The Sound of American English?

I suppose this video isn’t quite fair, given that there’s a pretty wide variety of accents within the US (from the South, New York, rural Minnesota/the Dakotas, etc.) — not to mention the rest of the countries in “American” — but it really does sound a remarkable amount like English as I know it.

My brain keeps struggling to make sense of the words. It’s as though if I just listen a little harder, I’ll finally figure out what they’re saying — and even though I know that won’t happen, I can’t quite get my mind to stop trying to decipher the words.

It reminds me of a spot we used to do in high school improv — two people do the spot pretending to speak a language, and two people would “translate” for them. Most languages do have patterns and linguistic characteristics, but I’ve really never been able to distinguish what the kind of English I speak sounds like (as opposed to, say, English spoken with a British accent). This video, however, sort of comes close.

2 responses to “The Sound of American English?

    • Oh, wow, it took even longer for me to realize that I wasn’t actually hearing English. I feel like they said “sure” a couple of times when it would make sense. Other than that, though, very impressive. Thanks!

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