Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Listening: Accents

on December 20, 2014

dialect

Accents are a way of pronouncing language that is particular to an individual, place or language group. Accents can often tell us where a person lives, their socio-economic status, their ethnicity, their first language, etc…

Watch this VIDEO then, in the comments, answer one of the questions below:

1. Out of the 4 accents, which one was the most difficult to understand? What was it about that accent that made it unclear?

2. Which of those accents are you familiar with? Which one sounds the best/coolest/funniest?

3. Tohoku-ben and Kansai-ben are dialects (pronunciation and vocabulary/grammar are different), but do you know of any native-Japanese accents?

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21 responses to “Listening: Accents

  1. Wataru Kaneto (T4) says:

    2. Which of those accents are you familiar with? Which one sounds the best/coolest/funniest?

    Jordan’s ones sound the most familiar to me. While I wasn’t watching the words they four say, just listening, I was able to guess the most easily what he says, even words I don’t know. I think that is partly because he speaks clearly and slowly, partly because the way he accents is the closest to what I have learned. But it is not always the case, sometimes accents of the other guys are familiar, depending on a word.

  2. Mayu Morimoto (T4) says:

    I will ansewer the first question: 1. Out of the 4 accents, which one was the most difficult to understand? What was it about that accent that made it unclear?

    The accent spoken by Dan from Bradford, Yorkshire (northern England) was most difficult for me to understand. I think this is because he said some words not prounoucing vowels or consonants clearly. For example, I heard from him “status” as “sta-us” and “vitamin” as “vi-amin”. I also heard a word which vowels were pronounced vaguely, though considered from my experiences, it should have been said “o”.
    What is more, I think women’s voices are easier to listen for me, so this may be why I had some difficulties in listening to Dan’s accent.

  3. Tamako(T4) says:

    I would like to answer the question 2.
    2. Which of those accents are you familiar with? Which one sounds the best/coolest/funniest?
    For me, the Canadian accent seems to be more familiar than I imagined it would be– I thought I ‘d heard that before. I think Canadian accent and pronounciation are similar to that of French.
    ‘Standard’ English as we imagine is perhaps the one of South England.

    We sometimes feel a little bit strange or find some funny part in every accent in different words. It means, perhaps, that no single accent can be always the most known in every word. In Japan, too, there are different accents for words like ‘arigatou'(thanks) accent-weak or weak- accent.
    And we cannot decide which is the best.

  4. Miho Hashimoto (T4) says:

    I answer question 1.
    I think Jen’s accent which is spoken in southern England was most difficult for me.
    Compare to other three people, her accent was unclear. So at first, I couldn’t understand where the accent was. After watching this video, I noticed that Jen’s accent has some patterns.
    First, when she pronounces short words, her accent was weaker than others.
    Second, when she pronounces long words, she tends to put accents latter, even others put them follower. Also she tends to pronounce words which has two or three syllables flatly.

  5. Shizuka(T4) says:

    I answer question 2. Which of these accents are you familiar with?

    I think Jorder’s accent is most familiar with me. I guess I’d learnd American English almost every time. Jorden speak western Canadian English, and I think his accent is similar to American one.
    Not only accent, I guess pronunciation of Canadian English is similar to American one, so I may think Jorden’s accent is familiar with me.

    however, not every word which he say is familiar with me. Some words are different from the word that I know. Maybe it depends on words amd who or waht I’d been taught English, because I influenced my English teacer or English teaching materials.

  6. Hiroshi Yoshida(T4) says:

    I choose question 2.
    The accent in southern England was most familiar with me. I have been to England once when I was a high school student. The area I stayed in was southern England and that was the first time to hear real English. It was very impressive and it is easier for me to understand.
    Canadians accent was strange for me. Maybe I heard for the first time. Even though it was easier than Indian English.

  7. Wataru Yamamura(T4) says:

    I answer question No.2 (Which of those accents are you familiar with? Which one sounds the best/coolest/funniest?).
    The accents I am familiar with is Catthy’s one.Her accents is Canadian(Totonto).I think that Japanese students study American English,therefore Canadian accents are also familiar with me because Canada is next to America.From the view of geographic and historical features,America and Canada is closely related,therefore their English may be similar.
    However,Jordan’s accent(western Canada) is unfamiliar to me.Particularily,I could not understand the word “envelope”.
    This video is really interesting.The accents are different than I thought ever.

  8. Wataru Yamamura(T4) says:

    I answer question No.2 (Which of those accents are you familiar with? Which one sounds the best/coolest/funniest?).
    The accents I am familiar with is Catthy’s one.Her accents is Canadian(Toronto).I think that Japanese students study American English,therefore Canadian accents are also familiar with me because Canada is next to America.From the view of geographic and historical features,America and Canada is closely related,therefore their English may be similar.
    However,Jordan’s accent(western Canada) is unfamiliar to me.Particularily,I could not understand the word “envelope”.
    This video is really interesting.The accents are different than I thought ever.

  9. Mika Yamamori (T4) says:

    I chose the question 2.
    The accent that I’m familiar with is Kat’s accent and I think Kat’s accent is close to American accent. Also, her accent was easier for me to understand. Especially, Kat’s “figure” was different from the others’ ones in this video, I think.
    It was really interesting for me to listen to those accents because they were so different but sometimes similar to each other. Those differences are important because I think accents might be a part of personality. So, they are all cool!

  10. Natsuko Nishida says:

    I chose the question 2 : Which of these accents are you familiar with?
    I am familiar with Sorth England accent . When I watch an American moveis ,I think sometimes ” I can not understand at all what an actor or an actress says.” But when I watch an British movies ,I can sometimes understand what they say. I guessed I was familiar with American accent because maybe I studyed American English in junior high school and high school and listened to American accent. However, I was familiar with England ones. I think the reason is that England people say words ” clearly”. But I do not know distinct reason…

  11. Chinatsu Fukunaga(T4) says:

    I choose question 2, Which of those accents are you familiar with? Which one sounds the best/coolest/funniest?
    The accent spoken by Jen from Surrey, Greater London (southern England) was most familiar with me, but the best sounds for me was Jordan’s (From western Canada).
    In my dairy life, I often listen to British English because my mother always watch British dramas and films on TV.
    On the other hand, I don’t know why I caught clear sounds from Jordan’s accent but I guess that his intonation was clear or just because of his voice.

  12. Tanaka Kotaro(T4) says:

    I choose Q2.
    I am familiar with Catthy’s accent. She is Canadian, so I think Japanese students are her accent because we study American English. America is next to Canada. I think different of accents are connected geographic relation.
    And I think Dan’s English from northern England is best because that give calm impression. But I don’t know that is feature of northern England or Dan’s one.

  13. Emi Enomoto says:

    I chose question2.
    The accent of Jane, from southern England, was most familiar with me. I watched this video in this way; pronouncing the word on the screen at the same time and compareing it with theirs, and at the end, Jane’s accent was almost the same with mine. That’s why I thought her accent was most familiar with me. The accent of Jordan, from western Canada, sound coolest, because he pronounced the words very clearly. The funniest one was that of Dan, from northern England, because it sounds unclear and flat, but tipical British-English, which I listened on the radio. I like his accent, but it was the most unfamiliar one.

  14. Akira Katagata(T4) says:

    I choose question1.
    I think Canadian’s accent is easiest to listen to. In japan, students keep learning American accent’s English from elementary school to university. That’s probably because I familiar with Canadian’s one.
    On the other hand, accents in northern England is most difficult for me. People in northern England pronounce each word in a bit different way, so I felt very difficult to understand a whole content.

  15. Akane Okumura says:

    I choose question 1.
    I think the accent of British is difficult to understand, especially southern England’s accent is difficult for me. She pronounced words evenly and opened her mouth slightly, I think these made her accent unclear. I think if I talked with her on the phone, I could not understand what she says.

  16. Nanami Ozaki (T4) says:

    I chose the question 2.
    I think I am familiar with the accent of the woman who is from eastern Canada. I think her accent is similar to American accent. It is easier to heard what she said than others said.

  17. Ryohei Kamiya (T4) says:

    I answer the 2nd question.
    I generally felt more familiar with British accents, partly because for many Japanese people it is heard, written and used more frequently than Canadian accent. When I was studying English for the entrance exam, I often listened to British radio program, and some words of British English are written in English dictionary.
    But I felt more familiar with the Canadian accent of “vitamin” and felt that it is cool, perhaps because I’m used to pronounce “i” as “ai”.

  18. Ayaka Sakuma(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 1: Out of the 4 accents, which one was the most difficult to understand? What was it about that accent that made it unclear?
    I felt that Dan’s accent is the most difficult for me to listen and to understand, because his accent is weak or unclear. I cannot find which part of a word is pronounced strongly.

  19. Shota Nihi says:

    I choose question 1.
    It is the most difficult for me to understand Canadian accents. I think he said the words with his tongue more than others, and his voices sound law, so accents are unclear.

  20. Kentaro Ando says:

    I will answer question no1. I know Okinawa-ben. It is very different from ordinal Japanese. So, I can’t understand what people of Okinawa speak in Okinawa-ben. Okinawa was separated with Japan and independent from Japan and China. Okinawa-ben has different noun. So if men want to say hello, men should say “Haisai” and women want to say hello, women should say “Haitai”

  21. Shintaro Murakami(T4) says:

    Q2.

    I’m familiar with the accent of Tront.
    I think it is because Tront is near from the States . We learned American English. Accent of Tront sounds similar to American one.

    The coolest one to me is Jourdan’s one .He is also from Canada. He speaks with trill and it sounds cool.

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