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Speaking English? Which accent do you prefer: American or British accent ?

Which accent are you using or trying to imitate?  Is it American, British,  Scottish, Australian, Welsh, Southern American, something totally made up, etc.
The people I've encounter all speak with American accent (never a regional accent like the Southern accent  or Bostonian accent, though).
I haven't met anyone who speaks with a British accent.   And I wonder why that is. 
Yes, I'm American. So it makes sense that the people who contact me are the ones who 'love' American culture and wish to imitate the 'American' accent. If I was a Brit, maybe things would be different.

If you have mastered English or are fairly proficient, which accent do you use ?   Do you speak with the accent you already have or try to imitate something else? 
What's the appeal ?

Dec 31, 2014 6:34 PM
Comments · 16

Is it American, British, Scottish, Australian, Welsh, Southern American..?


May I make something clear? There is no such thing as a 'British' accent. And even if there were, it would still be nonsense to list Scottish or Welsh accents as in some way different from 'British'.

Just in case you hadn't realised, Scottish people ARE British. Welsh people ARE British. Welsh and Scottish accents (of which there are many) are amongst the numerous accents one may encounter in the British Isles and may be called 'British'. 


December 31, 2014

I'm hired by people wishing to speak like the Queen of England. Or the BBC! I do a very nice Received Pronunciation for those who want to sound posh, and tone it down a little for those who merely want standard British.


It's jolly good fun, what ho!

December 31, 2014

A very good point, Mohamed Basheer. You are absolutely right.


The most important thing is to be as clear, fluent and accurate as possible. In fact, most learners will speak with their 'own' accent : try as they might, a Spanish learner will speak English with a Spanish accent and a Chinese person will speak English with a Chinese accent. And as long as people understand what they are saying, that's absolutely fine. There is no reason at all why a German businessman and an Arab businessman talking together should need to sound either British or American - all they need to do is communicate with each other. English is a worldwide language, and the main reason why most people learn it is for international communication.


There is no need to 'imitate' any native speaker pronunciation. In fact, this can often have a negative effect. There is one member on this site who is obsessed with sounding 'American', and he often posts links to videos of himself practising his accent. The first time we heard this young man speak he sounded fine. He had an obvious accent from his country of origin, but what he said was clear, fluent, and entirely comprehensible. But as he tried to sound more American, his speech became more and more strange and incomprehensible. His pronunciation became distorted and unnatural, and increasingly hard to understand. He didn't lose his native accent, but simply added what he (wrongly) believed to be authentic American sounds. The more he tried to supposedly 'improve' his pronunciation, the worse his English became.

January 1, 2015

In my opinion, I think it doesn't matter which accent are you using as long as people are understanding you, so I just try to uttering words clearly without focussing in which accent I use.

January 1, 2015

Since I got a large part of my english from movies and video games I ended with something resembling the american accent. But then I noticed  that what I speak has some british accent elements in it.

December 31, 2014
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