Via BoingBoing, I found this YouTube clip of actress Amy Walker saying the same sentence in 21 different accents.
I listened to it with amazement. In my mind, she nailed every one of them with one notable exception – her Southern accent from Charleston, SC, sounded like the contrived, overdone version that Hollywood tends to perpetuate. Sort of like the quintessential Scarlett O’Hara.
This got me to thinking. I may think the other accents are authentic, but would native speakers think so? Or would they think that all she has managed are cliche’ movie versions. Among the 2,458 comments for the video on the YouTube site, many praised her for getting their particular accents right, but many others said she was off just a bit on theirs.
Amy Walker’s accomplishment is still impressive. I guess the moral is that you don’t do accents to convince the natives (unless your a spy or on some covert mission). You do the accent to appeal to the widest audience, the majority of which AREN’t native speakers of that accent.
[tags]Amy Walker, YouTube, accents[/tags]
3 thoughts on “21 Accents”
What’s happening to you? Is this the ultimate search for meaning? I mean, twittering? and now music on your site? And today I go to your blog and there’s a utube video? How degenerate will you go?
Just kidding you brother (though I am concerned about the twittering). However, I couldn’t listen to the video because I couldn’t find a place to turn off your music. Give us a place for that – besides I might want to visit your site while in a meeting and sure don’t want the music giving my surfing away!
I thought I had the music set so that it wouldn’t start automatically. Apparently, the MUSIC starts, but the slide show doesn’t until you click play. If that’s the case, I’ll just kill the music.
That “accents” accuracy thing is interesting. I have a recording of a Hungarian choir singing Handel. UGH!!!! Which brings to mind the probable response of German musicians hearing us singing German. Or French hearing Carmen in Greenville? I don’t know; I’d like to think we were more accurate, but truth requires otherwise. 🙂
Another argument for Latin as a universal language, I suppose?