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'strong' British accent

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'strong' British accent

Postby unrevealed » Sat, 02 Apr 2011 5:05 pm

Just a little wondered, when people (British included) say you’ve got a ‘strong’ British/English accent, err ‘STRONG’, is there any negative implication? I'd say yes but not quite sure. Any ideas? Remark ‘you’ = a non-English native speaker. Cheers.

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Postby QRM » Sat, 02 Apr 2011 5:14 pm

British accent as in lower class or upper class?

Both can have negative connotation depending on the context, nothing worse then some trustafarian kid slapping on the mockney accent in the hope of being a taken as a bit of a working class hero.

Equally annoying is the knob who really lays on the fake plummy accent in the hope he is perceived above his real social status.

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Postby unrevealed » Sat, 02 Apr 2011 5:45 pm

No, thanks for the scenario but it’s just not the case. I wouldn’t take it as a ridiculous effort to be perceived that way. Everyday conversations, as simple as that…in other words I would say it comes in a very natural way that you don’t really realise you’ve got quite an accent until you go out and meet up with native speakers. In this sense, what would you say about that ‘strong’?

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Postby revhappy » Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:22 pm

The term "strong" is not just used in case of british accent. It could be used for any kind of regional influence, if it is significantly different from the local. For eg. if a british goes to the US and pronounces "staff" as it should be instead of "Staaeef" like the americans do, the americans will tell him "You have a strong accent"

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:30 pm


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Postby BillyB » Sun, 03 Apr 2011 12:09 am


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Postby JR8 » Sun, 03 Apr 2011 12:53 am

unrevealed wrote:No, thanks for the scenario but it’s just not the case. I wouldn’t take it as a ridiculous effort to be perceived that way. Everyday conversations, as simple as that…in other words I would say it comes in a very natural way that you don’t really realise you’ve got quite an accent until you go out and meet up with native speakers. In this sense, what would you say about that ‘strong’?


I would not say referring to a 'strong' accent was derogatory, rather I think it would be a reference to the listener not expecting to hear it.

Example: My previous neighbour in London is a Singaporean Indian. Her accent is about as cut-glass and high-end as the Queen. It is strong, for a SGn.

A school friend of mine was a white guy from Trinidad who spoke just like a rasta (West Indian). To me that was a strong accent, for a white guy!

So to me it sounds like you are speaking better English than people expect you to!

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Postby unrevealed » Sun, 03 Apr 2011 1:03 am

JR8 wrote:
unrevealed wrote:No, thanks for the scenario but it’s just not the case. I wouldn’t take it as a ridiculous effort to be perceived that way. Everyday conversations, as simple as that…in other words I would say it comes in a very natural way that you don’t really realise you’ve got quite an accent until you go out and meet up with native speakers. In this sense, what would you say about that ‘strong’?


I would not say referring to a 'strong' accent was derogatory, rather I think it would be a reference to the listener not expecting to hear it.

Example: My previous neighbour in London is a Singaporean Indian. Her accent is about as cut-glass and high-end as the Queen. It is strong, for a SGn.

A school friend of mine was a white guy from Trinidad who spoke just like a rasta (West Indian). To me that was a strong accent, for a white guy!

So to me it sounds like you are speaking better English than people expect you to!


Well I'm not sure you're probably right but perhaps ‘strong’ means unpleasant voice *so confusing*#%#^&. It’s kind of embarrasing when you speak normal but some people look at you as if you’re trying to sound posh or whatsoever although you don’t mind admitting that there are inumerous English words you don’t even know how to pronounce precisely. And everyone knows good English speakers don’t necessarily have to sound native!
PS. Thanks for such good examples Nakatago and Billy but my voice is more girly yet stronger B-)

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 03 Apr 2011 1:17 am

unrevealed wrote:
JR8 wrote:
unrevealed wrote:No, thanks for the scenario but it’s just not the case. I wouldn’t take it as a ridiculous effort to be perceived that way. Everyday conversations, as simple as that…in other words I would say it comes in a very natural way that you don’t really realise you’ve got quite an accent until you go out and meet up with native speakers. In this sense, what would you say about that ‘strong’?


I would not say referring to a 'strong' accent was derogatory, rather I think it would be a reference to the listener not expecting to hear it.

Example: My previous neighbour in London is a Singaporean Indian. Her accent is about as cut-glass and high-end as the Queen. It is strong, for a SGn.

A school friend of mine was a white guy from Trinidad who spoke just like a rasta (West Indian). To me that was a strong accent, for a white guy!

So to me it sounds like you are speaking better English than people expect you to!


Well I'm not sure you're probably right but perhaps ‘strong’ means unpleasant voice *so confusing*#%#^&. It’s kind of embarrasing when you speak normal but some people look at you as if you’re trying to sound posh or whatsoever although you don’t mind admitting that there are inumerous English words you don’t even know how to pronounce precisely. And everyone knows good English speakers don’t necessarily have to sound native!
PS. Thanks for such good examples Nakatago and Billy but my voice is more girly yet stronger B-)



Hmmmm you might be over-thinking it!

If I am wrong, it means that people are associating your accent with a region or a social class. Do you believe you have a UK regional accent, or accent that suggests a class? Would the people that you are speaking to recognise the difference between an (say) Oxford and Essex accent?

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Postby unrevealed » Sun, 03 Apr 2011 8:26 am

JR8 wrote:
unrevealed wrote:
JR8 wrote:
unrevealed wrote:No, thanks for the scenario but it’s just not the case. I wouldn’t take it as a ridiculous effort to be perceived that way. Everyday conversations, as simple as that…in other words I would say it comes in a very natural way that you don’t really realise you’ve got quite an accent until you go out and meet up with native speakers. In this sense, what would you say about that ‘strong’?


I would not say referring to a 'strong' accent was derogatory, rather I think it would be a reference to the listener not expecting to hear it.

Example: My previous neighbour in London is a Singaporean Indian. Her accent is about as cut-glass and high-end as the Queen. It is strong, for a SGn.

A school friend of mine was a white guy from Trinidad who spoke just like a rasta (West Indian). To me that was a strong accent, for a white guy!

So to me it sounds like you are speaking better English than people expect you to!


Well I'm not sure you're probably right but perhaps ‘strong’ means unpleasant voice *so confusing*#%#^&. It’s kind of embarrasing when you speak normal but some people look at you as if you’re trying to sound posh or whatsoever although you don’t mind admitting that there are inumerous English words you don’t even know how to pronounce precisely. And everyone knows good English speakers don’t necessarily have to sound native!
PS. Thanks for such good examples Nakatago and Billy but my voice is more girly yet stronger B-)



Hmmmm you might be over-thinking it!

If I am wrong, it means that people are associating your accent with a region or a social class. Do you believe you have a UK regional accent, or accent that suggests a class? Would the people that you are speaking to recognise the difference between an (say) Oxford and Essex accent?


Ah that speaks something! Nah myself can't tell whether or not I have a UK accent to be perfectly honest! It's that people keep asking mentioning the adj 'strong'. Apart from some obvious regions say Midlands, I can hardly tell what accent you've got. Although some people I know from cities say Birmingham or Manchester asked if I lived in London but I am 100% sure my accent is nothing related to it. How can a person speak London accent whilst she has never stayed there for more than a week? Not to mention she never tries to imitate the accent, no way! That's why I found it confusing! Seriously, if you're from the UK, isn't it true that you can recognise any UK accents? Perhaps not? e.g. In my home country, we can distinguish between regions like the North or the South but can't really name the cities though.

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Postby BillyB » Sun, 03 Apr 2011 9:43 am

unrevealed wrote:
JR8 wrote:
unrevealed wrote:
JR8 wrote:
unrevealed wrote:No, thanks for the scenario but it’s just not the case. I wouldn’t take it as a ridiculous effort to be perceived that way. Everyday conversations, as simple as that…in other words I would say it comes in a very natural way that you don’t really realise you’ve got quite an accent until you go out and meet up with native speakers. In this sense, what would you say about that ‘strong’?


I would not say referring to a 'strong' accent was derogatory, rather I think it would be a reference to the listener not expecting to hear it.

Example: My previous neighbour in London is a Singaporean Indian. Her accent is about as cut-glass and high-end as the Queen. It is strong, for a SGn.

A school friend of mine was a white guy from Trinidad who spoke just like a rasta (West Indian). To me that was a strong accent, for a white guy!

So to me it sounds like you are speaking better English than people expect you to!


Well I'm not sure you're probably right but perhaps ‘strong’ means unpleasant voice *so confusing*#%#^&. It’s kind of embarrasing when you speak normal but some people look at you as if you’re trying to sound posh or whatsoever although you don’t mind admitting that there are inumerous English words you don’t even know how to pronounce precisely. And everyone knows good English speakers don’t necessarily have to sound native!
PS. Thanks for such good examples Nakatago and Billy but my voice is more girly yet stronger B-)



Hmmmm you might be over-thinking it!

If I am wrong, it means that people are associating your accent with a region or a social class. Do you believe you have a UK regional accent, or accent that suggests a class? Would the people that you are speaking to recognise the difference between an (say) Oxford and Essex accent?


Ah that speaks something! Nah myself can't tell whether or not I have a UK accent to be perfectly honest! It's that people keep asking mentioning the adj 'strong'. Apart from some obvious regions say Midlands, I can hardly tell what accent you've got. Although some people I know from cities say Birmingham or Manchester asked if I lived in London but I am 100% sure my accent is nothing related to it. How can a person speak London accent whilst she has never stayed there for more than a week? Not to mention she never tries to imitate the accent, no way! That's why I found it confusing! Seriously, if you're from the UK, isn't it true that you can recognise any UK accents? Perhaps not? e.g. In my home country, we can distinguish between regions like the North or the South but can't really name the cities though.


Don't get hung up on it. Accents are good for banter and ice breaking, and at least people will remember you!! I get asked if I'm an Aussie (frequently), Londoner (like they all sound the same??!!), Mancunian (yes 10 points, I am), Scottish, Irish and also had Canadian!! Better than being accused of being a scouser (Liverpool) which happens back home at times!!

Most Brits can tell the area your from in the U.K by accent alone but like JR8 pointed out I think people often use the term 'strong' to describe something that might fall outside their usual range of identification or you may speak more fluently than what they expect.

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Postby unrevealed » Sun, 03 Apr 2011 10:03 am

Yeah I was not meant to take it serious anyway. Killing my idle time :D

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Postby JayCee » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 12:02 pm

BillyB wrote: Better than being accused of being a scouser (Liverpool) which happens back home at times!!


You poor sod, you have my sympathy :(

JC (Mancunian too, well just outside :D )

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Postby ev-disinfection » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 4:47 pm

Any Brit, Scot, Irish who speaks proper English to your slang, will be deemed to most locals as strong. To those locals who mix a lot with Expats, will just take it as normal,

I am a Liverpool Fan. I am a scouser at heart.

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Postby JayCee » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 5:03 pm

ev-disinfection wrote:Any Brit, Scot, Irish who speaks proper English to your slang, will be deemed to most locals as strong. To those locals who mix a lot with Expats, will just take it as normal,

I am a Liverpool Fan. I am a scouser at heart.


You'd be an Everton fan if you were a real scouser :wink:


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