An American on American vs. British Accents

I used to think that audiobooks were only for people who couldn’t see well enough to read a regular paperback book, but I’m starting to really enjoy them. I hate long-winded books, but hearing H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” read aloud, especially in a British accent, just works. I think the foreign accent helps because it forces me to concentrate in order to understand what the reader’s saying. I don’t even find it all that strange anymore to hear a non-American reciting to me. It’s something I got used to, like any foreign film buff can attest to.

I remember watching the Forsyte Saga, a British drama, and being flabbergasted at all the English accents until I got so inured to them that when an American character popped up, I thought she sounded flat and horrible and thought to myself, “Is that what I sound like?” I’m sure she was played by a British actress because the character sounded about as emotional as a robot, but I have to say the realization was eye-opening.

That reminds me of the time when someone I knew went to England and tried to talk Chinglish, a combination of Chinese and English (the most famous English hybrid being Spanglish). Only, she was talking American Chinglish and he was speaking British Chinglish, and it was funny and disconcerting.

But did you know that the British find the American accent sexy? Guess we have a mutual love-in.