And what about my accent?

In “My Fair Lady,” Higgins says: The French don’t care what they do actually, as long as they pronounce it properly. ….


We are sensitive to accents … sensitive to voices …. sensitive to pronunciation … Does anyone speak accentless? I suppose robots do … and then what have you got? A ro–bo–toc–voi–c-e … thank you very much …. ! We’re so much better off with a Southern accent, a NY accent, a French accent, a Scottish accent … and all of these are generally not served alone: there is always a specific vocabulary, often a specific grammar that goes with them.

To Savannah folk: Be on your guard to keep and cultivate your beautiful accents. A lot of people around the world (even in towns beginning with the letter “A” are … so jealous of your voices!

My advice? Be yourself. Use your own voice. Speak clearly … not too fast, please … Express yourself with your personality!

This being said, your accent is secondary to your pronunciation.  The English and Americans tend to like the novelty and sonority of a French accent in English … and vice-versa: Most French like you to keep your charming American or British accent …. if you manage to pronounce fauteuil (armchair) or champignons (mushrooms)  or ratatouille or Limoges correctly … or at least make a sincere effort to do so!

But, mesdames, messieurs, mes amis français, mes amies françaises, j’ai ceci à vous dire: vos voix, vos accents,  sont tellement agréables à l’oreille anglophone, tellement séduisants … You must  be carefulSO, only if you prefer NOT to be SO charming, then work on a perfect Oxford or Cambridge or London accent or a perfect ‘New York’ voice … or a delicious, mint-julep, Vivian Leigh southern drawl … so … whether you are from Paris or Montpellier or Neuilly or Asnières or Vincennes or Chantilly … please don’t trade your own accent for another … just pronounce the “s” at the end of plurals and at the third person and we will love you for that … too.

[audio:|titles=Be careful.]

Be careful.

On the other hand … pronounce the “S” please !!!

[audio:|titles=Do you know what I’m saying??]

Do you know what I’m saying?If you’re interested in language learning … subscribe to the Paris Savannah Connection newsletter!

Author: Mark