One of the good things about being the normal guy, leading the normal life is that we get to learn quite a lot of things; starting with, how to imitate accents – predominantly those of English speakers – and to make them sound even funnier than they actually are. 😉
Back in those days when I worked in a Medical Knowledge Processes Outsourcing company (yada, it’s just another BPO. I spiced it up for presentation) – my voice-trainer was the first person who introduced me to the exact nuances of the accents of the American version of English. Before that, I was fascinated by the accents of three people – Hollywood actors, P Chidambaram (former Indian Finance Minister, Home Minister and a politician of the Congress order) and Ricky Ponting, the Aussie cricketer.
Of these three people, I could manage to understand the words of the politician. Yeah, just the words, because most of the time, we don’t really understand what the politician speaks, right?
Hollywood actors were somewhat okay with me. I mean, I got used to watching a hell lot of movies and made it a point never to enable the sub-titles 😉 This trained me well in understanding what the actors spoke, unless the scene was of the sensuous type – where whispers blurred the words and besides, the scenes distract us and the focus kinda shifts!! 😛
The third guy, Ricky Ponting, was an enigma. I still don’t really know if Ravi Shastri, when posing questions to Ricky in the post-match ceremony, understands or even expects to understand Ponting’s answer. That’s Australian accent for you and the rest of us who are on this side of the fence, mate!
Depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on, you’ll either say “things are going fine” in a strict, aristocratic, regal and upper-class disciplinary manner or just sing “things’re goin’ fine” in a nonchalant, friendly and very casual way.
Roll your R-s and we get the American type, while the Brits, as popular as they are, chose to forget the R’s. So “thirty” without the R is a Brit’s way and with a rolled R is the American route. Personally, having had to use the American style for a considerably long but definitely short time (:P), I rather have an inclination towards the loose, casual and sometimes a sing-song American accent. I respect the British accent though, for its originality and seriousness – although it gets a bit grave at times, probably much like the past Kings and Queens of England. 😛
There was an amateur accent-training video which I happen to remember. Quite an old one, where the guy in the video imitates an Irish accent. For several seconds, I was wondering how the guy got so drunk all of a sudden. 😉