37 comments on “American English speaker Nonaka Miki: “People who speak British English sound really smart.”

  1. Upper class English accents make you seem smart, lower class English accents make you incomprehensible.

  2. To add another movie/play: My Fair Lady. Of course. Totally shows how there’s a difference between lower and higher classes in terms of dialect.

    However when it comes to Beckham – I mean he’s from Manchester. Manchester is a typical working class city… you can’t expect him to sound like he just graduated from Oxford lol.

    • He’s actually from London, and he has a very typical London (almost Cockney) accent. Actually noone makes fun of him for that accent, it’s the fact that his voice is very high for someone who looks so rugged and manly

    • If people in Japan decided to learn english by watching Red Dwarf, they would all be calling each other “smeghead” all the time.

  3. My big takeaway from trying to be bilingual (and living in Japan):
    English was designed so users could decipher what someone is saying even when they butcher the language.
    Japanese is so strict that the slightest deviation can cause an entire sentence to be indecipherable to a native Japanese speaker. Part of this had to do with Japanese people often being unable to compute when Japanese comes out of the mouth of a foreigner.

    The times I’ve met Chel – only at group handshakes – I’ve rarely spoken English to her. I guess that’s cruel of me. I rank her in the top half of Momusu members, so I should be nicer. Next time!

  4. At first I couldn’t tell the difference between American and British English. When I could, I started watching English girls youtube channels, they are so cute, lol.
    I still can’t tell the difference between different American accents. Do Canadians have a different accent?
    I think Miki’s English is ok, but she lacks a lot of vocabulary, like anyone who speaks a language and can’t practice it everyday. It happens even to adults who were fluid and then stop using the language for several years.


        Canadians HATE the aboot/sorey thing because it’s not true. It’s ABOUT. Why the fuck do Americans continue to think we talk like this??? The only Canadians who say it like that are Newfies (from Newfoundland in the East). I had a geography teacher from there once, and he spoke like that, and I was just like, “So THAT’S where it comes from!” And american heard a newfie say that once and he spread it like wildfire, and now everyone thinks the whole country’s the same.

        That’s like saying that every Amercian speaks in a southern accent, and you all sound like hicks.

        • Counterpoint: A bunch of genre shows are filmed in Toronto these days, and it’s always amusing to me to hear the actors dropping some of the Canadian accent into their lines. I’ve definitely heard the “sory” in several shows.

        • I spent a week in training with Newfies from Newfoundland and Cowboys from Calgary. It is just like you said. Some of my fellow Americans teased the Newfies without mercy. After a while it really got under their skin and a fight almost broke out our last night together. We kept telling them just to raze them back. Tease them about their New York or Chicago or Southern accents. The Newfies were to prim & proper to stoop so low. They had no jokes about Americans. Which just made it even funnier!

  5. Even if English isn’t my native language I felt kind of offended by the first half of this thread on behalf of the English speaking population of the world. Aren’t the questions on these radio shows send in by listeners? Why do they even start off by talking badly of American an Australian English when obviously some listener and Maria and Kaga had no clue that there are different dialects to begin with?? Is there a language in this world without different dialects??
    And even if Mikis English isn’t perfect I think the average Japanese person isn’t one to judge. Neither on the fact that it has it’s flaws nor on whatever accent she speaks in.

  6. Everytime I watch videos of Nonaka speaking in English, I find it really weird. Is it because of her intonation? It sounds like she speaks English with a Japanese intonation, it’s rather strange.

      • her english definitely from southern america with a rather thick accent so it kind of difficult to hear from more international/hollywood american english perspective… she definitely not using english with japanese accent… you can compare it to babymetal english, they more into english with japanese accent…

        • Her Southern Drawl PLUS her Japanese intonation makes her harder to understand for English speakers; she only has diction and rhythm conflictions.

          Like, even if she didn’t need to improve her vocab and language flexibility, she’d still take a while to be understood. Because it’s not a very common combination for most to hear.

          • Southern drawl? This southerner detects very little if any actual drawl left in her, at least not the few times I’ve heard her speak at length.

          • >Her Southern Drawl PLUS her Japanese intonation makes her harder to understand for English speakers; she only has diction and rhythm conflictions.

            Oh. It’s her Southern drawl mixed with Japanese intonation. I always thought she had a speech impediment or that her mouth was lazy.

  7. I always thought it would have been funny if Chinami had come back to Japan with a thick New Zealand accent.

  8. As an american myself, i gotta somewhat agree with her.. England english is the type of english you’ll see straight out of a text book… They’re accents vary depending where your from, but i gotta imagine the thread commentors are talking about Buckingham palace king and queen type english as the easiest for japanese people to understand which makes sense..

    As for Miki’s english, yeah her pronunciation has a slow slurry sound to it which is basically cause she grew up in the south… If she grew up in the northeast like me her speech would be as close you can get to clear english, i feel we north-easterners dont really have accents or weirdly different variations of words as much as other parts of the county

      • Nah, boston people are just weird lol.. Theyre trying to hard to force their accents.. I know quite a few people from that area that dont do the accent

    • As a non-American I can assure you that you definitely have an accent, no matter which part of USA you come from. Fact is, every country and region has an accent, there is no base, pure form of english to compare it to. Even received pronunciation is an accent.

  9. The American accent, is actually the original accent of the British. Nobles created the current British accent to set themselves apart from the peasants. Eventually, it lead to the whole population speaking that way.

    So the Brits that immigrated to the new world (US) maintained the original accent, eventually becoming what is known as the American accent.

  10. Great thread. Loved the comment that said this discussion got so deep that it wasn’t about Chel anymore! And there really are knowledgeable wota hanging around, huh?

    (also i’m canadian and live in a bordering town in ontario, and we definitely speak in a different accent than people in michigan. my neighbour grew up in new brunswick, and sometimes i can’t barely understand him. there’s a ton of accents so i don’t know why canadians get so cranky about this stuff lol)

  11. 17: “The people who first emigrated to America were all these protestants and peasants who couldn’t support themselves — the upper class people in the UK never had to emigrate. Maybe that’s the reason American English might sound less intelligent than British English?

    I get what she’s saying about Australia, though.”

    About the first part of this comment… Nah, that’s Australian English.

  12. My mum’s British, but she has a northern accent like Christopher Eccleston and Sean Bean (I think).

    I don’t have a strong Australian accent like most, and have been told I have a very “BBC” accent (and voice). Some people think I’m actually British, but I’ve lived in Australia my whole life.

    • And British English is easier to understand for Japanese people, because the vowel sounds are the same, where as in American English, the vowel sounds are … ‘harder’, I guess?

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