How to master British accent (RP)?

Please help I need some good websites to turn my American accent into a British one (temporarily). What would you advice me? Are there any words to sound British?

7 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Any British TV shows should help you, and the BBC World Service.

    Pronounce everything more carefully without slurring of the consonants, especially in the middle of words. For example, the double t in "little" in RP is spat out, not "liddle" or with a glottal stop, as in Estuary English. Instead of "kinda", you should say "kind of" two words, and "sort of" is less American.

    Some British people trying to speak American use their adenoids, twanging the words through their upper palate. British English is spoken much more down the throat to produce a softer tone.

    Some vowels that catch Americans out. The "aw' sound in words such as for, caught, Tory, more, or and so on is very different to the "ah" sound that comes from Americans. Round your lips almost like the "oo" sound and then say "ah".

    The vowel 'o' as in 'dog' is not an 'ah' sound, but a much darker tone. There is no diphthong at all in the 'a' in 'cat'. I've heard northerners in the US say "kyat" and southerners say "kayat" as if they were chewing toffee. It is a pure vowel. Similarly the 'e' in 'get' is pure and not 'gyet' or "gayet".

    Also the English pronounce the consonant 'r' in a very strange way. After a vowel, it is not pronounced at all, instead it modifies the vowel into a pure vowel with no diphthong - ar becomes 'ah', 'er' and 'ir' and become 'uh', 'or' becomes that 'aw' sound, and 'ur' becomes like the German u umlaut, half way between ee and oo, although English spelling is full of exceptions. Before a vowel, 'r' is pronounced without trill by putting the lower teeth against the lower lip.

    Watch your body language too, since there are many Americanisms that can give yourself away, such as the threatening stare when attempting to sell something, standing with thumbs on belt chewing, the smile and little nod as if to say "you know I'm right" when making a neutral statement, the blank look in the eye that to the British seems cold and uncaring, and the over-effusive praising in order to appear positive which seems insincere or just plain loopy. Attitudes are different too - eccentricity here is something to be enjoyed, and is often the source of humour. In American culture, it is just weird. Lapses of character are laughed at here, rather than treated with cold contempt, to the extent that the British can mock someone with ruthless cruelty at times. The only way to counter this is to join in the joke with a little self deprecation (something that is social suicide in America).

    Finally, one thing you should learn to be truly British is to learn to say sorry, and do so at every available opportunity. Only the British apologise before complaining about anything. This link is to a British politician apologising for going into Coalition with the Conservatives and therefore getting his party into Government for the first time in a century:

    Youtube thumbnail

  • 4 years ago

    Rp British Accent

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    There isn't a British accent as such as Wales and Scotland have completely different accents to England, which then have many different regional accents on top of that. If you want to learn how to talk in a outdated posh Victorian accent like most American people think we speak in then try YouTube but please do not for even a minute think that's actually how we talk.

  • 6 years ago

    I actually learnt the British accent from a course. It was great. Just google it, it'll help you, it's called Learn the British accent- FAST by Michael E Andrews

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  • 6 years ago

    Yeah in Britain the accents are really diverse so I will assume you mean a Londener accent but even then we have cockney, standard , and posh. If im honestly it is really annoying when people say "oh i wish I had a British accent" bloody hell there are four (counting northern Ireland) countries in Britain. Its really stupid trying to imitate our accents

  • 8 years ago

    If you were to immerse yourself in the sound of Received Pronunciation, perhaps by watching videos of actors and others who speak with it. By watching videos you would be able to see the set of the jaw and the movements of the mouth that cause the accent to sound the way it does. Try the Wikipedia list of notable speakers (I would hazard that David Cameron does not use Received Pronunciation however as he sounds far too much like a country solicitor!)

  • 8 years ago


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