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Accent Reduction

 
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jrodriguez315
A Hundred Dozen


Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Accent Reduction Reply with quote

Does anyone have a recommendation regarding accent reduction? My accent is somewat Noo Yawk-ish and I'd like to bring it closer to "Standard American" although I'm not 100% certain what that means precisely. I can especially feel / hear it on words like "the", which have a tendency to sound more like out "da" than "the".

At any rate, if you've got any exercises, software, or recommendations, I'd appreciate it.
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Dave
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Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 727
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW...

I have a student in one of my VO classes that is from Russia. She speaks excellent English but with a heavy Russian accent which she hasn't been able to tame.

As crazy as it seems, the most effective exercise I have found for her is to emulate a strong southern drawl. Darn if it doesn't work... although I can't tell you why. Maybe playing around with other regional accents would work for you as well.
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We covered this a bit in this:

http://www.vo-bb.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=539&highlight=accent
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Lance Blair
M&M


Joined: 03 Jun 2007
Posts: 2222
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once recorded interviews with many of my co-workers at a production facility, some of whom had regional accents that they had tried to tame. When you sped the analogue tape up, the accents became very pronounced, as if they had never tried to reduce their accents in the first place (this worked on my voice too).

This suggests to me that a major part of accent is not just mouth mechanics and the handling of vowels and consonants (and dipthongs, etc.) but the very rhythm and musicality of the voice. At high speeds, the rhythm and song of the voice is lost, and all that appears to be left are the mechanical qualities. Christopher Walken has a very pronounced NY accent, but it's masked by the unique rhythm. that: HE em-ploys. (he speaks as if he's reading E.E. Cummings).

US Network English has its own Fakebook of songs...
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Rob Ellis
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm told there is still a touch of Ky twang in my voice, but it was MUCH more noticeable before I flattened out most of it through years in radio...just recording myself and listening back, and kind of self-correcting over time.

I believe it also helps to have a strong intention and desire to change your accent. I suspect that being out of radio for years weakened that intention and brought some of the accent back.
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ccpetersen
With a Side of Awesome


Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 3702
Location: In Coherent

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heck, I'm from the Rocky Mountains originally, and when I lived in Ky for a few months I found myself picking up the accent naturally. Same for when I lived in NYC for a while. Now I live near Boston and I swear I can hear different accents just here in the area.

FWIW, I kind of liked the Ky accent...
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