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Is My British Accent Really THAT Bad?

I got the following YouTube comment on my previous British accent video:

It was a blow to my morale, to be honest with you. No sugar-coating, no hiding behind nice words. Just a matter-of-factly statement that my Received Pronunciation is nowhere near being native-like and that I’m better off speaking with my own accent.

I was feeling quite crappy, to be honest with you guys, and I even considered quitting this Accent Adventure project altogether because the harsh reality hammered home – “I’m bad at accent learning, and I’ll never sound like a native English speaker…”

A couple of minutes later I started analysing the whole thing, and here’s what I realized.

The video I got commented on was recorded WITHOUT any preparation or warm-up at all. I just turned my camcorder on, and started speaking to see how good I am at speaking with my target accent without prepping up.

I watched my video right after I recorded it and my British Accent sounded OK to me, however, when I went back to it today, I realized that it wasn’t anywhere near as good as my normal RP videos which have been recorded after some warming-up has been done.

That would provide a partial explanation as to why the commentator in question felt I was struggling to put on the British accent without much success.

Other than that, there’s always the chance that some people will have strong opinions on your pronunciation no matter how good it is.

Here’s a positive comment I received on one of my accent videos; the commentator is a native British English speaker:

And here’s a comment I got by another native British speaker:

Do you really think all these people where just trying to be nice and didn’t want to admit that in reality my British accent is total crap?

Well, for some reason or another I don’t want to believe that. I don’t think anyone would be bothered posting any comments at all were my RP as bad as I was lead to believe by this last commentator, so I’ll give him the benefit of doubt because he hadn’t seem my previous British Accent videos!


Just got a comment on this video on YouTube, here it is:

Turns out my British accent isn’t that bad at all, so I guess I should probably make it my habit to review my own advice on how to combat negativity more often! 😀

Chat soon,

Robby 😉

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Susan

    Dear Robby,
    The problem you have is that you sound like you come from Eastern Europe, so whether you try an American or UK accent you still sound Eastern European. No problem there but please don’t kid yourself that you sound anything else. Your videos are also too long and rambling. As you go on, irrespective of your accent, you sound less and less fluent. Say something once and clearly, repeating it over and over in different ways isn’t going to make it sound better.

    • accentrobby

      Thanks for your five cents Susan!

      I know for a fact that I have an East-European accent, but it doesn’t prevent me from trying to better my pronunciation. If I can master my target accent by 80% or thereabouts, I will consider it a success, and I don’t care for the trace of my East-European accent still in my speech.

      I’m not trying to pretend to me a native English speaker.

      I’m trying to prove that accent acquisition is just an acquired skill and anyone can do it – provided one puts in a lot of effort and time.

      Btw – you’re welcome to check out my latest American accent video – http://accentadventure.com/ae-tensing/- just tell me I’m not good? 😉

      As for the lengthy videos – well, different strokes for different folks, a lot of people like that. Yes, sometimes I get less fluent while doing so, but that’s me, and that’s why those who follow my blogs and channels like watching me.

      Thanks for commenting,



  • http://www.speak-easily.com Speakeasily

    Hey Robby, the video is perfect. I did not get any mishap in the accent. Don’t bother about what others say. Your voice is perfect and accent is good. Keep posting and sharing such blogs. Your posts have a lot to learn from.

    • accentrobby

      Thanks for the positive feedback, much appreciated! 😉

  • http://javiervallestero.blogspot.com.es Francisco Javier

    Don’t give up, Robby.

    No foreigner will ever sound exactly like a native speaker. But you sound close. Don’t pay much attention to some people’s comments. Sometimes, they just want to make others feel bad.

    Your blog is very interesting and helpful. Don’t ever think about closing it!

    • accentrobby

      Thanks Francisco,

      I definitely won’t stop posting on this blog, but I will introduce some changes to it, that’s for sure.

      It’s not just because of this incident, I’d been considering doing it for some time but now I’ve finally made up my mind.

      I’ll make an announcement at some stage during this week, so stay tuned!