One of my favourite accents comes from Southern Louisiana, USA. Slow, drawling, and rhythmic. Try to copy it, and it sounds terrible. Like the Ant Hill Mob driver in the Whacky Races or Tinker in Speed Buggy. YouTube both of those that if you don’t remember.
This person, probably from New Orleans, has grown up with others from the same area who sound the same or comparable. Their parents appeared similar and probably gave them their accent in the first place. So, for them to hear an identical voice must be nectar for their ears.
We can’t and mustn’t imitate an accent – that’s mimicry.
But we can match the voice. Three areas to match.
- Volume or loudness.
- Pace or speed.
- Resonance or deepness.
The trick is to listen carefully, fathom out where their voice comes from. Does it emanate from the throat? Kind of nasally.
Or from the top of the stomach.
Or from deep below, under the stomach. Resonant and deep like a trombone.
Now make your voice come from the same place, and you’ll be amazed how accurately you’ll begin the match their sound without mimicking them at all.
High up in the throat – fast and high pitched. Low down deep in the abdomen is low timbre and slow. The middle of the stomach is medium paced and toned. Try it; it works.
Do this, and the person you’re talking to will feel right at home rather than talking to a stranger.
Or was it Penelope Pitstop from Wacky Races? Now there’s a blast from the past, and Peter Perfect was always on hand to rescue that lil ol’ lady.