American accent in Britain?

jeffy777

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I would just be yourself. It's better to be honest and upfront rather than trying to fool people into being something you aren't.
 

tigger

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Here is a brilliant idea. How about...just being yourself??!? :blink:

I know!! It's REVOLUTIONARY!!
Exactly. First and foremost, you've got no reason not to be yourself. If that puts someone off, screw them. Second, it's a good conversation starter. From personal experience; I've got a pretty stereotypical midwestern slur and 'drawl' to my speech. The worst it's ever gotten me was good fun joking with people I meet in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, etc.
 

Ramseus

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People find foreigners to be new and exciting! Just don't do it, imagine if you will conversing with an actual Englishman (hard to imagine, I know, but bear with me), and since you're at Oxford where people come from everywhere he/she asks you, "Oi mate, so where you from then? Care to go back there for some crumpets and tea on the morrow?" and then you just go "Uhhh *cough*Amer*cough*ica*cough"
 
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I recommend you use a Cockney accent and only utter this phrase: "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain".
 

Steve Levin

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While being able to pronounce things in a British fashion certainly helps, you can't overlook the terminology. People just say things differently in the UK than they do here. You see a little of it on Top Gear, but not that much. And Americans just do things...everything...a bit different.

When you get approached by older ladies for directions, that's when you'll know you've really started to fit in. :)

Steve
 

Ironlord

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Another one for the "whatever you do, don't try and change your accent" pile.

I've not forgotten the storm that Beryl Bainbridge caused a few years ago when she called on everyone in the UK with a non-Southern accent to drop it in favour of "speaking properly". She was originally from Liverpool and, once upon a time, sounded exactly like you'd expect from a Scouser. These days, she sounds more like the Queen. If there is one thing I absolutely cannot stand, it's those people who take elocution lessons because they think sounding like the Queen makes them a better person. It doesn't! Everyone who ever meets me will know instantly I'm originally from Essex, one of my former colleagues during my days as a PhD student was from West Bromwich and has a powerful West Midlands accent; the head of Analytical Services was unashamedly from Bristol, and with the hint of ooo-aaarr to match. All three of us have doctorates and could talk at length and with utmost authority on our areas of expertise without ever switching to a No?l Coward accent.

So far I've never met any Americans in the UK who have attempted to modify their accent to fit in and not be seen as American; really, there is no need.

However, there's one aspect of university life to be aware of.

I assume you'll be arriving as a postgraduate, which lessens this problem somewhat. But at some stage, probably during one of those trendy-hippy "One World Week" schemes or similar, you'll have to be prepared to run into that very worst aspect of student life - the unwashed, halitosis-ridden, raving revolutionary - wearing one of those nasty fairtrade-alpaca-woolly hats in a vile swamp colour with strings down the sides, probably banging a tambourine and chanting some kind of militant hard-left but otherwise devoid-of-substance slogans without realising what they're talking about. These nefarious types are known for having an obnoxious "AMERIKKKA IS ALWAYS WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING!" attitude and, wherever possible, should be avoided at all costs. All it takes is one word and they'll instantly assume you've come up to them to wave a Stars And Stripes in their face, praising the qualities of Dubya and tubthumping about going to war in Iran - even if you're a Democrat-voting pacifist.

One American I knew a while back would always tell the hippy fascists he was Canadian... but I'd only use this as a last resort.
 

Ironlord

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Which is how I've dealt with them since about a week into my time at university... and that's nearly 11 years back.

Every time I see one of the swamp monsters I know damn well that as soon as the day comes to enter The Real World, the rabid hard-left principles will be dropped like a sack of hot potatoes and they'll end up as merchant bankers. Or estate agents. Where the barrage of patchouli oil and three-year-old stale sweat and scabs will be replaced by Eau de Napalm after shave... aargh!
 

James May's Hair

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Another one for the "whatever you do, don't try and change your accent" pile.

I've not forgotten the storm that Beryl Bainbridge caused a few years ago when she called on everyone in the UK with a non-Southern accent to drop it in favour of "speaking properly". She was originally from Liverpool and, once upon a time, sounded exactly like you'd expect from a Scouser. These days, she sounds more like the Queen. If there is one thing I absolutely cannot stand, it's those people who take elocution lessons because they think sounding like the Queen makes them a better person. It doesn't!
Agree. Linda le Plant [creator of the terrible Prime Suspect rubbish] is the same. I think she is from Runcorn or somewhere close [basically the anus on Liverpool] and her accent has also gone from mild Liverpudlian to Prince Charles. And he wants to be a tampon!

My favourite is Lulu: she can not make her mind up at all about her accent. From one end of a sentence to the other, she goes from Glaswegian, through English to some awful transatlantic drawl. The only thing which remains intact, is the fact that she's a pain in the arse.
 

Susurrate

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Don't try and change your accent it'll only make you more of an outsider should you try and get caught. Secondly you should be proud of who you are, and if people don't like you because of who you are those aren't the type of people who you probably want to be around. Finally if you find yourself self an outsider despite being a cool M Fer start throwing tea bags in the local pond, and when people start asking you what you are doing respond with "a reenactment".
 

wooflepoof

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oi guvnah, y'all best not be makin them acksents up in here G, youse'll look like a totol dooshebag eh

no seriously, be proud to be an American and for godsake learn to say trunk, hood, and 'coop' again if you've forgotten cuz of TG. Don't be that guy who goes to a friends party and asks to put shrimp on the barby. Or those people who come back from abroad and start calling soccer football and their apartment a flat. I'll personally beat you up if I catch you calling an elevator a lift or complaining about how if we had our own euro we could buy stuff in Mexico and Canada w/o changing the currency at the little kiosk.
 

Peter3hg

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I'll personally beat you up if I catch you calling an elevator a lift or complaining about how if we had our own euro we could buy stuff in Mexico and Canada w/o changing the currency at the little kiosk.
We don't have the Euro.
 
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