How to Speak in a British Accent
How to Speak in a British Accent. Trying to speak in a British accent is not really easy. Along with the accent are mannerisms that go along with the British themselves. There are hundreds of different accents within the United Kingdom, so categorizing them all as a British accent is rather incorrect; wherever you go you will find an unbelievable variety of different pronunciations. The following directions describe 'Queen's English', rarely ever used in the modern day United Kingdom, but the foreigners stereotypical view of how the British talk.
- First of all you should Pay attention to the tones and stress (emphasis) used throughout spoken sentences by British people. Do sentences generally end on a higher note, or the same, or lower? How much variation is there in tone throughout a typical sentence? There is a huge variation between regions with tonality.
- Know that some British accents may be that the 'T's are not pronounced and that the u in stupid and duty is pronounced with the y sound, not oo as in an American accent; thus it is pronounced stewpid, not stoopid, etc. The standard English accent, the a (for example in father) is pronounced aah, not like a like apple.
- Vowel usage also varies greatly across the UK. Vowels in words such as "about" would be rounded in London, but usually flattened in Northern Ireland. Get a British person to say well known sentences such as "How now brown cow" and "The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain".
- In some regions, sometimes two or more vowels together prompt the creation of an extra syllable. For example, the word "road" would usually be pronounced rohd, but in Wales and with some people in Northern Ireland it might be pronounced row-ahd.
- Pronounce that T as T, and not an American D. (Duty is pronounced Dyuty or condensed slightly to Jooty; not doody).
- Pronounce the suffix - ing with the g, so it sounds like -ing rather than -een. But sometimes it is shortened to in as in looking.
- Applying the two steps above, the words human being are pronounced h-yuman being rather than yooman been. In certain areas though it would be pronounced h-yuman bee-in.
- Sometimes 'T's aren't pronounced at all, especially in words with two 'T's grouped together (this is known as the glottal stop, and is common in American English pronunciation). So battle might be pronounced Ba-ill, catching the air behind the back of the tongue at the end of the first syllable before expelling it on pronunciation of the second syllable.
- Sometimes the 'H' is not pronounced, in some accents. The 'H' is always pronounced with the word herb, in contrast to American erb.
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