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funny voices

So, how does one learn to do funny voices in any consistent manner? Like, accents and stuff.

I can do them a little for a short period of time, but I usually wander from accent to accent, turning anything I say into an unidentifiable hodgepodge mess.

Last night's D&D run went well. I looked around and people were smiling and laughing, at stuff I had done. The stress I had going into the evening once again turned out to be worth it, very much. So it's time to start really investing myself in this thing.

Coming around lunchtime: Top five productive things I should be doing instead of getting Dagny to level N+1, courtesy the "top N meme" from abce.

Comments

(Anonymous)
Mar. 11th, 2007 09:51 am (UTC)
break out the phonics
As others said, pick representative catch phrases. But then listen particularly to individual consonant and vowel sounds, rather than words, looking for the distinctive sounds, particularly stressed ones. Then work out where they go in a global sense. Someone kind of mentioned this with the "about" example. For instance, the canadian "ow" is more of an /ah-oooo/ diphthong than an /ah-w/, and their "process" is /prOH-sess/ not /prAH-sess/. Long Islanders say /law-ng-g/ with a glottal "g" at the end of the "ng" and often use a glottal stop instead of a plosive /t/. Like /ki'-en/ for kitten. Things like that.

Then there's the tonal quality. Do the sentences all end in a question upturn? What are the rhythms? Is the secOND syll-AH-ble alwAYS accENted? The third? For instance, the tonal quality of Indian English is very different from American (and the only accent I can successfully mimic, probably due to a long semester with a lab TA that drove me nuts enough to analyze his reciprOHcal hexAgons for mockery, and now makes for a good Apu.) Just changing the tonality of your speech will give someone the impression of an Indian accent without much change to the vowels. C.arlos M.encia does a good mocking riff on how to distinguish foreign accents in one of his tv shows.

Good luck with your quest.
http://crankyotter.blogspot.com by way of livejournal's shaggy-man

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