Cher lecteur : l'accent sur l'accent anglais!

Cher lecteur : l'accent sur l'accent anglais!

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Salut Cher lecteur,

Aujourd'hui, nous allons aborder des questions sur l'accent anglais. Bonne lecture.

COMMENTAIRE

Hello Fabien !

A few ideas about the French accent in foreign languages:

1. I think one of the reasons some people have got such a bad accent is that they don't want (consciously or unconsciously) to lose their french accent : I mean they don't dare to speak without their French accent. Having a good accent means other French people can laugh at them: "how ridiculous"!
Hard to believe, but this does exist!! (Regarde celui-là, il se la joue British, etc...) and French people don't want to look ridiculous... Having a good accent means being a good pupil (le bon de la classe, le premier de la classe, etc...) and it is better considered, when you are a tough guy!!! (un rebelle, etc...) Bref, c'est encore mal vu d'être un "bon élève" !!

2. Secondly, accent has something to do with ear and music and length of waves... Tomatis' theory is that you can't reproduce a sound you can't ear... so training your ear to other frequencies (the French language has reduced frequencies compared to the Russian language, for instance...) could help considerably to improve your accent... (see Tomatis' theories.) Of course accent, has something to
do with the surroundings, your environment...

Ceci dit,, je dirais que c'est bien qu'un étranger garde un très très léger soupçon d'accent, presque imperceptible... c'est beaucoup plus charmant. Mais vraiment très, très léger..... 2% ! En général, c'est toujours le cas, sauf pour ceux qui ont quitté leur pays depuis des dizaines et des dizaines d'années... et encore...

Enjoy your stay ...
MF
(sorry for possible mistakes... that was my English writiting training for the day! I'll have later a video training, with a new episode of two men and a half... great fun.)

MES COMMENTAIRES :

Hello Marie-Françoise,

Thanks for the input!

I totally agree about the "wanting to keep one's accent" part, and for sure either consciously or not. People often times get stuck at the same stage in life simply because they don't want/accept to change. While we all want to change at least a few things to be honest... Anyways. That's still a good thing, though, as this tells us what the first step is, quite simply: WANTING to change your accent!

You also point out at how people act within a group. Which says two things:

When people want to make fun of an accent, they usually manage to!

What does this tell us? Well, for one thing, it tells us that people have the ABILITY to borrow an accent if they're so inclined! People are more or less successful in doing that on the fly, but once you get training for that, well, it's sure gonna help. That's easy: if you can do it to some extent in 30 sec, then you sure can do a whole lot better in, say, 30 days.


People always take the group into account. As the saying goes, "Birds of a feather, flock together."

What this also means is that, when someone sticks to English-speaking stuff, and therefore makes it familiar to him, then it will ALSO be natural to him to speak as his "flock" does. And it does not matter whether the familiarity comes from real people or from the media.

To sum it up : if hearing truly English words/voices is familiar, then it will also be natural to speak that way. Moreover, familiarity really breeds self-confidence when it comes to languages.


What you say about music theory... I've heard the same thing from someone's whose work is teaching perfect pitch (hearing music tones "perfectly", that is to say being able to name and produce any given tone on command). He'd mentioned he had a linguist once come to his class even though the guy was not a musician, just in order to better train his ear... Makes you think.

Thanks for reading. Have a nice week-end!
Fabien


COMMENTAIRE

Dear Fabien,

I was quite surprised to read your letter concerning your 'French' accent when you speak in English. Why do you have to be so disappointed with your French accent? For me, I don't really care about accents. If you are understood and can understand any English speaking person, that's marvelous!

Anyway, which is the best English accent? When we talk about the American accent, in fact, we should say American accents as someone coming from Texas will definitely have a different accent from the person coming from Florida, etc. The same thing applies to someone living in London and to another person living in Ireland, or in Australia, or in Canada, etc. What is important is the intonation of a word or of a sentence! If you are fluent in English, it's just perfect. Of course, if you are often with English speaking people, you might change your way of talking. Anyway, I really think that one should be proud of his "own" accent; it's his trade mark!

Best regards,
Nicole

MES COMMENTAIRES :

Hello Nicole,

I get what you're pointing at. And I sure agree with the "trademark" thing: I sure think it's cool that the fact that we're unique shows up to the way we talk. That's part of us.

My wanting to smoothen my accent further has a lot to do with freedom I guess. I mean, if I'm abroad and speak the language, I want to be able to totally melt with the people if I want to. It's not about becoming a clone of the locals, it's about being able to ease things out. Even if people understand you properly and without a problem, that does not mean they consider you the same way they would if you did not have an accent. Maybe that's a tad pessimistic but I think it holds some truth. I should add that the English accents are just so diverse... I'd rather have any English accent than a French one, they already have enough to do getting used to each other's English accent!

An other reason is quite simply that I don't think the French accent in English sounds all that cool. I mean, if I wanted to go out and hit on girls I might play on it a little (but let's not talk about my private life here!). Basically, I just don't like the sound, the music, of it, much. My French accent is pretty light but I think a mix of the English accents I like sounds cooler. This is probably more about the voice than it is about the language after all. For example I like having a deep voice better than having a high-pitched voice any time. Well here this is similar, I'd rather have an American'ish voice rather than a Frenchy voice when I talk (at the moment it's like 70-30% of each).


As for the better English accents... I'd say the best English accent is: the one you LIKE most :)

Thank God, nowadays people seem to be pretty respectful of accents. Yet this has not always been the case, especially in the U.K. (at some point there, the London/BBC/Queen accent was deemed prestigious, "better" than the regional accents ; nowadays, it's rather considered "official" sounding or "posh", not "better").

If we want to talk about reference accents though, the two main accents would be:
- The Standard accent (also called General American or Midwest accent) in the U.S. This is how people sound on CNN.
- The Received Pronunciation (also called a London accent, the BBC accent, the Queen's English) in the U.K. Well, obviously, this is how people sound on the B.B.C. That being said, the BBC is nowadays open to all sorts of accents (which wasn't always the case).

As you can see, both have to do with the media, especially the news, on TV! That makes sense seeing as, on TV (or the radio in the past), you'd try and place people that anyone in the country can understand. You've got a list of other widespread accents in my eBook, that's on pp.69-71.

What would be way cool too, is being able to impersonate any accent, from any region in the U.K. or U.S.... I'll have to think of something here. Maybe hire David Bowie to do it or something!

Well, thank you for reading and have yourself a nice week-end!
Fabien


QUESTION

Bonjour

Fabien comment je dois m'inscrire à ce cours d'anglais, quelles sont les procédures?
Merci d avance

Bien a vous,
Kacem


MES COMMENTAIRES :

Bonjour Kacem,

En fait, mon cours d'anglais consiste en un livre électronique rempli de techniques pour pratiquer l'anglais tous les jours tout en se faisant plaisir. Vous pouvez commander le livre ici pour le télécharger juste après :

bilingueanglais.com/boutique/

En plus, tant que je peux me le permettre, j'en profite : j'offre actuellement un an de support illimité par e-mail aux personnes qui commandent le livre. Cela veut dire que, pendant un an, on peut me poser toutes les questions que l'on veut, peu importe à quel point elle peut sembler bête ou compliquée : je réponds avec les solutions pour avancer. C'est LA solution anti-panne en anglais.

Et comme toujours, il y a une garantie Satisfait ou Remboursé, parce que je ne veux que des clients satisfaits, je ne veux pas de personnes frustrées sur mon site. (Dans la vie, je suis un client exigeant, alors, sur mon web, j'essaye d'être un professionnel sérieux.)

J'espère que ceci répond à vos questions et me tiens à disposition pour de plus amples informations.

Bonne réception,
Fabien




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