I am an Indian and I would like to know what Americans/British (and people from other English speaking countries) would think about my accent. Certainly I can't speak out loudly here and so I am linking to a YT clip of Prannoy Roy, his accent is as good as it can get in India. All educated and upper class Indians(including myself) who prize "proper" English follow his accent (for lack of better way of putting it). We don't sound like the call centre employees, they sound neither Indian nor American !
The YT link:
The Clip shows the beginning of an interview between Prannoy Roy and David Cameroon. So, it will be easy to compare the perfect Indian Standard Accent and British Accent.
Please tell me whether the accent is -
i) very good and easy to understand Indian Accent
ii) understandable but a corrupted version of RP Accent(Standard British Accent)
iii) poor and difficult to understand
iv) RP or Neutral Accent
Please give me your honest opinion, am still a student, so your feedback will help me a long way in improving my English.
Actually, I listened to the video and wanted to comment here, but first got sidetracked in another forum thread!
The short answer (my opinion) is i). I have more to say, but I'm running late for something and will have to postpone the fuller response for a few hours.
So, to expand a little.
I think Prannoy Roy has a very good and easy to understand Indian Accent. I can absolutely understand why he would be the standard to copy. Still, there are a few specific sounds and features that make his accent different from a Standard British Accent. (I am an American, so please take that into account with my comments.)
Some of the specific sounds (of Roy's) that could be upgraded a bit:
the r's and l's are noticeable - not strongly, but definitely; that is, noticeably different from a British speaker's pronunciation; (hurt, first, minister, well, welcome);
some consonants, notably the t's (and ch's), are much stronger than a native English speaker would pronounce them;
the long -a- sound (as in eight) is a little too close to -eh;
the melody of speech (the pitch) does not cover as wide a range as many Brits do (compare Cameron's wide range); the pitch range sounds more the way we "flat" Americans speak;
overall, a somewhat more fluid stream of words would sound more natural.
Even though I noticed these details, I do believe that Roy's speech is well worth holding up as a model to emulate.
IMO there is no need to be fixated with accent as long as you can speak legible, correct English.
Plus, I think there is a contradiction in what you have said previously - you don't want to emulate the "call-center model", yet you want to emulate how Prannoy speaks.
I would stick to what come naturally to me - even while speaking English. Even native English speakers have different accents depending on where they are from - British speak very differently from Americans, whereas Australians have an entirely different way of speaking. Even in America, accents differ in different regions (this impression is based entirely based on what I have read and watched - I have little first hand experience).
In other words, if there is an effort on improving spoken English, it should be focused on legibility and correctness of the language itself, rather than the accent.
If I am to speak to a "native English speaker" on phone, I want him/her to clearly understand that I am an a non-native speaker - speaking correct English.
Also, an effort to copy the American or British or Australian accent almost always ends up being comical. I always laugh at people who have an Indian accent for all their life, and suddenly acquire a British accent after a one week vacation in London!
That apart, Aficionada made a most detailed, technically perfect analysis.
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