Want a Perfect British Accent? This Voice Coach Has Your Back!

Image Credit: ITV

Whether you’re an aspiring actor or just want to have a little fun learning how to speak like a Brit, acquiring an authentic accent isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially without help.

Dialect coach and author of Classically Speaking: Dialect for Actors Patricia Fletcher has some tips that should work across the board if mastering a classic British accent is on your to-do list.

Her tips are ideal for mastering a “proper” British accent, meaning the one that you hear on television and in most movies, but she does have a few ideas on how you can acquire the dialect of your choice, too – and according to her, it mostly comes down to rhythm.

Image Credit: ITV

For example, if you have a “neutral” American accent (Midwest, West, etc), you tend to sit on your E sounds, while Brits are more terse. As in, where you would say “reel-ee,” for “really,” an Englishman would use a more succinct “real-ly.”

She also advises that, as an American, you watch how much you “reveal” through your speech. Americans enunciate their A-E-I-O-Us with lax, expressive lips. Born-and-bred Brits keep that “stiff upper lip,” meaning more reserved mouth movements that reveal fewer emotions.

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“Americans reveal our emotions a lot through those vowel sounds,” Fletchers says.

Do your best, she says, to leave your native intonations at the door. For more tips and practical applications, check out her video here, and get ready to spend some hours (or days) in front of the mirror before taking that accent public!

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

And if you’re looking to adopt a cockney accent as good as Audrey Hepburn’s in My Fair Lady or to sound like a Beatle (the famous Scouse accent that originated around Liverpool), well, you’ll probably need to do some extra research and work.

But isn’t that half the fun?