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Old 03-26-2013, 06:58 PM
 
Location: 112 Ocean Avenue
5,706 posts, read 7,891,229 times
Reputation: 8873

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You betcha.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:19 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,130,167 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geggo View Post
What makes you believe I would not realise that?

I am referring to the average non-native speaker who does not or is not able to differentiate between whatever regional dialect (or accent, if you like) there is. Most of them can differentiate between American and British English, but not beyond.

I am sure you know that there are at least as many German dialects/accents as there are English ones, but as an non-speaker of my variety of German you would not be able to distinguish the differences between the local dialects of the two German villages being spaced 3 kms apart where I grew up.

Dialects exist on many levels and can be different from village to village. So although I am aware that there are many different dialects in every country, I am not even able to differentiate between some dialects in my own country. For example, the German spoken in the northern German cities of Hamburg and Bremen differ, but as I speak a German which is close to Swiss German I am unable to understand these differences.

So this is my point - regardless how many different English/German/French... accents or dialects there may be, to the average non-native Speaker these accents all sound quite the same. And if you were taught standard French or German in school, you will, at least initially, be quite shocked to hear the local French or German dialect/accent, and possibly dislike it or even won't understand at all.

At least this is what all my interns told me (who studied translation and German at BA or MA level), and they came from all over the UK, and also France, Russia and China. So for them to communicate with me I have to speak standard German to them and not the dialect I was brought up with.
Maybe you just don't have a keen ear for different sounds? Purely from the sounds alone, I would think someone who understands no English could easily differentiate say a SE English, American and Scottish accent. They could also differentiate Yorkshire and Cornwall. I can't speak Mandarin, for instance, yet can tell the difference between northern and southern dialects.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Texas
843 posts, read 1,321,148 times
Reputation: 489
Way better than Indian accent and British accent.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:31 AM
 
Location: Germany
797 posts, read 1,327,744 times
Reputation: 1176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I can't speak Mandarin, for instance, yet can tell the difference between northern and southern dialects.
Yes, but I assume that two conditions are met in your case.
1. You are exposed to Chinese speakers quite often.
2. Someone/they told you that they come from different areas.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:31 AM
 
Location: SE UK
7,167 posts, read 6,010,671 times
Reputation: 4787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geggo View Post
What makes you believe I would not realise that?

I am referring to the average non-native speaker who does not or is not able to differentiate between whatever regional dialect (or accent, if you like) there is. Most of them can differentiate between American and British English, but not beyond.

I am sure you know that there are at least as many German dialects/accents as there are English ones, but as an non-speaker of my variety of German you would not be able to distinguish the differences between the local dialects of the two German villages being spaced 3 kms apart where I grew up.

Dialects exist on many levels and can be different from village to village. So although I am aware that there are many different dialects in every country, I am not even able to differentiate between some dialects in my own country. For example, the German spoken in the northern German cities of Hamburg and Bremen differ, but as I speak a German which is close to Swiss German I am unable to understand these differences.

So this is my point - regardless how many different English/German/French... accents or dialects there may be, to the average non-native Speaker these accents all sound quite the same. And if you were taught standard French or German in school, you will, at least initially, be quite shocked to hear the local French or German dialect/accent, and possibly dislike it or even won't understand at all.

At least this is what all my interns told me (who studied translation and German at BA or MA level), and they came from all over the UK, and also France, Russia and China. So for them to communicate with me I have to speak standard German to them and not the dialect I was brought up with.
I can understand what you are saying Geggo, and of course I agree that as a non native English speaker it is harder to differentiate accents. I guess the point I am trying to make is that different British accents are SO different that if you can tell the difference between an American and British accent then I am very sure you will also be able to tell a difference between the different British accents.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:37 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,130,167 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geggo View Post
Yes, but I assume that two conditions are met in your case.
1. You are exposed to Chinese speakers quite often.
2. Someone/they told you that they come from different areas.
That is true, and I've also been to China (spending 3 weeks travelling around China).
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:26 AM
 
381 posts, read 735,091 times
Reputation: 286
The American standard accent is far nicer and intelligible that the English standard accent. The Queen's English sounds truly idiotic.

I love American English spoken by old and cultured blacks, Morgan Freeman, etc.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:51 AM
 
Location: SE UK
7,167 posts, read 6,010,671 times
Reputation: 4787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Komodo666 View Post
The American standard accent is far nicer and intelligible that the English standard accent. The Queen's English sounds truly idiotic.

I love American English spoken by old and cultured blacks, Morgan Freeman, etc.
There is no English 'standard' accent? The Queens english is not spoken by a VAST majority of Britains! Also please can you explain to me exactly why the Queens english sounds 'idiotic'?
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
3,067 posts, read 3,361,974 times
Reputation: 2133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinx View Post
I find it amazing that people from many countries retain a strong native accent 50 years after having moved to the US!! And it's not from lack of exposure or interaction -- these are very active people who converse with many others every day (as opposed to sitting at home and talking only in their native tongue.)
It's not that surprising considering your patterns of speech are mainly learned in your early years and are pretty hard to change once you reach adulthood. I think most people's accents do change to the extent that they will sound kind of 'foreign' both in their adopted and birth countries.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:37 AM
 
Location: In a Galaxy far, far away called Germany
4,266 posts, read 3,593,243 times
Reputation: 2313
I've never had anyone really notice my accent as American (I'm from Texas and sound very much like it). In Southern Italy, many thought I was German (probably due to my looks - blond/blue eyes), I really think that people are more genuine than to judge someone on their accent. They may play the game where they try to figure out where you are from (we all do that), but good people will not attach preconceived notions to an accent.
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