Via BoingBoing, I found this YouTube clip of actress Amy Walker saying the same sentence in 21 different accents.
I listened to it with amazement. In my mind, she nailed every one of them with one notable exception – her Southern accent from Charleston, SC, sounded like the contrived, overdone version that Hollywood tends to perpetuate. Sort of like the quintessential Scarlett O’Hara.
This got me to thinking. I may think the other accents are authentic, but would native speakers think so? Or would they think that all she has managed are cliche’ movie versions. Among the 2,458 comments for the video on the YouTube site, many praised her for getting their particular accents right, but many others said she was off just a bit on theirs.
Amy Walker’s accomplishment is still impressive. I guess the moral is that you don’t do accents to convince the natives (unless your a spy or on some covert mission). You do the accent to appeal to the widest audience, the majority of which AREN’t native speakers of that accent.
[tags]Amy Walker, YouTube, accents[/tags]