Tag Archives: accents

Are Some People Really Better at Accents Than Others?


We all have that one friend who is capable of mimicking a wide array of accents with perfect ease. Being able to imitate Christopher Walken or Salma Hayek to perfection certainly makes for a cool party trick, but there’s also the subconscious side to being able to pick up accents with ease: you begin to(…)

Language Variations: The USA May be United, But its English is Divided


Whether English is your native language or an adopted language you’re working on perfecting, you’ve certainly noticed that not all English sounds the same. British and American takes on the language are notably different, with each country having not only its own set of pronunciations, but its own vocabulary which the other knows little about.(…)

A New York voice provides safe crossing in the city

One man has become the soundtrack to some New York City streets. Dennis Ferrara is a supervisor electrician for the city’s Transportation Department. He’s also the voice of pedestrian signals at 15 intersections, helping pedestrians get across the road safely. There’s nothing unusual about that, you may think. But Mr Ferrara’s voice stands out for(…)

Meryl Streep says accents are easy

Most of us have trouble with accents. Whether we’re putting on a comedy voice for friends or trying to adopt a Parisian French accent, it’s a bit of a struggle. Meryl Streep has done Australian, Italian, Danish, and a host of other accents over her career, and describes it as “the easiest thing I do”.(…)

Can speech recognition software handle accents?

An interesting article on Slate.com looks at whether the new iPhone’s speech recognition software can handle different accents. The question is particularly important since the phone has the capability to be used in any country in the world. And the answer is yes, due to programmers ‘training’ the system. This is done by feeding in(…)

British accent butchered

Having praised British actors for their convincing American accents a couple of posts ago, now I’m going to highlight a slideshow that mostly criticises American actors for their terrible ‘British’ accents. First of all, I’d like to point out that there is no such thing as a ‘British’ accent. What people generally mean by ‘British’(…)

American accents done by non-Americans

Over at the Dialect Blog they’ve listed their top 10 American accents done by non-Americans. The post is based on an article at USA Today which looked at American accents by non-American TV actors. The two lists are united in choosing Hugh Laurie (House) and Idris Elba (The Wire) as having excellent American accents. Having(…)