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3 hours ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

I don't know if this is unusual, but when I dream in my second language, everyone else in my dream speaks it too, including friends who don't know a word of it in real life. 

I dream in multiple languages! I will dream that I'm conversing in one language that I speak and someone is responding to me in another language that I also speak that they speak as well. And weirdest of all, sometimes my dreams have surtitles. So if in a dream I'm speaking my first language with someone I know doesn't speak it, my dream will provide the surtitles for them and then translate their English response back to my first language.

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8 hours ago, UnaccompaniedWaterBo said:

I could write like that if I wanted to, but it feels like it's written by a middle school boy. I know you said you are a practicing attorney so I know you can write way better than I will ever. But someone who has contempt towards me will say it's terrible anyway. 

I'm starting to see the basis of your struggles. You brand anyone who gives you real advice as contemptuous and ignore what they say. You only listen to those poor bleeding hearts who feel only sympathy for your self-imposed problem. 

Look. You write at a level that is more complex than a middle -schooler, but in a really tragic way. Like in how gibberish is more complex than English in that identifying any sort of discernible linguistic pattern is near impossible. If you need to brush up on middle school basics then do so. Walk before you attempt to run.

Your stated issue was that you want to ensure that you communicate clearly with the courts. We have pointed out that your writing is not clear. You responded with, essentially, "haterz guuuuun h8". 

You are unwilling to take criticism on your "British" accent, which, from all of our accounts is not clearer than your "American" accent. You are also unwilling to take criticism from people in your actual life who think you've reached Weirdo Level Over 9,000. While I'm sympathetic to your racial struggles, let's be real, I'm crossing to the other side of the street to ensure my skin won't be worn by someone else - at least not today.

I always used to have an issue with people editing my writing. In fact, sometimes I would end up fighting with them. Eventually, I decided I was probably wrong, because it matters much more what others think of my writing than what I think. Same goes for feedback on oral advocacy. So, now I have adopted a strong presumption in favour of my editors' viewpoints - at least when it comes to ensuring clarity - not necessarily in terms of style. 

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Posted (edited)

Ok OP,  full disclosure, I didn't listen to the recordings of your voice - I'm just chiming in to let you know that if I heard someone with a British accent, especially one that seems like it could be fake, and I later found out that person had never lived in England - I would have an immediate negative reaction and would seriously question that person's judgment.  This negative reaction would far outweigh any opinion I may have had about their accent.

Edited by beyondsection17

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Posted (edited)

This is an aside, but: I think these comments regarding 'legitimate, native' British accents are slightly off base. There are lots of places, in Asia and elsewhere, where the English taught in schools (especially elite schools) is Received Pronunciation or 'BBC English.' 

This is isn't to say that the OP should continue to fake an accent. (I think he shouldn't.) But be careful of your own prejudices, here. There are lots of people with British accents who've never set foot in the UK. 

Edited by onepost
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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, leafs_law said:

I'm starting to see the basis of your struggles. You brand anyone who gives you real advice as contemptuous and ignore what they say. You only listen to those poor bleeding hearts who feel only sympathy for your self-imposed problem. 

Look. You write at a level that is more complex than a middle -schooler, but in a really tragic way. Like in how gibberish is more complex than English in that identifying any sort of discernible linguistic pattern is near impossible. If you need to brush up on middle school basics then do so. Walk before you attempt to run.

Your stated issue was that you want to ensure that you communicate clearly with the courts. We have pointed out that your writing is not clear. You responded with, essentially, "haterz guuuuun h8". 

You are unwilling to take criticism on your "British" accent, which, from all of our accounts is not clearer than your "American" accent. You are also unwilling to take criticism from people in your actual life who think you've reached Weirdo Level Over 9,000. While I'm sympathetic to your racial struggles, let's be real, I'm crossing to the other side of the street to ensure my skin won't be worn by someone else - at least not today.

I always used to have an issue with people editing my writing. In fact, sometimes I would end up fighting with them. Eventually, I decided I was probably wrong, because it matters much more what others think of my writing than what I think. Same goes for feedback on oral advocacy. So, now I have adopted a strong presumption in favour of my editors' viewpoints - at least when it comes to ensuring clarity - not necessarily in terms of style. 

LOL 

12 hours ago, leafs_law said:

you're a weirdo and run away immediately for fear of being locked away in your rape dungeon and turned into a human centipede with your other victims.

If you think is coming from someone who is offering some sincere advice or some crap, I don't know what to say. And this is the first thing you said to me. You owe me an apology. But someone like you won't care.

Also, I said on number of times that my British accent is shit as of now. I said I will go through a RP training if I choose to stick with it or neutralized American if I switch. And the gist of the questions is, given that I only can 90% percent of the native-level accent, which one should I go with?

But someone like you will say "oh he's just an immature child who won't listen anything that isn't sugar coated". 

Edited by UnaccompaniedWaterBo

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9 minutes ago, onepost said:

This is an aside, but: I think these comments regarding 'legitimate, native' British accents are slightly off base. There are lots of places, in Asia and elsewhere, where the English taught in schools (especially elite schools) is Received Pronunciation or 'BBC English.' 

This is isn't to say that the OP should continue to fake an accent. (I think he shouldn't.) But be careful of your own stereotypes and prejudices, here. There are lots of people with British accents who've never set foot in the UK. 

Yeah. I learnt the British English in Asia. Also, I plan on moving to the UK for a couple of years. And I've said this a few times earlier. 

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10 minutes ago, onepost said:

This is an aside, but: I think these comments regarding 'legitimate, native' British accents are slightly off base. There are lots of places, in Asia and elsewhere, where the English taught in schools (especially elite schools) is Received Pronunciation or 'BBC English.' 

This is isn't to say that the OP should continue to fake an accent. (I think he shouldn't.) But be careful of your own prejudices, here. There are lots of people with British accents who've never set foot in the UK. 

Sure, and there are lots of Europeans with "British" accents/English as well, and Japanese, Koreans etc. who speak English with whatever accent their English teacher had, and lots of people born and bred in the UK who are of Asian descent, or African descent, or whatever other ethnic origin they have, who have British accents. I don't think anyone denied that and I don't think there's any "prejudice" on that front. The point is that OP isn't one of those people who developed the accent naturally and he repeatedly referred to it as a "fake British accent" and said that his own acquaintances see it as such.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, beyondsection17 said:

Ok OP,  full disclosure, I didn't listen to the recordings of your voice - I'm just chiming in to let you know that if I heard someone with a British accent, especially one that seems like it could be fake, and I later found out that person had never lived in England - I would have an immediate negative reaction and would seriously question that person's judgment.  This negative reaction would far outweigh any opinion I may have had about their accent.

See above.

I also, so many people seemed to be angry when I said I "fake"  or "force" an accent. This is the English I learnt when I was young. But since I didn't grow up speaking it, it does not sound authentic. Hence, fake. If anything, me trying to speak with an American accent is forcing it, but I can see someone can argue that since I live here I should try as hard as I can to sound like people around me. Problem is I never can.

Edited by UnaccompaniedWaterBo

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19 minutes ago, onepost said:

This is an aside, but: I think these comments regarding 'legitimate, native' British accents are slightly off base. There are lots of places, in Asia and elsewhere, where the English taught in schools (especially elite schools) is Received Pronunciation or 'BBC English.' 

This is isn't to say that the OP should continue to fake an accent. (I think he shouldn't.) But be careful of your own prejudices, here. There are lots of people with British accents who've never set foot in the UK. 

Yeah right? Now I'm some rapist or weirdo apparently. 

I also have a few friends are in a similar situations as me. Grew up in Asia, learnt the BE in Asia or the UK, now in Canada. We are all now rapists, right?

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, providence said:

Sure, and there are lots of Europeans with "British" accents/English as well, and Japanese, Koreans etc. who speak English with whatever accent their English teacher had, and lots of people born and bred in the UK who are of Asian descent, or African descent, or whatever other ethnic origin they have, who have British accents. I don't think anyone denied that and I don't think there's any "prejudice" on that front. The point is that OP isn't one of those people who developed the accent naturally and he repeatedly referred to it as a "fake British accent" and said that his own acquaintances see it as such.

I'm just suggesting that, in context, this isn't that weird. Lots of places have come to perceive British English is the correct, proper, educated way of speaking.

Now, that is messed up. The reification of RP English is freighted with all kinds of bad classist assumptions, as you've pointed out. But if you see someone from an Asian background speaking with a British accent and then think to yourself 'What a fraud' you are adopting the least charitable explanation possible. It's possible they were just taught to speak English that way. It's also possible that, as it appears the OP's case, they've (to some extent) internalized the stereotypes associated with the British accent: it's sexy, and sophisticated, and whatever. And I don't think we should hold that against people, even if the stereotype is itself objectively bad.

Again, this isn't to say the OP should force a British accent. I'm just trying to explain where I think he's coming from. I don't think he deserves the vitriol he is receiving. At the same time, OP, I hope this conversation has illustrated why forcing a British accent may not do you any favours...

Edited by onepost

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/sigh

Look. If the OP wants to engage with what I'm about to offer as sincere, then I'll continue. If not, this will stand as my final word on the subject.

Dude, you have obviously got some unresolved issues that go to your self-esteem and sense of identity. I really don't want to get more specific than that both because I'm way outside my specialty and because anything else I say would seem like an attack. But I consider this much obvious. I'm not judging as I say that. I think probably everyone on this board when through some stages in their lives when they were strange and ill-fitted to their peer group. I mean, the little kid who grows up to be a lawyer is not, by definition, the "normal" kid. And it's always hard to be abnormal. So you can believe me or not, but I offer this advice with sympathy and good intentions. You are wrestling with your identity and it's making you do strange things.

If you really want to confine this topic to just the basic question of "which accent should I try to imitate" I think you have your answer. We're all basically circling around the same answer, but my direct summary of what you're hearing would be "stop trying to imitate any accent and simply concentrate on making yourself understood and unforced." In practice, making yourself understood boils down to saying things in the way the people around you expect to hear them. Which is another way of saying, try to sound like the people around you, and to adopt the local accent. But it's the route you take to that outcome that's different from what you're trying to do. Stop asking "who do I want to sound like" and rather ask "someone didn't understand what I just said, how could I say it more clearly?" The rest comes naturally. And it's naturalness that you're struggling with.

So that's the basic answer. It doesn't need seven more pages. The rest is just your insecurity. And of course the last thing that any insecure person wants to hear or accept is that they are insecure. So if you prefer to believe I'm being contemptuous of you when I say that, go right ahead. But we've all been there. You've got to deal with this. And truthfully, you probably will. It may be later rather than sooner, but you'll get there. The real question is, how long will you persist in behaviours that cause you problems rather than just admit you are doing some strange stuff due to feelings you need to deal with? If you don't want to talk about that, that's fine. No one can force you. But when someone asks for help, you can hardly blame strangers on the Internet if we choose to look a little deeper into the real question you are asking. You can ignore the free advice all you want. But you can't exactly complain you aren't getting what you paid for.

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I practise with a lot of people who have accents. All kinds of  backgrounds. Two of my colleagues I've been having drinks with for literally a decade and I have, honestly, no idea where they are from originally and they both have accents and one is white-ish? And the other is more of a coffee colour.  I seriously could not guess if they are Ukranian or Tibetan or from the West Indies or South Africa. I am shit at accents. 

So OP, just be clear. Learn whatever accent you need to be understood. Don't adopt a whole accent for any other purpose. If it's weird at first people will get used to it and rapidly cease to care. 

In that regard I echo looking in to the speech impediment thing again. Get a second opinion. It's worth your time. Consider elocution lessons. Focus on that and not on whether you could be mistaken for a guy from Portsmouth versus Utah. Again, that is a side issue. 

 

Also you guys feel free to correct my grammar too. Since that seems to be what we're doing here.  

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Come to think of it, I overlooked the fact that people summoned for the jury duty can also be immigrants, so speaking with the accent they are used to makes more sense I guess.

I just don't want to do accidental "l" and "r" switching which inevitably happens when I speak with the rhotic accent. Or not being able to clearly differentiate some words. Because that will affect someone's gravitas as a prosecutor.

But I'm surprised to see how bitter some people are here.

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1 minute ago, onepost said:

I'm just suggesting that, in context, this isn't that weird. Lots of places have come to perceive British English is the correct, proper, educated way of speaking.

Now, that is messed up. The reification of RP English is freighted with all kinds of bad classist assumptions, as you've pointed out. But if you see someone from an Asian Background speaking with a British accent and then think to yourself 'What a fraud' you are adopting the least charitable explanation possible. It's possible they were just taught to speak English that way. It's also possible that, as it appears the OP's case, they've (to some extent) internalized the stereotypes associated with the British accent: it's sexy, and sophisticated, and whatever. And I don't think we should hold that against people.

Again, this isn't to say the OP should force a British accent. I'm just trying to explain where I think he's coming from. I don't think he deserves the vitriol he is receiving. At the same time, OP, I hope this conversation has illustrated why forcing a British accent may not do you any favours...

If I meet someone who appears Asian who has what sounds like an actual British accent, (of which I know many) I think "Oh, they're British/lived in Britain/went to a British school." No biggie.

If I meet someone who appears Asian who speaks in an odd Cockney-tinted accent that gradually wears off and that is generally not very intelligible, I think "I don't understand that person very well." 

I don't think anyone was being "vitriolic" in pointing that out.

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10 minutes ago, UnaccompaniedWaterBo said:

Yeah right? Now I'm some rapist or weirdo apparently. 

I also have a few friends are in a similar situations as me. Grew up in Asia, learnt the BE in Asia or the UK, now in Canada. We are all now rapists, right?

What? Who said anything about you being a rapist?

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1 minute ago, providence said:

If I meet someone who appears Asian who has what sounds like an actual British accent, (of which I know many) I think "Oh, they're British/lived in Britain/went to a British school." No biggie.

If I meet someone who appears Asian who speaks in an odd Cockney-tinted accent that gradually wears off and that is generally not very intelligible, I think "I don't understand that person very well." 

I don't think anyone was being "vitriolic" in pointing that out.

Yeah, after my RP training and I still sound the same, I will completely abandon my accent. And everyone's advice here is right. 

But I'm really hoping for the possibility that, as I said something about the UK people learning RP, if I train really hard and actually sound British, that'll be awesome.

 

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1 minute ago, UnaccompaniedWaterBo said:

Yeah, after my RP training and I still sound the same, I will completely abandon my accent. And everyone's advice here is right. 

But I'm really hoping for the possibility that, as I said something about the UK people learning RP, if I train really hard and actually sound British, that'll be awesome.

 

I don't see the point of going to Britain for RP training and then coming back here. Whyyyyy?

You've already told us that you have some kind of speech impediment and that you even have problems being heard in your native tongue. We heard problems with sentence flow and other issues that aren't connected to accents. So why would you think that RP will be the magic bullet? You should work on the actual speech issues, not latch onto an accent as being the fix-all. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, providence said:

I don't see the point of going to Britain for RP training and then coming back here. Whyyyyy?

You've already told us that you have some kind of speech impediment and that you even have problems being heard in your native tongue. We heard problems with sentence flow and other issues that aren't connected to accents. So why would you think that RP will be the magic bullet? You should work on the actual speech issues, not latch onto an accent as being the fix-all. 

Because again, I will only be close to, but not perfect. And again and again, BE is easier for me when I speak. Also my close friends say that when I switch to American, they go from "it's more understandable" to not understanding most of what I say in half an hour when I'm tired. I understand the recording in American accent is better, but it's different from my actual conversational ability. I've been trying to say this a lot of times thought.

Oh those issues are independent I think and I need to fix both. 

Edited by UnaccompaniedWaterBo

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, UnaccompaniedWaterBo said:

Because again, I will only be close to, but not perfect. Also all my friends say that if I switch to American, they say "it's more understandable" But after half an hour, they don't understand most of what I say.

Oh those issues are independent I think and I need to fix both. 

But you're not going to be perfect in RP either, are you? What is "perfect" anyway? There are all kinds of accents out there. As long as you can understand people, who cares? People from Alabama, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Ocho Rios, Lagos or Delhi can all be native English speakers with different accents who sound completely different from each other. And many people who learned English as a second language from any number of languages converse in English at a high level. Think of the journalists or politicians from Quebec or other parts of French Canada who speak English with a slight French accent - Chantal Hebert on CBC comes to mind, or Guy Caron. Would you say they are not "perfect?" The point is, no one cares about their accent as long as they can communicate well. If the accent is too thick to allow that, or they lack the proper vocabulary or grammar, that's when more language training is required. But nothing about RP specifically makes it any better for that. And an accent is a little part of your charm. I can make the effort to speak completely without one for the most part, but I find that people tend to like a little bit of "flavour", and I like it because it's part of who I am.

Edited by providence

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1 minute ago, providence said:

But you're not going to be perfect in RP either, are you? What is "perfect" anyway? There are all kinds of accents out there. As long as you can understand people, who cares? People from Alabama, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Ocho Rios, Lagos or Delhi can all be native English speakers with different accents who sound completely different from each other. And many people who learned English as a second language from any number of languages converse in English at a high level. Think of the journalists or politicians from Quebec who speak English with a slight accent - Chantal Hebert on CBC comes to mind, or Guy Caron. Would you say they are not "perfect?" The point is, no one cares if they can communicate well. If the accent is too thick to allow that, or they lack the proper vocabulary or grammar, that's when more language training is required. But nothing about RP specifically makes it any better for that. 

True, but as someone pointed out, for an average Canadian it is easier to say some is not native American than not native British. Sure, accent is one part of my speech, so even if I get the perfect RP but don't speak the language fluently and can't make a great conversation, it will be a little weird. But it IS the first step. 

Well French is an official language in Canada... But having a bit of foreign accent is fine, but with the rhotic nature of the American English, for me it's hard to communicate clearly.

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