What do you sound like?

What do you sound like?

Not your playing this time, but your speech! This is a bit of a silly thread to post I suppose, but when I read other people’s contributions in my head, they come out in my own accent, and I have to remind myself that that person wouldn’t actually sound like that. And then I start wondering what they would sound like in real life. Sometimes somebody will come up with a strange turn of phrase that I have to look up in an online dictionary, and I’m suddenly reminded that I’m talking to people from places all over the world that I’ve never been to. Often the dictionary reveals something really interesting about the origins of the phrase, or that it’s peculiar to a certain country. I hope I’m not rehashing something that’s been done before…

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Well, you know what I sound like, Dow!

Your post reminds me of this natty little site I discovered the other day whilst hunting out technical style guides from different countries:

http://www.peak.org/~jeremy/dictionary/

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That’s a really interesting site. I can see lots of American words that get used in the UK and Oz also, but there are also heaps I’ve never even heard before.

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Check out the Whoohoo translators on the links page - there’s an Irish one, a Brummie one, a Yorkshire Chicken Run one…

Ahem, sorry, back on topic now, I’ll go back to work!

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I learnt english talking to British and Canadian friends, and then I married an Irishwoman. So according to me wife I speak now with Cork accent with canadian/american touches and some funny english pronounced words. She used to laugh at my british pronunciation of ‘Leinster’, for instance.

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I didn’t realise our piper was German for ages until it came up in conversation. I was really shocked because he has quite a strong Irish accent from having spent lots of time over there. I can hear the German now it’s been pointed out to me though.

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GoodthingwedontalltalkYorkshireintit?
Thanoz.

I had a look at the Whoohoo site and it amused me a great deal, being a regional accent listener.

The Geordie transleetor did well with these two well nurn Geordie freezes.

Anyonyezanyonyer

and

Hoyanamerowerear

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The Whoohoo thing’s clever isn’t it? I haven’t been able to catch it out yet…

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I’m spent my life working my way south from Newcastle via Leeds to London, so hoy us a stottie cake ower heah for me whippet tha knows innit? Reminds me of that well known Yorkshire phrase "tintintin" 🙂

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Sort of a slow cross between English West Country and western Welsh.
Trevor

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Hopefully I don’t have to much of a "Philly" accent—which is most prevalent in South Phila, Northeast Phila, and other neighborhoods.

Think Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky". Say the word water but pronouce it "wooder". Say the word Philadelphia, and pronounce it "Fluff-ya". say the word hoagie (you guys know what a hoagie is?) pronounce it "hooooooagie". Say the phrase "you guys" and pronounce it "youse guys".

That’s *not* me.

I do try to speak clearly and enunciate. Sometimes people say I have a bit of a "sing-songy-ness" to my speech.

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Coronation Street (but with Scottish words like "we" and "clipe"

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LOL @ Andee. And @ Michael - I’ve always read your posts in a sort dry, crisp Edinburgh accent, but now I’ve got to have a complete rethink on this. Maaaachaelll with a Coronation St accent - that’s brilliant!

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I sound just like Orson, and we can quite easily fool friends and relatives if we phone up and keep everything monosyllabic.

"your consonants may come and go but your vowels are with you till the end"

A quick test: You may be from my part of the world if you find difficulty in saying:

"the slug pushed through a clump of lupins"

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I started saying more consonants when I came to Australia so that I could actually have conversations with people without them just staring at me blankly.

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Boutyeeebiglod?

That’s me

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I once went to Belfast with a bunch of mates, and we were on our way back to our hostel one night when we passed a young man walking in the opposite direction on the other side of the road. One of my friends must have looked at him, not threateningly or anything, y’know how sometimes you just happen to look at someone walking past you for no particular reason? Anyway this guy said "whaaayewwlukkenatyefukkenRUNT" and scared the living scheidt out of my friend. I remember thinking how it had tripped so fluently off that guy’s tongue that if you ignored the content of the utterance it was actually incredibly beautiful :-]

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Ah don’t be startin’, your making me homesick! *sigh*

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Some members are quite easy to imagine. I always hear a touch of a Glasgow accent with Danny , a Northern Irish twang with Breandan, a soft American accent from Andee and so on. I can also detect touches of Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian from our Scandinavian members. The problem is though that we mostly write our posts in something approximating standard English, although you get the odd American word and unusual sentence construction—though it’s often laziness(at least with me). Our own dialects don’t seem to come through in the written word.
I always had a particular picture of Tanya in my head with her "u wanna stap playin’ The lark in the morning, dude" style. However, we have since learned that she didn’t really exist so it just shows how easily we can be misled. 🙂

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Let’s just translate Conán’s post back into "NornIrn" shall we?

"Giveoverbiglod, yermakinmebodforhome, soy’are!"

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Stands back and gazes admiringly …

"Thereyegobh’y; quareprapperbluddyorder, soitis!"

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Imagine a skinny version of Rab C. Nebitt with considerably less hair and ah’m yer man… noo, geezabrek, eh?

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Hey John, don’t forget about the high heels that she used to threaten people with if they ever played any bluegrass or old timey stuff at her session…..but you’re right, she’s like the Easter Bunny, she doesn’t really exist..

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I used to speak with a perfect American (northeast?) accent. But I picked up an Edinburgh accent while studying there. When I arrived here in Yorkshire, almost no one understood me. I don’t know how I sound like now, but am pretty sure I don’t have any trace of Asian accents.

I heard the video of "Trainspotting" is sold with subtitles in the States. Is it true?

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Being from Central Pennsylvania in the US, I speak US English with (pretty much) no discernable accent at all. "Northeastern Blah" we sometimes call it.

However, I occasionally catch myself using some little Amish-isms. The Amish, or PA Dutch, are Germanic-decendant, very strictly religious, agrarian people who don’t believe in modern life, have no electricity, wear mostly black, make beautiful quilts, and drive horse-and-buggies: http://www.800padutch.com/

Things like "I’m going to the store, do you want to come with." or "My car needs washed."

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That’s just like things we say in our dialect, although it’s actually direct from Gaelic.

Things like: "Have you your homework done?", or "I’ve my dinner ate ages ago" ;it’s because Irish, like German , puts the participle at the end.

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My voice sounds like a kind of cross between James Robertson Justice and James Earl Jones.
Well in my head anyway.

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Well Howdie y’all.
Sorry couldn’t resist:- )

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Anyone see the movie "Fargo"? Well, I don’t sound like that. I do occasionally elongate(sp?) my O’s. my t’s sometimes turn to d’s (letter=ledder) I’m working on that though. I took a diction class in college as part of my theatre major, now I can’t seem to let well enough alone.

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My accent is pretty much the standard West-coast-of-America thing, fairly soft and not at all twangy (the antithesis of John Wayne, *grin*). I’m unusual in native-born residents of this locale in that I _don’t_ have the "Worshington State" accent; I wahsh my hands, not worsh them!
What makes my speech weird is that I was raised by middle-aged parents who came from upstate New York, my Mom’s parents were emigrants from Caernarvon, and my siblings are a lot older than I am (we were spread out over 16 years). Plus I grew up reading British books. Plus I quote from books I’ve read, songs I’ve heard, old comic strips, and old jokes. So I use a patchwork quilt of non-local, decades-old, often non-American phrases and slang terms and so on. I consciously try to edit them in a forum like this. Nobody but my husband actually understands the way I talk when I don’t edit for the company I’m in.
BTW, I do love trying to imagine what the folks on thesession sound like in real life, and I’m enjoying this thread!
Sara

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What! Tanya wasn’t real! That’s put a real dampener on my fantasies! Would someone tell me the truth about Tanya?

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There are several theories regarding who was behind Tanya…..some claim it was someone from the UK. Yet her Hotmail email address had an IP address in Canterbury Australia…hmmm..

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Oh, yeah, in regards to the question- I would have to say I have a very generic American accent from living on both the west and east coast and various points in between.

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I have a Mid-Ulster accent which has been softened somewhat by years of living in London so I’ve had to drop a lot of the colloquialisms from my speech. That’s why I enjoy rediscovering them again when I visit home or when Conan comes out with words like boke.
BTW if you do a google on "ulster dialect" you will find a host of (useless) info. There seems to be a movement afoot to get "Ulster Scots" recognised as a language in its own right. In my view this is b*ll*cks. Although it does have a certain number of its own words and expressions, most of the vocabulary is simply English spoken in an incomprehensible accent. It doesn’t have its own grammar, which I believe to be required in order to be considered a language. Some people will d anything to get a Ph.D. It’s enough to scunder ye. Still, if you want to hear it go to http://www.ulsterscotsagency.com/testyourself.asp and click the Audio link.
No doubt, you can probably take a degree to larn yerself Ulster. Then you will be able to take a dander down the Garvaghy Road and shout " g’longerthayefeenianb*at*rd" with just the right inflexion.

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When I was a kid (8-10 yrs of age) I used to spend the summer hols with my cousins in Andytown, in the shadow of the Black Mountain. I remember my parents saying I had a distinct norniron accent every time I came back.
That has long since rubbed off, though, and I think I speak with a London accent which is neither cockney nor estuary.
I find it difficult to be objective about my own accent. We always get a surprise the first time we hear our voice recorded.
I´ve met and spoken to a few people on this site - Conan, Helen, Paul, Bigdave - and perhaps they would be the best judges as to what accent I have.
I think if I lived in Ireland I would very soon slip into the way of speaking (rather than just the accent) that they have there. But the same thing could be said if I went to live in US, Oz, NZ, S. Africa or anywhere else where there are different varieties of spoken English.

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Durt cheap Scottish, naw Glesga accent, whit’s wrang wi’ that? Dinna you you start on me pal, or ah’ll huv ye fur brekkfast! Um a right or a meringue? Oh, an ma fiddle playin sounds 100 better than ma voice .. OK Mr Dow bloke? You payin? Ah’m stayin’!!! Pint of best ale, cheers!! 🙂

Jim

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It is indeed difficult to be objective about one’s own accent, even if you listen to a recording of it. In my case the description of my voice was given by the instructor on a course on presentations I attended at work some years ago. Everyone on the course was given this assessment.
Trevor

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Long words such as the "quarepapperbloddyorder" above,or the bit of poetry: "whajjalookinatyouolbeejeezus", are like dotcom addresses.[getthebestdealhere.com]

We read in a different way than ever before. We don’t read books, we read conversations.

I don’t recgonize my voice when it’s recorded. What are these mirrors and reflections?

I understand my voice to be a bit clippy. I say aboot instead of abouwt (about), and when soused I like to talk in accents…

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For some reason I’ve always imagined Joyce to have a non-standard American accent. And Trevor I’ve always thought might have Received Pronunciation. I can’t imagine what a mix of West Country and western Welsh must sound like. Like a sing-song Somerset farmer’s accent?!

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A lot of people say they don’t like the Ulster accent but I love it. I’ll never forget that incident in Belfast because we had a laugh about it later (out of the man’s earshot of course) - it was amusing how his lips curled into a sort of square shape and hardly moved at all and then these profanities just flowed out in beautiful singsong intonation, almost like he said it 100 times a day to everyone he met.

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The better I feel the less you’ll hear of my German accent. Anyway - after a couple of days back up in Donny I used to sound like a female Geoff Wright😉

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Mark, the funny thing is that many Americans think I have a slight accent and can’t really put their finger on it. I ususally mimic (w/o thinking about it) the people I’m surrounded by. The people closest to me throughout my life have had all kinds of wild and crazy accents. But I really think that after mixing it up so much throughout my life and never staying put in one location, I’m left with a very neutral American accent.

After spending a week with Emily at Gaelic Roots and FKW, I came home with some of her phrases and expressions. After spending weekends with my friend who’s origianlly from Cork and now living in Boston, I definitely come back with some good ones! 🙂

Joyce

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sorry, no spell check at home here…and it shows!!

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Some of Em’s expressions? Like what? G’wan give us a laugh.

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Veronica (Vboyd), isn´t it true that all Canadians say "aboot" instead of "abowt" ?
That´s the only way I can tell a Canadian from a US citizen.
Mike

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So that’s the only way, EH? 🙂

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Kuec: I find a couple of minutes in Donny has that effect on me. Whenever the train from London pulls into the station and all the locals get on, I think what broad, coarse accents they’ve got. And by the time we get to Leeds I’m talking just like them 🙂

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"Whoa Patsy, did you, like, see, like that English concertina player dude? Like, omigod, totally awesome! He’s like a total rock star!"

Should I translate into Navajo?

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My speech is a total dog’s breakfast. Grew up in Colorado, lived in Edinburgh for 20 years with Geordie and Belfast natives as major influences in my life. Trouble is I’m a bit of a sponge, or something, when it comes to both usage and pronunciation, but the one thing I notice I never lose is the Colorado INTONATION.
My usage and pronunciation tend to be Scots without me thinking about it, which has the effect that if I meet Americans they usually think I’m Scottish, because they don’t hear anything strange in the intonation, they just pick up on my turn of phrase and pronunciation. But folk from almost anywhere else in the world spot me as an American immediately. It’s something to do with the way different cultures resonate their voices - the degree of throatiness/nasalness etc. It seems to be much easier to alter when singing than speaking.

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yes.. this is true, Abawout, aboot are good gauges of american/canadian,, and of course all other words of silmilar vowel structure,, but it is a lot more complicated, because of the vast west-east thing, which creates a colloquial north south influence across the bordre.

amazing language this english. so many varieties and accents….

Btw murf, i have been in Bilbao..msny years ago i was on a boat that sailed from Baltimore, Co cork to Ceuta..amazing trip. No sessions out on the water though, and in those days i wouldnt have known what a session was.. was…so, murf, are you basque, or spanish or an import from Eire? Do you mind me asking? is there a lot of english language there?

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LOL @ Em! Intonation is usually the first thing to change for me. I’m having to fight Aussie intonation. Young people here have this annoying way of going up at the end of their sentences? Like everything’s a question? Like, even when it’s not a question? It makes me want to say "will you *please* let your voice fall, just once, pleeeease?" The thing is that it’s so easy to pick up? See, I’m doing it again 🙂

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it’s the insecurity? of youth? eh?

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It´s all in my bio, Veronica. Just click on my name and all will be revealed!
Surprised to hear that a passenger ship from Ireland called at Bilbao -unless you were crew on a merchant ship. We have a twice weekly ferry to Portsmouth(UK) but nothing to Ireland as yet. If it ever did happen, it would surely go to Cork and would probably take 2 days and 2 nights - so long that it would be the longest ferry in Europe and might not even qualify for the decription "ferry".
Great potential for a session though!!
Mike

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I’m afraid I let my dear old countrymen down by not sounding especially Sarth Effriken, you’ll be pleased to hear… suppose "shabby RP" will do as a description.

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Dow, after my Aberdonian wife had spent a couple of years in Oz, I said, "you know, when you go back to Scotland, people will say you have picked up an Aussie accent"
Without thinking she said "Yer reckon?"

I’m a dog’s breakfast too, I’m quite sure in my head that I speak with the same accent I grew up with but after 23 years in Scotland it seems something has rubbed off. That Aussie rising intonation thing was just coming in when I was young - I thought at the time that it was imitating the California "Valley Girl" sound but I’m not sure why - surf culture maybe. It sort of subsitutes for the UK habit of adding "..don’t they?" or "….doesn’t it?" or " …innit?" to sentences that are not really questions. "Dey do dough, don’t dey?"

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sound European with a hint of French, London and even Glasgow (my husband’s to blame on the last one)

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Before or after my morning coffee? (-;

We moved all over the US, with some extended time in Europe before I struck out on my own, so I don’t recognize any accent in my speech. A professional good with dialects could probably trace that I’m originally from South Carolina, but only by remnants of word usage. If it comes to it, a proper Charlestonian doesn’t really sound like anyone’s stereotypical Southerner, in any case.

Snarkhunter

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Canadians say "a-bowt". Americans say "a-baht". I don’t know how we got this reputation for saying "a-boot". That’s Scottish, not Canadian, eh?

My mom and I both pronounce "always" as "ah-weez". We are the only two people on earth over the age of three who do this as far as I can tell. Other than that, I have a pretty standard non-accent, as do most Canadians - we pronounce all the letters you can see on a printed page. (Ie. "My neighbour has a plough" = "my na-eeg-hi-bower has a ploh-ug-ah").

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ha ha…… I, for one, do not say my Na Eeg High Bow-er has a Plough ugh ha

mebbe it’s the imagery I am stumbling thru? 🙂