Gosford Park


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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 12:35 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
an seanduine wrote:
Anyone care for some ´Worcestershire Sauce´? "Wash-yer-sister sauce".

I can't tell, but was that a serious suggestion for the pronunciation of "Worcestershire"? If so, it's way off. The pronunciation is "Wuss-t'-sheer", with the "u" to rhyme with the "oo" in "football". I've never understood the problem about pronouncing "Worcestershire", but then, I live very close to the county.

As to the OP, the American accent is very strong, wherever it comes from. On the whole, it seems very harsh to my ears, with most American accents grating quite badly. There are a few which are much nicer, seeming softer somehow, but I wouldn't have a clue where they're from. Nano's isn't too bad. :D

Mind you, we have our fair share of very harsh, grating accents here in the UK - certain Birmingham or Liverpool accents, for instance. Very strong Glasgow ... [shudder]. Go just a bit further north from Glasgow, and suddenly everyone speaks with a beautiful, soft, musical, Highland accent.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 1:23 am 
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Ben, I was told, but am not sure if this true, that the so-called ´Southern Drawl´ is derived from the southern part of England. I seem to remember Devon being pointed to as having a pronounced ´drawl´ in the time of George III, and this area contributed significant numbers of colonists. What say you?
I do know, that I have encountered some ´Glaswegian´ accents that were wholy unintelligible. :boggle:

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Irish Speak
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 2:56 am 
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an seanduine wrote:
Ben, I was told, but am not sure if this true, that the so-called ´Southern Drawl´ is derived from the southern part of England. I seem to remember Devon being pointed to as having a pronounced ´drawl´ in the time of George III, and this area contributed significant numbers of colonists. What say you?


I say I'm probably not enough of a linguist to be able to tell. However, from a purely lay point of view, I can't see the connection. The Devon accent doesn't strike me as being a 'drawl' in the same sense as the Southern drawl of the States. With the Devon accent, there is a strange sort of elongating of vowel sounds, often, and I suppose that's why it's described as a 'drawl', but, unlike in the Southern states of America, consonants are not only very distinctly pronounced, there are even additional consonants added!

an seanduine wrote:
I do know, that I have encountered some ´Glaswegian´ accents that were wholy unintelligible. :boggle:

I can manage them now, but it took decades before I was able to decipher much, if someone had a very strong Glaswegian accent.

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