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Americans do not have a British accent. Why?

I was at lunch today and asked my friends "Why don't American's have British accents in their speach?" They were dumbfounded and began to wonder themselves so I turn to Ask MetaFilter to find the answer.
posted by usermac on Jun 6, 2013 - 34 answers

Dialect in "The Singing Detective"?

What is the regional dialect/accent in the childhood scenes in the British miniseries "The Singing Detective"? Does it have a name? Does it still exist today? [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay on Apr 26, 2013 - 8 answers

*Arabic speakers*: Brokenhearted girl needs your translation ability

Here is the photo with the Arabic message: LINK What does this say in English? I think the girl might represent me. She looks brokenhearted, too. Thank you so much for your help!
posted by thatgirl1985 on Mar 8, 2013 - 3 answers

Dayta or Datta?

Help me find a dialect map for the pronunciation of the word "data". [more inside]
posted by janell on Jan 29, 2013 - 30 answers

I'm looking for flowcharts depicting the oddities of English

In my lab I was hired in part so as to have a native speaker of English on hand to improve the general knowledge of the language if only by osmosis. So, deciding to take my duties seriously, the other day I drew the Oh Snap Flowchart on the whiteboard of our break-room where it was a big hit, what other amusing flowcharts are there floating around the internet that I could use to explain any of the various oddities of the English language? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 22, 2013 - 5 answers

I had some really encouraging fellowship last night...

Despite having no ties to the community beyond a few old facebook friends and the blogs they link to, I'm fascinated by the language quirks of modern conservative Christianity. Less so the specifically theological terms (washed in the blood, new life, etc.), but more how particular words and turns of phrase mark the speaker as belonging to the community even when they are not talking about premillenialism. [more inside]
posted by heyforfour on Jan 17, 2013 - 49 answers

Would Chalky White really have sounded like that?

Does anyone have any resources to find historical forms of Ebonics? [more inside]
posted by patricking on Dec 15, 2012 - 11 answers

As indicated below, the headline is a reference to same.

How do you edit writing written in a different dialect than your own? I'm very soon going to be responsible for editing some English technical/business writing by a team in a highly multilingual south-Asian country. [more inside]
posted by TheNewWazoo on Dec 2, 2012 - 10 answers

Egyptian Arabic Translation into English, please.

Egyptian Arabic Translation needed, please. [more inside]
posted by thatgirl1985 on Oct 2, 2012 - 3 answers

Why is she talking about "baggles"?

In what regional dialect do people pronounce "bagel" as though it were spelled "baggle"? [more inside]
posted by Mars Saxman on Sep 3, 2012 - 76 answers

Egyptian Arabic Translation into English please

Eyptian Arabic Translation Needed: انا دلوقت فى القطر لما اروح هكتبه وابعتهولك What does this mean in English? I tried Google translator and Bing, but it came back gobbledygook. Thank you!
posted by thatgirl1985 on Aug 15, 2012 - 8 answers

how to describe the "hw" sound

How could I describe in a non-technical way how certain English-speakers maintain a distinction between the "w" and "wh" sound? A certain amount of technical description could help. Its for a character in a story. For example: "The beginning of his 'what' still comes from deep within his throat." I don't know if that's technically true and it sounds awesomely terrible but something like that. [more inside]
posted by pynchonesque on Jul 13, 2012 - 19 answers

You what me?

Is "I appreciate you!" (as said to a waitress, for instance) heard outside Tennessee? [more inside]
posted by fritley on Feb 1, 2012 - 73 answers

On Ilkla Moor Baht Apostrophes

Available resources or advice for transcribing dialect speech? [more inside]
posted by Jehan on Dec 13, 2011 - 4 answers

Norwegian with a Bergen accent, so that babies will find my voice soothing

I'd like to learn Norwegian. Caveat: I'd like to learn specifically the Bergen dialect/accent. Is that possible? [more inside]
posted by Busoni on Aug 21, 2011 - 3 answers

Saying sugar and yelling your full name: southern or not?

Two questions about vocabulary in the American South and elsewhere: did your parents call you sugar and did they, when you were in trouble, use both your first and middle names to summon you for the reckoning? [more inside]
posted by mygothlaundry on Jun 2, 2011 - 81 answers

How does Lionel Logue sound Aussie in The King's Speech?

What features mark Geoffrey Rush's character in The King's Speech as being Australian? [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Jan 29, 2011 - 31 answers

I know the Castillians lisp, but that's about it.

How different are Mexican, Cuban and Puerto Rican Spanish? [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Aug 27, 2010 - 15 answers

Tajiks say, "Are you Iranian?". Iranians say, "Are you Tajik?"

How can I change my accent in a second language? [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Aug 7, 2010 - 8 answers

You can call me any time you wanna grind

I want to brush up on my Hawaiian Pidgin. Are there any movies or books that contain a *lot* of good dialogue for me to soak up?
posted by freshwater_pr0n on May 20, 2010 - 5 answers

Divided by a common language

A question for native speakers of UK English: With formal writing, can you readily distinguish between US and UK English? If you were reading something that supposedly targeted a UK audience and an Americanism cropped up, would you find that distracting? [more inside]
posted by adamrice on May 18, 2010 - 53 answers

Linguistic Identity Crisis: A country girl divided by a common language.

I'm moving to the UK for the next three years and have some questions about my identity and language use. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on May 5, 2010 - 41 answers

US English: Accents or Dialects?

US English variation: 'Accent' or 'Dialect' (from a linguistics perspective)? [more inside]
posted by jjsonp on Mar 1, 2010 - 16 answers

Writer meets arthritis

Mac voice-recognition software for a writer with arthritis. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Dec 3, 2009 - 9 answers

Indian English Speakers with Shifting Western Accent

Is it a widespread behavior for multilingual speakers of english to get a more anglicized accent when talking to a native speaker? [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur on Aug 22, 2009 - 19 answers

Seeking differences between American English and English English around 1776 - 1815

England and America, two countries separated by a common language. Check. What I'm looking for are resources that cover the differences in spoken English (accent, syntax, diction, catch-phrases - it's all good) between the two countries circa 1776-1815. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Apr 20, 2009 - 9 answers

This question can kiss my grits.

Southern phrases like "gets my goat" and "burns my biscuits"? [more inside]
posted by curiositykilledthelemur on Mar 26, 2009 - 70 answers

Why do so many people say FoxFire instead of Firefox?

Is there some linguistic or cultural explanation for mistakenly calling Firefox FoxFire? [more inside]
posted by odinsdream on Jan 7, 2009 - 31 answers

What are your examples of family jargon?

What are some examples of "family jargon"? For example, a friend's father once told a joke to his family that poked fun at the French. He concluded by saying, "Don't tell anyone from France." Now, within their family, "Don't tell anyone from France" means "Let's keep this between us"--and they say it even if the secret has nothing to do with the French. [more inside]
posted by Ms. Informed on Nov 7, 2008 - 112 answers

Site/Text with English dialect divergencies?

There was a site of speakers around the world speaking a specific phrase in English. This was to show how regional dialects of English sounded. You could click on a map and it would pull up video of these speakers. Does anyone know what that site is? If not, perhaps a good response would include a concise phrase that can show different regional variations (cot/caught, don/dawn, pin/pen). [more inside]
posted by symbioid on Sep 20, 2008 - 9 answers

What do you call a long, thin sandwich?

What do you call a long, thin sandwich, and where do you live? [more inside]
posted by ChasFile on Jul 8, 2008 - 140 answers

Where can I find film examples of English spoken with a Columbian accent?

Where can I find examples of characters in film speaking English with a Columbian accent? I'm also looking for plays in English with Columbian characters. [more inside]
posted by raygan on Apr 9, 2008 - 14 answers

What's my best language strategy for a quarter in Shanghai?

Which Chinese dialect should I learn to best survive in Shanghai, and how? Difficulty: I have 6 weeks. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Mar 23, 2008 - 10 answers

What resources exist to help me become comfortable with a dialect of Japanese?

In preparation of studying abroad in the Tohoku region of Japan next year, I am looking for useful dialect-related tools and resources. [more inside]
posted by mezamashii on Sep 25, 2007 - 3 answers

Wabbits.

Which British dialect pronounces R's like a W? [more inside]
posted by jazzkat11 on Jul 15, 2007 - 35 answers

In search of "authentic" Southern (American) accents...

Language/Dialect-filter: In search of "authentic" Southern (American) accents... [more inside]
posted by ibeji on Oct 11, 2006 - 48 answers

Gay slang in the 60's

Was Polari employed by gays in America during the 60's ? If not, what ? [more inside]
posted by lobstah on Sep 17, 2006 - 9 answers

Calling All Lit-Heads

Bookworm MeFites: I'm looking for novels, short stories, and plays by white authors where their non-white characters speak in a dialect. For instance, the slave Jim in Twain's Huckleberry Finn. [more inside]
posted by rossination on May 25, 2006 - 45 answers

All your base are off of us

Did "based on" beget "based off of"? [more inside]
posted by Mr Stickfigure on May 16, 2006 - 28 answers

Where did pirate speech come from?

Where did pirate speech come from? [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Jan 9, 2006 - 18 answers

Why do some nouns get a 'the'?

Why do some speakers omit the word 'the' from before many nouns? [more inside]
posted by tumble on Oct 25, 2005 - 27 answers

Funny Native Accents?

Funny native accents? [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Oct 16, 2005 - 51 answers

Why do so many people pronounce Valentine's Day as ValenTIMES Day?

Please help me understand why so many people pronounce Valentine's Day as ValenTIMES Day? I'm noticing this more and more and it's driving me crazy. Are these the same people who say 'libary' and 'supposibly', because those two I can almost tolerate, but Valentines Day with an M?!?! Please explain! Thanks and I hope I haven't offended anyone with my first post on here. :)
posted by camfys on Feb 10, 2005 - 73 answers

What is this southern US dialect phrase?

I'm curious about a bit of (apparently) southern dialect. I'm not sure how to spell it, but it sounds like "do what?" or "du what?" or "d'what?" and seems to mean the same thing as "what?" or "huh?" or "say that again?" I'm from the Northeast, and the first time I heard this, it sounded really strange to me, like people were just adding "do" to the beginning of "what" for no reason. Does anyone know its origin, what part of the U.S. it's prevalent in, and what it means exactly? (Google was no help.)
posted by Tin Man on Apr 14, 2004 - 29 answers

How does British English read to Americans?

A writer's question: how does British English read (and internally, silently sound) to Americans? [More inside.] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 22, 2004 - 35 answers

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