Accents


In preparation for a voice reel this week, I had a consultation meeting to discuss and select appropriate pieces for the recording. Inevitably, the subject of my accent came up and it was decided that I would record as a “General American”.

Never had accents (mine or otherwise) been such a consideration for me before I arrived in the UK. I remember when I first I came to London and how immediately and acutely I was aware of the vast range of accents and the meanings inferred when one opened one’s mouth to speak!

In my experience, there are subtle regional nuances of English speech across Canada, and the East coast has a particularly distinct variety of accents, but overall, there seems to be more similarity throughout the “general” Canadian accent.

So, it took some getting used, to the immediate conclusions drawn from an accent, including that of class. During my time at drama school in London, my friends asked what my parents might think about me dating (at the time) a “Geordie”? What did that even mean?! And in the extremely unlikely event that my parents had heard the term before, why might they have any cause for concern?

Even having identified my accent as “General American,” during my voice reel consultation I was repeatedly given away by my pronunciation of “oo” in words such as “out” (oot) and “about” (aboot). No “doot aboot" it, I have to work very hard to remember to relax and widen the vowel into a more American sound so as to avoid sounding too Canadian...

As a reward for suppressing my elongated “oo”, I’m looking forward to marking Canada Day on July 1st with as many “oots" and “aboots" as I please! Happy (early) Canada Day to all the Canadians “oot" there and Happy (early) Fourth of July to the lovely Americans!