Are you the one to wince every time an actor mispronounces English while trying to emulate a particular accent? Do you have your opinion on which accent is the hardest to master and which isn’t? Are you accent-nazi? Well, tune-in with a recent analysis that states which English accent is the most difficult to master and which movies from Hollywood did the worse to retain it. Check out if you were correct or wrong all along. Also, find out which actor did the worst in vocalizing an accent.
Internet education platform Shaw Academy analyzed 200 plus entries in top ‘worst Hollywood accents’ and tallied 203 individual mentions on 16 websites about ‘worst Hollywood accents’ to conclude that British English is the most difficult to master, followed by Irish, American, Russian and the last worst the Australian English. Here’s elaborating on the Top 3.
Just for information, the famous websites harrowed were Backstage, Cheatsheet, Cosmopolitan, Daily Break, Digital Spy, Looper, MTV, RadioX, Russia Beyond, Shortlist, Taste of Cinema, The Culture Trip, The Loop, The Telegraph, Women’s Day and Yahoo.
#1.The Great British accent
Brits believe they don’t speak in an accent called a ‘British English.’ However, they clearly make distinctions between the four broad categories of dialects spoken like English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish. Linguists agree that the British accent has evolved more than the American accent it gave birth to, in recent years.
Shaw Academy states British English is the most widely mispronounced English in Hollywood. The British accent is often noted for its distinct stress and heaviness, unlike American English. That said, 14 out of 16 websites, in their list of worst Hollywood accents mentioned The Matrix star Keanu Reeves for his British attempt in Dracula. Other movies from Hollywood where actors did worse and cited on the lists are:
- Anne Hathaway for One Day
- Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins
- Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- Don Cheadle in Ocean’s Eleven for his unsuccessful Cockney accent.
According to Shaw Academy about The Matrix star: “This accent attempt is especially unnatural because Keanu only emphasized the difference between British and American English by its rhotic vs. nonrhotic endings. Getting the British accent correct takes more than just pronouncing the ‘r’ at the end of a word or not pronouncing it.”
#2. The Irish Accent
The first mention of any actor who did worse to emulate the tongue is the PS: I Love You star Gerard Butler. He just could not pull off the accent for his role as a husband speaking from beyond the grave.
According to a Shaw Academy course educator “Irish is called a language of a million accents, so it’s not really easy. Also, Gerard has gone on record to publicly apologize for his fake accent in an interview, so it’s hard not to love him for that.”
Other mentions of hollywood movies in the list of worst Irish pronouncers are:
- Brad Pitt in The Devil’s Own
- Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly
- Tom Cruise in Far and Away
- Cameron Diaz in Gangs in New York
“Here’s the thing about the Irish accent – there are so many wildly different variations of it that any non-native speaker is going to struggle to master it,” the educator notes. This list is quite shocking since most of them are adored by fans for their great acting skills. But the list reinstates the important role that accents play in the minds of the viewers. Especially when the cinema is a global medium.
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#3. The American tone
Americans are proud of their accent. Their distinct stresses in ‘r’ and ‘p’ among others make it a matter to be mastered. While Americans will not find it difficult at all, non-Americans trying to speak American English will have to practice hard.
Shaw Academy states that both Americans and non-Americans alike struggle to keep up with the ‘united state of an American accent,’ with special mentions going to Southern and Bostonian accents. Now, coming to the worst emulation of the accent in Hollywood, the unfortunate crown goes to Nicholas Cage for his portal of Cameron Poe in Con Air.
“If you’re hoping to master the Southern accent, you’ll not only need to add some words from the Southern dialect, but it will also help if you can remember one thing: It’s usually hot in the South, which is one reason why many people say Southerners move at a slower pace,” Shaw Academy educator says.
Below is the list of actors who were not able to ace the American accent as per the viewer’s vote:
- Nicholas Cage’s portrayal of Cameron Poe in Con Air
- Gerard Butler in The Bounty Hunter
- James Van Der Beek in Varsity Blues
- Michael Caine in On Deadly Ground
- Kate Winslet in Titanic
Well, did your opinion on accents match the majority? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. Do you agree or disagree, and share this article with your friends and family and ask them to state their favorite?
(Cover image courtesy of Shaw Academy via press release)