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The Cast's Accent/dialect

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Hello everybody,

 

I am new here and very glad to find this wonderful forum on Big Bang Theory!

 

I have a question regarding the cast's accent or dialect. My native tongue is not English and that is why I can't hear where a person is from based on his accent (except for Raj's :nomention:).

 

Can you hear which kinds of accent the cast members have or do they have any specific accent/dialect? Those who I am particulary interested to know are:

 

Sheldon

Leonard

Penny

Howard

Bernadette

Cripky

 

It would help me with studying English at a higher level as well as I can be even more familiar with those lovely characters :tender:

 

Thank you in advance!

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So far as I can tell they are not doing regional accents on this show. Of course I could be missing something too since I am from western Canada.

 

I took a month long company course in Milwaukee back in 1985 and I was struck during the introductions by the regional accents. There was perhaps eighty or more participants and as each person introduced themselves I was amazed at the diversity of distinctive accents.

 

As for TBBT I'd assume they have all been in California long enough to pick up the local accent which sounds like no accent at all to me; however, when I have traveled to central Canada or anyplace in the US people pick out my western Canadian accent quickly (or at least they used to, I have not traveled much in a long time). I'm guessing we really only notice an accent we don't here often.

Edited by djsurrey

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Hello everybody,

 

I am new here and very glad to find this wonderful forum on Big Bang Theory!

 

I have a question regarding the cast's accent or dialect. My native tongue is not English and that is why I can't hear where a person is from based on his accent (except for Raj's :nomention:).

 

Can you hear which kinds of accent the cast members have or do they have any specific accent/dialect? Those who I am particulary interested to know are:

 

Sheldon

Leonard

Penny

Howard

Bernadette

Cripky

 

It would help me with studying English at a higher level as well as I can be even more familiar with those lovely characters :tender:

 

Thank you in advance!

 

I don't think they really do regional accents.

 

But Jim Parsons is from Texas, and so is his character, Sheldon.  While Jim doesn't speak with a very pronounced accent, some of his words have a very subtle bit of his Texan accent.  Of course, now and then Jim will exaggerate Sheldon's accent for effect, like in the episode where he gets locked out of his apartment and he says that bit about "go skinny-dippin' down by the crick", or in the Thespian Catalyst when he's doing the acting scenes with Penny and is playing his mother.

And speaking of Mary Cooper, her accent is a sort of Texan accent.

 

Leonard is supposed to be from New Jersey, but since his family is college-educated, etc., they don't have the sort of "street" accent one might associate with parts of New Jersey.

However, I think Johnny Galecki is actually from the Chicago area and I can hear that midwestern accent in his voice--kind of flat vowel sounds, where a word like "any" sounds a little more like "ihnny" or whatever.  But his accent is also kind of watered down, probably because he's in show business and also because he's been living and working in California for most of his life now.

 

Kaley is from California and so she has that Western USA non-accent.

 

Pretty much anywhere west of Texas/Oklahoma and Nebraska and the Dakotas, there isn't really a regional accent.  People have what most of us think of as a "standard American" accent, with no pronounced regional idiosyncrasies.  There might be an exception for Wyoming and Montana--there might be a kind of "cowboy"/Texanish kind of thing up there--I'm not really familiar with that area.

 

Anyway, I don't think there are any real regional accents going on with the actors--nothing that they're doing on purpose, anyway.

 

I think Jim's is the only accent that you can really notice, but it's generally so light that it only comes out here and there in certain words.

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One thing that actors learn is to do Standard US, no particular accent (or, if you prefer, an accent because it's different from all the regional accents). Jim, with a Masters degree, has probably taken courses on that. Johnny grew up in Chicago (and I near Chicago) and I don't hear a Chicago accent. In my normal speaking, I have a midwest accent, I tend to lengthen short vowel sounds, and clip long vowel sounds. I can get rid of it,(and in my current show I have to, according to my director)with a bit of work. I can also do several accents (NE, South) if I work at it a bit. There's a series on YouTube that will explain how to pronounce words to make it appear you have a regional accent or how to get rid of it.

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One thing I find fascinating is all the subtle variations on Southern accents--if you have a good ear you can really tell the difference between Georgia and the Carolinas and Texas and Arkansas or Oklahoma, etc.

 

I used to work in a call center, so we heard all kinds of accents from all over the country.  That was probably one of the most fun things about that job.

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Or, how you pick up an accent. I live in Florida, in an area that is not overrun with retired people, so the people around me, have been here for generations and have a bit of an accent. I can hear it, being from the midwest. They, of course, can hear mine as it sticks out like a sore thumb. However, when I go back to my hometown, they tell me they can hear a little bit of a southern accent in mu speech now. I, of course, have no idea what they are talking about.

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Oh, yeah, I know I've picked up a bit of the Arkansas accent, but hopefully just a smidgen.

 

Growing up in New Mexico, I also heard a lot of accents from other states because we had a lot of people from "back East" moving out there for the climate, etc.  I had friends from varous parts of New York State, from the midwest, etc.

 

I love it when Jim does some kind of interview or something and says, "Thanks, y'all!" at the end.  Little TexAss! :p

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Growing up in New Mexico, I also heard a lot of accents from other states because we had a lot of people from "back East" moving out there for the climate, etc.

My kids didn't grow up with an accent. My youngest daughter, the actress, was born in NM. Alamogordo,to be specific. Lived there for three years, moved to Florida for a year, three years in Germany, then three in North Carolina, then back to Florida until she left for college.

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Some parts of NM have an accent--the towns that are too close to Texass. :p  Hobbs and Portales are the ones that come immediately to mind.  I knew people from there when I was in undergrad and they sounded pretty much like Texans.  They got contaminated... :p

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I don't think they really do regional accents.

 

[snip]...  Of course, now and then Jim will exaggerate Sheldon's accent for effect, like in the episode where he gets locked out of his apartment and he says that bit about "go skinny-dippin' down by the crick", ...[snip]

 

 

So, I always assumed he was doing hillbilly rather than Texan here?

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So, I always assumed he was doing hillbilly rather than Texan here?

 

Either way, it's not that different.  But I think it was pretty Texan--and that would be what Sheldon is familiar with.  And what Jim is familiar with.

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Oh, thank you all for your very helpful tips!!

 

Now I know that they don't have any distinctive regional accents in this serie! I will listen carefully when Sheldon's mom talks next time I watch, so that I can hear some kinds of Texas accent!

 

Your stories on regional accents and dialects are very interesting and I've got more and more interested in knowing different accents in the US and Canada :good:

 

I will search some video clips on YouTube relating English accents!

 

Thank you so much for your help!!!

 

Have a nice weekend! :o)

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The actors like most in TV shows have perfected the "non-accent", I did read somewhere a long time ago it was a kind of mid-western accent.   Of course coming from Boston I have one of the most recognizable accents in the U.S. so I might be bias!

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Oh, thank you all for your very helpful tips!!

 

Now I know that they don't have any distinctive regional accents in this serie! I will listen carefully when Sheldon's mom talks next time I watch, so that I can hear some kinds of Texas accent!

 

Your stories on regional accents and dialects are very interesting and I've got more and more interested in knowing different accents in the US and Canada :good:

 

I will search some video clips on YouTube relating English accents!

 

Thank you so much for your help!!!

 

Have a nice weekend! :o)

 

I have listened to three of these and this is the one that sounds most natural to me. The three of them all said they had a Canadian accent not realizing that Canada has regional accents too (most of them are not as different as the regional accents in the US which has 10 times the population of Canada)

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One peculiarity that I have noticed with Sheldon's (Jim's) speech is the inability to to pronounce words like home that includes the long "o".  He seems to substitute kind of an "ao" sound in all words with the long "o".

 

Home, throw, know, blow, etc.  I don't know if this is regional, but I have a hard time saying "haome" like he does.  He also says "thum" instead of "them".

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I'm from Texas. Few hrs from Houston.

I don't hear a Texas accent from jim. I don't have a Texan accent and I was born and raised here.

Not all texans have a Texas twang. I loved Missy but could not stand her fake Texas twang and Mary's too. Makes us sound so country.

Galveston and Houston is so urban. There is no tumbleweeds flying by on the streets

The only accent I hear is from Kunal for obvious reasons

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I'm from Texas. Few hrs from Houston.

I don't hear a Texas accent from jim. I don't have a Texan accent and I was born and raised here.

Not all texans have a Texas twang. I loved Missy but could not stand her fake Texas twang and Mary's too. Makes us sound so country.

Galveston and Houston is so urban. There is no tumbleweeds flying by on the streets

The only accent I hear is from Kunal for obvious reasons

 

I don't know about you, obviously, :) , but Jim definitely has an accent, but it's very subtle, of course.

I actually read an article, earlier this year, that discussed accents in Texas, and it does indeed discuss that in the big urban areas the accents are less obvious than in some parts of the state.

I think that Jim's mother and sister have only the mildest of accents as well.

 

However, Jim does kind of over-pronounce certain vowels.  When he says "move", for instance, it sounds like "moouve" or something like that--a very tight "oo" sound that seems to have a "u" in it.  I don't think that's necessarily Texan, though.

But once when he was on Conan, I think, he talked about when he was a young actor, maybe in college or so, how his accent was still kind of strong.  He kind of made fun of himself in describing how he sounded, "Hah, boys and girls!"  It was very cute.

 

I'm sure his accent was never all that strong, but I can hear it pretty often.

In the Thespian Catalyst, before he starts reading the part of his mother in the scene, when he's explaining it to Penny, he says something about the part of his mother, "played bah yew".  I'm sure that was completely unintentional, and it slips by pretty quickly, but I really heard it. :)

 

And once in a while, in interviews or whatever, at the end he'll say, "Thanks, y'all" and you can hear it then, too.

 

I love his little twang. ;)

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One of the things that piqued my interest in the show, before I had ever watched a single episode, was when TBS was running a bunch of ads after the show had been sold into syndication. Johnny and Jim were doing a bit about the TBS logo, and Jim's Southern accent really came through. It stood out to me because I don't often hear the accent, the genuine accent, of "my people" on television. (I'm from Virginia and have a stronger accent than Jim.)

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A lot of people from Texas think they don't have an accent until someone from another state hears them speak.  I had no idea I spoke with a bit of a twang until I was about 11 years old.  On TBBT I notice Melissa's New Jersey accent whenever she gets angry or excited sometimes.  Jim's Texan accent definitely comes out sometimes.  Those are the only two on the show that I've noticed so far.

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