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rezaf

Learning Queen's English in London

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rezaf

I want to take a break from Chinese and go to London to study English for a month during the summer vacation. Actually I want to go somewhere with more European classmates, any suggestions?

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aimee08
I want to take a break from Chinese and go to London to study English for a month during the summer vacation. Actually I want to go somewhere with more European classmates, any suggestions?

I studied and lived in Brighton (just some kilometers south of London), UK is a very nice country and i had lots of fun, especially in summer!!

.. about more European classmates i'm not sure..

In my school there were mainly asians people (that's why i got interested in Asian cultures and China), anyway, maybe you could choose European schools like Eurocentres, Sprachcaffe,...

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roddy

Be aware that if you go during European school holidays, you may end up in a larger class than usual, mostly with 16-18 year old teenagers. I did a couple of months teaching over the summer several years ago at a school in Hastings (like Brighton, but cheaper. And less nice) and while the classes were generally fine, the older, longer-term students were complaining that classes of 4-6 committed students were doubling in size with Spanish teenagers who wanted to play games all day.

But maybe you'd like to play games with Spanish teenagers, I don't know.

Just make sure wherever you go is British Council Accredited, that should make sure you get reasonable quality.

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aimee08

Yes, roddy is right.

In summer you may have teenagers classmates that are not serious about studying English, but i think you can easily find older students too.

Many of my friends where in Brighton only for couple of weeks during their work holiday. Just check with the school before.

And yes, British Council Accredited is also very important.

If you're interested in Brighton let me know, i can give you some more information :)

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rezaf

Yes aimee, I want to know more. I appreciate any information.

I want to get rid of my Persian accent in my English and have to choose an accent. Personally I like British accent but it's very difficult and if it isn't pronounced correctly, it makes everyone laugh. I practiced a text from BBC for a few minutes. Here is a an mp3 of the text. Do you think that it's close to the standard accent in England?

brit.wma

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yonglin

rezaf, I think you should not worry too much. Your accent is not bad at all. It does sound a bit foreign, but not particularly Persian.I think British people usually have more intonation in the sense that some parts of a sentence are stressed a lot more than others. In that way, British English is quite harsh. Your accent sounds to "soft" or "melodic" to pass as British. I think this is probably an easy fix, though. British accents are generally very contagious: I had this flatmate at my first year of uni who spoke with a very heavy northern accent. Then I went to Canada and met this professor who was from England, who asked me if I were from Nortern England. My friend was extremely proud, I'm telling you. :wink:

In addition, I think it is misconceived to talk about a "standard British accent". There's BBC/Queen's English, but only the upper class (who went to boarding schools speak like that). I listened too much to BBC News before moving over here, and I did meet people who instantaneously associated my way of speaking with snobbery. Accents in England is very much a matter of class - more so than in any other country that I can think of.

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adrianlondon

Please don't fall into the Chinese way of thinking about language, which is that you're either right or wrong. We Brits quite like to hear people speak English with a foreign accent. As long as you're still understood then it's simply part of your character.

Are you going to change your mannerisms, behaviour, food preferences etc also to match the Queen? Good luck with that ;)

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rezaf
Are you going to change your mannerisms, behaviour, food preferences etc also to match the Queen? Good luck with that ;)

:lol: No problem with food. I eat everything but I want to erase all the evidence that shows I am an Iranian. Maybe I should pick Indian accent instead :mrgreen: It would match my face:wink:

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yonglin
Maybe I should pick Indian accent instead

Indian accents are more efficient: no one gets as many words across in a 50 minute lecture as an Indian professor of mine. :mrgreen: Sometimes, I'm wondering if they speak that rapidly in Hindi (or other local language as well), or if it's just when they speak English...?

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rezaf

Due to the shitty( :oops: can't find a better word) political and social situation in Iran, many of us Iranian expats are quite under the delusion that all Europeans and Americans hate us, although it might not be a delusion these days :wink: ,therefore we hide our identity whenever we can :roll: . I love the pure form of Persian culture, poetry and everything but I also have enough bad memories from Iran and I want to forget them. Anyway I want the accent for more personal reasons. I used to study music(ages ago) and wrong accents sound like false notes in my ears.

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adrianlondon

I doubt you'll be hated in the UK and I also doubt many people will know you're Iranian rather than, say, Iraqi (such as my ancestory). There are many Arabs in London who seem to survive ok without pretending to be Indian. But then again, maybe they're so good at faking it that there are hardly any real Indians in the UK at all ...

Omid Djalili (http://www.omidnoagenda.com/) is really popular right now. And he deserves to be as he's very funny/good.

So maybe your accent can work to your advantage ;)

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roddy

Tell them from Persia - it's close enough to the truth and half the British population will nod and say 'oh, that's nice' without realizing it's no longer an actual country.

How much of that is your actual accent, and how much is you trying to sound like you're on the BBC?

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renzhe
In addition, I think it is misconceived to talk about a "standard British accent". There's BBC/Queen's English, but only the upper class (who went to boarding schools speak like that). I listened too much to BBC News before moving over here, and I did meet people who instantaneously associated my way of speaking with snobbery. Accents in England is very much a matter of class - more so than in any other country that I can think of.

I agree with all of this (especially the class part), but I think that if you're going to learn an accent as a foreign learner, might as well learn the BBC one because everyone will understand you. Far better than insisting on speaking Geordie or Cockney or Scotch.

And if you don't really overdo it, you won't come over as pompous either. Most Europeans (on the continent) learn the BBC English as their pronunciation, at least I did as a kid. In order to be really pompous, you have to keep using rare words (preferably straight from Latin), sentence structures and conjunctions from the literary language (lest, whilst...) and use the "Tony Blair" stress which you've already mentioned. Most foreigners won't be able to pull this off without a lot of intentional effort :mrgreen:

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Scoobyqueen

Recaf - I agree with you in that it is better to have a native-sounding accent than none.

Judging from your recording, you are certainly able to achieve your objective. Your recording sounds like you are reading the piece but the fact that you are able to do so emulating the intonation so well shows you have an ear for languages.

I think that you are better off taking (or supplementing the English course) with elocution lessons with a qualified linguist in the UK if you can afford it. That way you can hone in on your weaknesses. In a class room setting that may not be possible.

I have sent you a private message with some minor points about suggestions for improvement.

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rezaf
Omid Djalili (http://www.omidnoagenda.com/) is really popular right now. And he deserves to be as he's very funny/good.

So maybe your accent can work to your advantage ;)

These two are also funny:

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

It seems that they all make money out of the delusion of being terrorists.

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