Use the tabs to the left to navigate the guide.
Actors, comedians, satirists and many other storytellers use accents to bring their stories to life. But how do they convincingly sound like someone from a different region or country? Some people can simply listen to an accent a few times and easily mimic that accent. Others have to meticulously research and practice the accent before it feels and sounds natural. This guide is meant to support any individual wherever they may be in their facility with Dialect Acquisition.
The Dialect Acquisition Process is composed of several steps:
This guide is designed to reflect this process. Use the tabs to the left to navigate the guide, from Listening to and Observing examples, to Identifying and Analyzing accents and dialects, to Practicing and then Applying the accent/dialect to monologues, scenes, and more. The final tab - Understanding - helps situate this process in the current field.
Accent and Dialect are often used interchangeably. But more specifically, accent is the way a person or a group of people pronounces words. Dialect refers to both the accent and the grammatical rules of the language. Further insight into the distinction is discussed by Ben T. Smith on his post on the dialect blog: http://dialectblog.com/2011/01/28/dialect-vs-accent/. Babbel also dives into the discussion as well: https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/accents-and-dialects.
This guide was developed in collaboration with Allison Moody, Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice and Speech in the Department of Theatre.