Have you ever met someone and know immediately where they comes from – just by hearing them speak? Accents and tone of voice are often overlooked as powerful means of communication with its intonation, word pronunciations and its expressions.
There are now a multitude of accents in every language all around the world. Accent actually is a legacy of our history; it symbolizes our roots, regional habits, our country. It’s a real identity sign. It defines who you are and where you come from.
Lets look at the English Language: There are a number of variant English accents. Obviously there is the native English accent to the United Kingdom (in all its forms, versions and regional accents). Irish people speak English – so we find the Irish accent, there is the North American accent, Scottish accent, Australian accent and so on. For English natives, it’s easy to identify who is who and what region they come from. For foreigners, however, it’s difficult to always understand.
Besides the geographical aspect, we note for several centuries, accent has been associated with social status. This concept is fading now, but has long been seen as standard. The neutral accent, or no accent, would have been aligned with important people in social hierarchy. Regional accents have long handicapped poorer people seeking to find a job, for example. Today the neutral accent is often used in politics or on television. Listen to BBC or SKY news. A lot of the presenters whilst coming from a wide variety of national backgrounds speak in a very similar tone and accent.
Accent can be quickly identified, but often divided into categories and described in social terms as: “Ugly”, “Beautiful”, “sexy” and so on…
So there is another definition of how you are seen by your accent. Have you ever spoken to someone on the phone only to find them a “different person” when you meet them face to face?
An American study by Language and Psychology Departments at Stanford University, tested some 3,000 Americans whilst flirting. This study showed that the English accent that seems to appeal most to men, whilst women preferred the Irish accent.
In France, study by the “Parship” dating website, shows that the southern accent (Toulouse city), is the most charming. However the Northern accent, illustrated by the French film “Welcome to the land of Ch’tit”, is just described as funny.
Generally, Facebook fan page users of Lonely Planet travel guide chose in order, the Spanish accent, French accent and Irish accent as sexiest ! (Study for Valentines Day Context).
So what’s your favorite accent ?
Extracted from source : “A Little Book of Language” – by David Crystal
If you want to say “I Love You” in other languages visit http://www.star-ts.com/iloveyou : – .You can here lots of different audio samples.
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