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The Newsstand The Quibbler August 2019 Discussion: Accents



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Muggle Born
Ravenclaw
Not Today
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'Hey, hon! How are you doin' today?' is literally the main question that I ask on a regular basis. Sometimes I switch the "hon" to "love" or "suge," which is short for sugar. That's just the slightly southern city girl in me. Not sure if you guessed it, but I'm talking about my accent. Last month, The Quibbler focused on all things accents, and I wanted to share mine. If you haven't already, make sure to check out the latest issue and then come back to tell us what's on your mind.

Discussion Questions to Consider:
- What was your favorite article this month? Why?
- Where are you from? Do you think you have an accent? If so, what kind of accent do you have?
- If you could learn another language what would it be? Why?
- If you could learn another language in the Harry Potter universe, what would it be? Why?
- Do you think one's accent can affect their spell casting?
- Can you do an impression of an accent or of one of your favorite celebrities?


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11:59 PM HEX time on the 28th of August. Any posts submitted later than this will not be eligible for prizes.
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Pureblood
Gryffindor
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- Where are you from? Do you think you have an accent? If so, what kind of accent do you have? 
Of course I have an accent! I'm from Wales, so I have a Welsh accent. A South Welsh accent to be precise, because there is a huge difference in the accents of people from South Wales than North Wales. In fact, there's even a difference in language. North Wales and South Wales have completely different dialects when speaking Welsh. For example the words for grandmother and grandfather are "Mamgu a Tadcu" in the South, and "Nain a Taid" in the North and there are a lot of Welsh words that differ in the North and the South.

- If you could learn another language what would it be? Why? 
I don't know, I know bits and pieces of a few languages but if I could fully learn another language enough to be fluent, I'd probably say either French or Spanish. I know enough of both to get by in France and Spain, but it would be nice to converse fluently in them.

- If you could learn another language in the Harry Potter universe, what would it be? Why? 
Ooh maybe gobbledegook! It would be really cool to understand what the Goblins were talking about.

- Do you think one's accent can affect their spell casting? 
I don't think so, as otherwise people like Seamus wouldn't have been able to perform them as well as others. And people with really thick accents would have problems performing spells correctly and that wouldn't really be fair on them.

- Can you do an impression of an accent or of one of your favorite celebrities? I can do impressions of quite a few accents, particularly different British accents, like Northern Irish (thanks to watching The Fall), Geordie, West Country, East London, Essex ('No Carbs before Marbs, babe!') and Scottish. I can't get to grips with a Scouse accent though, apart from mimicking Jimmy Carr on the Graham Norton show that he did to show you how to do different accents (A can of Coke and a packet of crisps). If you haven't watched it you should, it's hilarious! I can also do an American accent, but that's easy for Brits as we've grown up watching mostly American tv and films. I think real life impressionists are great though, because they can do so many different accents, and not just generic ones, but ones that sound like celebrities. I think the best impressionist is Jane Horricks, because she not only sounds like people talking, but she can sing like them too! That must be some feat! Her performance in Little Voice was just amazing, Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey have such big voices that it must be so difficult to mimic them!
 

Slytherin SKWAD
Slytherin SKWAD
Pureblood
Slytherin
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I am from Orange County California. I don’t think I have an accent but I’m sure if I went anywhere else, people would pick me out as a tourist. If I could learn another language I would learn Arabic. I’ve taken two classes but I can only read and write. I need a bigger vocabulary. My family is from Palestine, so I could talk in their native language and understand what they are gossiping about. I would love to learn Mermish or Gobbledegook because those sound really awesome. I don’t think some one’s accent would affect their spell casting. It’s an interesting idea. I wonder if Fleur casts spells in French or English. I would think French, but perhaps they were taught in English. But then does she think in a “French” accent when she casts spells, or is she saying the English but thinking in French? And does that even matter? Because if she was thinking in French, then she should be able to recreate whatever spell she was thinking, and the accent wouldn’t matter, because the intent wouldn’t really change based upon some minute shifts in pronunciation. So I think that it really doesn’t matter. Magic is not a language. I can’t really do accents although I’ve been told I have a passable British accent.

[217]
 

Pureblood
Slytherin
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I am from Ohio. I am sure I have an accent (everyone does), but I don't notice it. I would guess it is a typical mid-western accent, but I don't know as I can't hear it when I talk.I know I have one because when I travel people ask where I am from.(especially overseas) There are two languages I would like to learn Aramaic and Hebrew so I can read the Bible in it's original languages.I think both would be really hard to learn because they are so different from American English. As far as a Harry Potter language really none, but I guess I would pick parseltongue. It would be interesting to be able to talk to snakes.Most people would not be able to understand you, so you could say whatever you wanted and people would have no clue what you were saying. I do think an accent can affect how you cast a spell. If I tried to cast a spell in Russian, I think it would turn out horribly as I don't have the accent required to say the incantation correctly. (Think Hermione saying It's LeviOsa, not LevioSA.) Even being able to visualize what you want the spell to do would not be enough if you can't pronounce it right. (non-verbal spells excluded)
WC 216
 

Pureblood
Gryffindor
I am constantly confused.
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- What was your favorite article this month? Why?
I enjoyed muggle mania. It made me giggle
Especially this bit --- "Muggles watch other Muggles portray characters on an electronic device. Or ... something like that"

- Where are you from? Do you think you have an accent? If so, what kind of accent do you have?
Everyone has an accent! I am Aussie, so that's my accent I guess. Apparently there are 3 main types of Aussie accents.
Broad - Like Steve Irwin. It's a bit nasally and skips letters.
General - The most commonly heard accent, and what I would also fall under. Hugh Jackman would fall under this.
Cultivated - How Cate Blanchett speaks. It's not very common. It seems like it's slightly closer to a British accent.
Indigenous Australian people's accent also differs slightly. They also differ in how they use some language. I have an aboriginal friend that calls "important people "big business fella's" lol

I love it when people get really into or confused by aussie accents and the words we use. haha

- If you could learn another language what would it be? Why?
German. I like the German language, it is kinda fun in a way. Plus I did spend a few months in Switzerland a few years back and learnt quite a bit then, and enjoyed it. Although I have forgotten most of it now.

- If you could learn another language in the Harry Potter universe, what would it be? Why?
Well, I feel like parsaltongue would be fun, because you get to chat with snakes. I would totally want to become queen of the snakes. I would send them to steal snacks for me.

- Do you think one's accent can affect their spell casting?
Absolutely! In class's they talk so much about how you have to pronounce things exactly so that the spell doesn't go wrong. This would definitely be difficult with certain accents and would require quite a bit of extra time practicing to master spells.
Also, I have a lisp, which again would make some incantations very hard to say! I would definitely need Hermione guiding me through how to say Wingardium Leviosa. I would probably say levoithaaaa.

- Can you do an impression of an accent or of one of your favorite celebrities?
Oh golly. I am not very good at impersonating real accents. I can do a lot of very out there voices, but not particular accents. It would be a very woeful attempt if I tried a British Accent, but I can kindaaa do an american (Californian maybe?) accent.
 

Pureblood
Slytherin
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I truly think I'm in love with Erin's Rant. It's always one of my favorite articles of the Quibbler! Getting rid of spoken word? I'm all for it! Okay, maybe not. I still want to be able to communicate with blind people and while touch is great and all, it would probably be a little easier to speak to them by talking. Also, I laughed a little too hard about the comment on how there's no point of knowing another language if you suck at speaking it.

Having been born in the USA, I had a little bit of an American accent (kind of Californian) once I started living in the Philippines. When I was younger, I got made fun of a lot because whenever I'd speak in Tagalog, I sounded kind of American. I couldn't roll my r's at all, and I feel like the American accent has "harder", but "rounder" sounds. (As an explanation, I used to pronounce "car" with more emphasis on the "arrr" part, but my parents would put more emphasis on the "cca" part.) However, as I got older, my accent became more Tagalog. The problem now is that I tend to mix up both the accents, so that when I speak Tagalog, I sound American, but when I speak in English, I sound Filipino. Sometimes, I think my tongue just wants to mess around with me on purpose.

However, I'm happy with my accent. Back then, I feel like I'd force myself to sound a certain way, but I think it's important to speak as naturally as possible. Some people from the richer families try to sound American, but they only sound like they're forcing themselves as hard as possible to sound that way. Then again, I guess forcing yourself to use a certain accent might help you learn a language better.

I used to try really hard to pronounce Japanese properly. I wanted to learn and still kind of want to learn Japanese because I was a bit of a weeb back then and still listen to Japanese music. It's such an interesting language! Well, all languages are interesting, but I find the writing aspect of Japanese to be the very interesting, like not having spaces between words, using Chinese characters and using their own, simple characters (thank you so much, Japan!). I won't pretend to understand the language, but I still find it cool.

As for languages in the Harry Potter universe, I'd like to learn Troll! It seems very interesting that they can communicate with grunts and points! Maybe I could communicate them and get them to throw some people around for me! Haha, just kidding! I wonder how accents would even work in such a a language. 😂

I'm lucky that I'm rarely ever with people who have accents that are so thick that I can't understand them. People always joke about mispronouncing words, when sometimes, it's just part of the accent or culture. For this reason, I doubt accents matter in spells. Although the movie used "Leviosa" versus "Leviosar", if I remember correctly (forgive me, this was 9 years ago!), Hermione told Ron that the "gar" in his "Wingardium" was wrong and that he should make it longer? I don't think that's really an accent issue. Also, if they can cast spells non-verbally, does the pronunciation really matter?

If accents did matter, then there surely would be spells in other languages, which I think is a fascinating idea! Spells in Kinaray-A or Dunan? Count me in!

I guess I just find it strange that you'd have to force yourself to have a certain accent to cast a spell. I mean, I sure have tried to force myself to speak in a different accent.

I've had to talk in an English accent for school plays. I don't think I was very good, but I convinced my classmates at least, although I wouldn't fool an English person at all! I've also tried to pronounce Japanese in a proper Japanese accent and it works... rarely works. But at least it has!

I feel like the easiest accent I tried to impersonate was the Mexican accent since it's kind of similar to the Tagalog accent with its sort-of-Spanish roots.
 

Muggle Born
Ravenclaw
“Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am.”
2nd year Witch
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Dangerous Beasts. I like that the message that it sends. Even though all of the beasts are different, they are part of a community. Community is a very important issue in the Magical World and the Muggle one.

I was born on Long Island and they definitely have an accent. It is different from the rest of the state (New York) and also from New Jersey. I have since moved around and I do not think I have much of a regional accent anymore, but I think most parts of the U.S.A. do. I am sure it is the same in other countries. I have friends in England and Canada from different regions and it is true there also.

I think it is too hard for me to single out a single language, lol. I would love to know German, Italian, Japanese, Lakota, and so many more. I think it would be advantageous to speak French and Spanish too. And maybe Chinese. I envy people who can speak more than one language fluently. I took Latin all through my school career.

I would like to be able to converse with Merpeople. They appeal to me and I would like to know more about them, those in the Black Lake and elsewhere.

I think it has a definite possibility to. It would be interesting to find out, especially as the pronunciation seems so important as we have seen from Ron and the Wizard Baruffio!

I can do a pretty good southern U.S.A. accent. I have actually fooled people from the South. I am a pretty good mimic, but not on cue, it has to be spontaneous for some reason.

[WC - 276]
 

Pureblood
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Yes I have an accent but it changes depending on the company I am with. I grew up surrounded by two very distinct accents - Nottingham and Geordie. As a student I shared a communal house with girls from Yorkshire, Manchester and Birmingham and picked up parts of their accents. Living in London for 20 years I picked up a London accent and having been in Liverpool for 15 years and a frequent visitor prior to moving here I often notice I pronounce certain words in a manner that is peculiar to Liverpool. different elements become more pronounced when I am in company with those who speak with a particular accent.

What I find amusing is that according to friends and family in Nottingham and London I sound 'proper Scouse' but to those in Liverpool I sound like a 'Southerner'

A friend of mine is in his 60's and when I first met him I was convinced he was from Liverpool he has a really pronounced Scouse accent. As I got to know him I found out he had been born and grown up in Germany only coming to the UK in his 20's - but as a youngster he learnt to speak English by watching Beatles films and copied their pronunciation hence he has a fabulous Scouse accent and is known to his friends as 'German Scouse'

When learning spells we are taught a phonetic pronunciation and therefore this should not be affected by accent.

I love listening to different accents and one of the joys of attending the annual Beatles convention in Liverpool every year is hearing all the different accents during the week.
 

Ultimate Hufflepuff
Ultimate Hufflepuff
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I'm from Israel, and Israelis have a very strong accent most of the time when speaking English, especially if they don't practice it too often. Luckily for me, I have been graced with no Israeli accent, because I live a big portion of my life in English. I did my degree in English, I had to write papers and speak a lot in English, and the same goes today at my work. Having to speak English quite often and having a decent vocabulary thanks to education/movies/books, I didn't aquire that particular accent - though I suppose that if I speak next to someone who's native language is English then they'll probably be able to detect that English isn't my native language XD

I tried learning Spanish for a while in Uni, because I wanted to learn another language and Spanish seemed both easy (I already knew a bit from telenovelas) and useful (I thought I wanted to be a translator). I took 2 courses and then not enough people signed up for the 3rd so it never opened and I was disappointed. But I did get to learn a bit and I'm happy for it - had a great time learning this fun language, too!

If I could learn another language in the Harry Potter universe, I guess it woud be Gobbledegook - just to be able to understand when the goblins at Gringotts talk among themselves, so I wouldn't have to worry about what they are saying. Or worse, dare to ask them >.>

I'm sure one's accent can affect their spell casting, since we know for a fact that some spells have disastreous results if the spell isn't pronounced correctly. It's all Latin, but I suppose there are sounds that aren't as easily pronounced in some languages. They must have a lot of trouble learning such spells..
 

Muggle Born
Ravenclaw
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- What was your favorite article this month? Why?

I loved the Muggle Mania article for this month; it was an interesting take on how wizards would regard television 😂

- Where are you from? Do you think you have an accent? If so, what kind of accent do you have?

I'm from the U.S., so I speak American English, which is really different from other forms of English. Sometimes my parents, who are from India, rub off on me though, and my English becomes somewhat Indian-accented!

- If you could learn another language what would it be? Why?

I've learned Spanish already, so the next language on my list is Korean! I love different forms of Korean media- their music, their TV shows, and their webcomics among others- I have a lot of Korean friends, and I'd like to visit or live in South Korea one day, so it seems like a good investment 😂

- If you could learn another language in the Harry Potter universe, what would it be? Why?

I always thought Mermish might be a useful language to learn; I'd like to talk to the Merpeople in the Black Lake and elsewhere.

- Do you think one's accent can affect their spell casting?

Of course! Most spells known in the HP universe have Greek or Latin roots and have been invented by European wizards (more British than other people from what I've seen), so accents would affect how one pronounces consonants and vowels, both individually and as a whole, enough to possibly change the meaning of what someone is saying. Maybe Wizard Baruffio ran into the same problem!

- Can you do an impression of an accent or of one of your favorite celebrities?

I can do an impression of an Indian accent because I've grown up with them, and I can do a less than stellar British accent, but other than that, I'm rubbish at imitations.
 

Mixed Blood
Slytherin
"Take the blade away from me. I am a freak, I am afraid." ~Badflower
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I am of the belief that everyone has an accent, no matter what they claim. If you move to a different area or someone of a different country hears your voice, they will confirm that you do indeed have an accent, no matter how much you protest.

Personally, I have a sort of southern (US) accent. It's a bit different than what people expect since it's more of a Kentucky-southern than a Texas-southern, but southern is still southern. My accent is sort of lighter than most others from my area, which I've heard multiple people from other areas tell me makes it nicer and less jarring, but it's still obvious.

I do believe an accent would have at least somewhat of an impact on spellcasting. I know Seamus was used as an example of someone with an accent earlier, but I believe the opposite. Seamus was not particularly good at spell-casting. One of the first spells we see Seamus cast, he sets fire to a feather rather than levitating it, and it's said that Seamus made several similar failures throughout the year. I don't believe that people with thick accents would be left completely out of luck; otherwise, wizards would only exist in one region of England instead of worldwide. Rather, there are likely regional variations that overcome these accent differences in order to still have magical capability.

I honestly wish I was a polyglot. Right now, I only claim to know English, even though I have studied multiple languages. However, languages have always fascinated me and people who can switch between a multitude of languages are outstanding. If I could learn many languages and be as fluent as polyglots are, I would be overjoyed.

[ WC: 285 ]
 

Pureblood
Gryffindor
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2nd year Witch
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Quote: Axolittl

I do believe an accent would have at least somewhat of an impact on spellcasting. I know Seamus was used as an example of someone with an accent earlier, but I believe the opposite. Seamus was not particularly good at spell-casting. One of the first spells we see Seamus cast, he sets fire to a feather rather than levitating it, and it's said that Seamus made several similar failures throughout the year. I don't believe that people with thick accents would be left completely out of luck; otherwise, wizards would only exist in one region of England instead of worldwide. Rather, there are likely regional variations that overcome these accent differences in order to still have magical capability.

[ WC: 285 ]



I don't believe that the fire-setting incident was because of his accent, but merely because he got frustrated that it wasn't levitating and poked it with his wand. As we know, emotions have a huge effect on casting spells (Harry for example before he knew he was a Wizard caused certain things to happen when he was scared or angry) and I think that probably has more of an effect on casting spells than if you have an accent. I feel that the movies made Seamus appear to constantly be causing explosions or his spellcasting going wrong, but I don't recall him being that bad at spellcasting in the books other than the forementioned feather.
 

Pureblood
Ravenclaw
Benevolent but unreachable 👽
2nd year Witch
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Age: 18
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- What was your favorite article this month? Why?
My favourite article was Dangerous Beasts. I love the creatures of the wizarding world and learning more about them is always interesting. I didn't know they all had different accents though I guess it does make sense in hindsight.

- Where are you from? Do you think you have an accent? If so, what kind of accent do you have?
I'm from Alberta, Canada. I don't think I have an accent besides the whole "aboot" thing. The eastern provinces definitely have more of an accent (I think the hardest accent is in Newfoundland.)

- If you could learn another language what would it be? Why?
I want to learn German, because most of my ancestry is German. I also want to get back into Spanish. I took Spanish for three years in junior high and it was a lot of fun. I've been meaning to get Duolingo or another language learning app/site but haven't gotten around to it quite yet.

- If you could learn another language in the Harry Potter universe, what would it be? Why?
Parseltongue for sure. I love snakes and want some of my own. To be able to communicate with them would be incredible. I wouldn't have to guess what's wrong, I could just ask or they would tell me. Imagine the conversations!

- Do you think one's accent can affect their spell casting?
I don't think so. I think somehow the wand or magic in general would adapt to that person's accent and be just as effective as someone with no accent. Plus spells don't always require the incantation to be spoken as magic comes from inside you, as stated in the Dangerous Beasts article.

- Can you do an impression of an accent or of one of your favorite celebrities?
No, I'm terrible at impressions. My boyfriend does an amazing Heath Ledger Joker impression though.

[WC 316]
 

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