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May 19, 2014

Diverse students with different English accentsIf you come to the United States to learn English, you’ll quickly notice that not everyone who speaks the language sounds the same. Even though it’s the first language for many residents, there are many unique accents that different areas of the country are known for. Sometimes, the pronunciation of words and use of particular phrases can make it sound like an entirely different dialect! Here’s a quick look at some of the areas of the country in which the most distinguished accents can be found:

Boston – Locals in Boston don’t just speak with an accent; it’s almost as if they speak with an attitude. They’re known for dropping the “r” in many words, such as “father” or “water,” and instead saying them as “fatha” and “wata.” Try watching the movie Good Will Hunting to experience the Boston accent.

New York – Many New Yorkers who were born and bred in New York, as the saying goes, have a distinct way of speaking that is instantly recognizable. Specifically, those from Brooklyn have a way of pronouncing words so that they have an “oi” sound to them. Some famous examples include the word “coffee” sounding like “coifee” and “talking” being pronounced as “tauwking.” New Yorkers tend to speak fast, merging sounds together.

Southern – Southerners are known for having a drawl that lengthens vowels and draws them out to become the focus of the word. They often speak at a slower rate and with a casualness that can sound uneducated to other English speakers.

Speaking with people from different parts of the country is a great way to practice your English listening skills and know that if you have an accent when speaking English, you fit right in!


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