How to sound posh – Part one


Hi there! Good evening! It’s nice to be here that sort of thing.. I.. I’m sorry, who.. who are you? I’m here to do the Received Pronunciation, the RP posh accent. I believe you must be mistaken, I’m here to do the RP accent. Oh.. certainly we can work together, I don’t mind if.. if it’s ok with you. Very well, if we must.. Ok! Well, I suppose I’ll represent the more modern RP, basically people who wish to show a level of intelligence or class in their speech will generally speak as I do. And I suppose you’d represent the more archaic, old-fashioned RP.. Old-fashioned?! I should wash your mouth up with soap and water! Yes, .. well… Perhaps, you should begin by telling them what RP is and is not. Ok, well, RP goes by many different names Standard English, Oxford English, The Queen’s English, BBC English.. Well, it is true, in the past, BBC news reporters were expected to speak in a similar style to the Queen. They would speak very upper-class. For example : Good evening! We interrupt this program to bring you a special news policy The Germans have bombarded British shores from the air. Our American allies are here to land a helpy hand. Lovely. Thank you. Whereas today’s BBC represents a more realistic range of British accents. Today, modern RP isn’t exactly a very specific way of speaking, Think of Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Emma Watson, Stephen Fry… They’re all on the spectrum of RP, but the way they speak isn’t exactly identical to one another. The main idea of RP today is using good enunciation, a wide range of vocabulary, and just generally use the correct grammar. Not like those bloody Kardashians who really leave a great deal to be desired in that department they may have rather splendid rear ends but bottom of the barrel, I say Yes, I mean… I .. I..I.. I I bet they sat at the rear of the class in fact, i bet they were kept behind after school, ay!? Yes, indeed. Are you finished? Yes, sorry… Indeed! Let’s begin with the sounds : we’ll show you the differences between more modern RP and the older-fashioned upper RP. Modern RP is more just about proper enunciation, good full articulation of consonants, good pronounciation of consonants, especially Ts, for example : Try not to use glottal Ts wherever possible. For example, “water”, not “wa’er” (water with the glottal T) “Better”, not “be’er” (better with the glottal T) However, where there’s a T sound at the end of a word, sometimes, we don’t say it. For example : Absolutely Definitely United States In regular RP, we use something called R linking or R joining. In a sentence, such as this : “India and China” India ends with an “A” sound, the next word begins with an “A” sound, so, in regular RP, we join them with an “R”. For example : “India (r) and China” Whereas in upper RP, we wouldn’t do that. “India and China” One important thing to note is that RP is non-rhotic, which means we don’t pronounce the “R” sound For example, in this word Americans might pronounce it “hard” with a “R” sound. But in RP we don’t. We pronounce it /hɑ:d/ One important thing to remember is in these words, the “A” is pronounced like a /ɑ:/ Class, Task, Ask, Grass… whereas in these words, the “A” sound is pronounced like an /æ/ Man, Can, Hand, Maths The sounds in more common English accents come from further back in the mouth, as Jason Statham pointed out in his video. Whereas in RP and upper RP, the sounds come from further forward in the mouth The rule is this : the higher level of RP, the posher the accent, the further forward in the mouth is where the sound would come from. In upper RP, the jaw move as little as possible, think Keira Knightley! She speaks with a very good posh accent, but she looks like a ventriloquist dummy when she speaks because her mouth barely moves. and that all lands to make a sound posher. So, I think that’s probably… we have time for it, you probably have to be somewhere? Yes, I gotta be going! I’m.. a bit in a rush.. What time is now? Click here to view the next class! Goodbye! Non-automatic English subtitles by Julie Descaves

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