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Off topic: How good is Dr House's accent?
Thread poster: XXXphxxx
XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:24
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Sep 18, 2011

A question for our American colleagues: is Hugh Laurie's accent convincing? Is it a foreigner's 'generic' American accent or has he even achieved something more regional?

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Kelly Venz  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:24
Member (2010)
French to English
Dr House's accent Sep 18, 2011

I'm not expert but I remember seeing an interview with the producers of Dr House and they said that during his screen test his accent was so good that they didn't even realise that he wasn't American.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:24
Spanish to English
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Flawless, as far as I recall Sep 18, 2011

I haven't watched it in a few years but my recollection is that his accent is perfect and feels very natural. I listened carefully for some of the things that British actors sometimes get wrong when they play Americans (especially the unaccented long E's, which Brits often pronounce as short I's) and he nailed them all correctly.

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:24
German to English
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I second that assessment Sep 18, 2011

His accent is perfect. I wouldn't necessarily guess he was from a particular region, but we don't all have regionally identifiable accents.

[Edited at 2011-09-18 15:10 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:24
English to Portuguese
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According to his former show mate... Sep 18, 2011

... Stephen Fry, who talks about it midway in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k-T8S0lEwQ


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:24
German to English
American accent Sep 18, 2011

Yes, there's nothing about his accent that would immediately give him away as a Brit. That's quite an accomplishment.

Sample

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IfZXiVW3pI&feature=related

[Edited at 2011-09-18 15:23 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 12:24
English to Croatian
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Brilliant actor Sep 18, 2011

... he is well-prepared for the role, hence the flawless accent.

However, in his natural speech, he talks British even in American environment. Interesting linguistic debate video between him and Ellen Degeneres, concerning U.S. and U.K. English:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYmrg3owTRE


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
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He's being doing US accents for years Sep 18, 2011

On the Fry and Laurie show on BBC (back in the late 70's/early 80's??) , they had a weekly sketch where both Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie would put on American accents. Even back then, Laurie excelled. He is one of most versatile of UK actors- I'll never forget him in Black Adder.
His House accent is spot on. Flawless.


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manaos
Local time: 13:24
Swedish to English
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Dr. House Sep 18, 2011

Seriously, he has an accent?

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
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Spanish to English
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AND his Spanish accent.... Sep 18, 2011

...is 100% on my telly at least.



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Michael Barnett
Local time: 06:24
English
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Mid-west US accent. Sep 18, 2011

His accent is excellent.

Actually there is no single "American" accent as each region is different, but there is, in fact, a "standard" accent which emulates a so-called mid-west accent.

Johnny Carson was from Nebraska, so his accent was an example of a "native" mid-west accent. Most Canadians, incidentally, speak with what would be recognized by an American as a mid-west accent. An example of this is William Shatner (Captain Kirk from Star Trek) who is actually a native Anglo-Quebecer.

As an interesting aside, when my wife was being trained as a technical sales representative for Dupont in Boston, some of her co-trainees with regional accents were given lessons by speech therapists to achieve that "standard" mid-west sound.

It really is interesting how an accent can nuance our attitude to the speaker. I have attended medical conferences in many parts of the US. I must make a conscious effort to assign the same credulity to someone with a Tennessee drawl as I do for someone with a Harvard (pronounced ha-vid) twang.

Michael


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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:24
Member (2006)
English to Polish
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But Laurie's been accused... Sep 18, 2011

...of laughing with a British accent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETLHO8kbi_c&feature=related

(He mentions it right at the beginning of the interview.)


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:24
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting Sep 19, 2011

Thanks everyone. The question came to mind recently when I heard a snippet of Anne Hathaway's 'Yorkshire' accent. I can't think of many actors who have managed a flawless accent. Hugh Laurie is such a hugely talented person I somehow doubted that his accent would be less than perfect. Interesting to hear that confirmed.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some actors are very good with accents Sep 19, 2011

It's impressive enough when people can convincingly cross dialect lines in their own language (Hugh Laurie, Renée Zellweger, Bob Hoskins, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc.) but I'm especially impressed when actors from non-English-speaking countries can talk like native English speakers.

For instance, in interviews, Audrey Hepburn had a distinct Flemish accent, but when she acted in movies she could pull off several different convincing English accents. Also the Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who starred in the TV series "New Amsterdam") can do a flawless American English accent.

[Edited at 2011-09-19 14:20 GMT]


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
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Not forgetting all those Canadian Hollywood stars Sep 19, 2011

Steven Capsuto wrote:

It's impressive enough when people can convincingly cross dialect lines in their own language (Hugh Laurie, Renée Zellweger, Bob Hoskins, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc.) but I'm especially impressed when actors from non-English-speaking countries can talk like native English speakers.

For instance, in interviews, Audrey Hepburn had a distinct Flemish accent, but when she acted in movies she could pull off several different convincing English accents. Also the Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who starred in the TV series "New Amsterdam") can do a flawless American English accent.

[Edited at 2011-09-19 12:42 GMT]



who sound just like they are from the USA.



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