Mastering a British English Accent for Sport Commentatory

In summary: Unless you have been listening to sports commentary from the 1950s, RP is a thing of the past. British television presenters speak with a range of regional accents. Most use what might be called "careful" English - words and phrases that are in general use.The last of the great RP commentators was Henry Bloefeld (and, yes, Ian Fleming did use that name as the Bond villain). He was a radio cricket commentator for decades and made the most of his Eton accent. He was wonderful to listen to. But in my lifetime the great voices of sport have had a... different... accent.
  • #1
bagasme
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Hello,

When I watched live matches of football (soccer) leagues and MotoGP, live commentators often speak British accent. If I want to be live sport commentators, will mastering British accent (RP) be helpful, assuming that many commentators speak RP and I have taken ESL course?

Cheers, Bagas
 
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  • #2
bagasme said:
Hello,

When I watched live matches of football (soccer) leagues and MotoGP, live commentators often speak British accent. If I want to be live sport commentators, will mastering British accent (RP) be helpful, assuming that many commentators speak RP and I have taken ESL course?

Cheers, Bagas
No. Wrong way to make the decision. Model your pronunciation the way you are taught or are able to acquire. Your ESL teachers probably have their own accents. You may follow those accents or attempt to make a neutral accent ( I am not sure if this is meaningful). Sports commentators in other countries have what accent is appropriate for each individual announcer/commentator. This is not something which a person changes to nor from. On the other hand, a few individuals do adjust their accent, but again, I am unsure how common this is.
 
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  • #3
symbolipoint said:
No. Wrong way to make the decision. Model your pronunciation the way you are taught or are able to acquire. Your ESL teachers probably have their own accents. You may follow those accents or attempt to make a neutral accent ( I am not sure if this is meaningful). Sports commentators in other countries have what accent is appropriate for each individual announcer/commentator. This is not something which a person changes to nor from. On the other hand, a few individuals do adjust their accent, but again, I am unsure how common this is.

symbolipoint, I asked here about RP in commentatory because from personal observation, it is common to speak RP accent in commentary. The most common sign is non-rhoticity pronounciation of RP.
 
  • #4
..., will mastering British accent (RP) be helpful, assuming that many commentators speak RP and I have taken ESL course?
What is this "British accent" and "RP" relationship? What does "RP" stand for? Where do these british sports announcers live? What is their exact language? What is their normal accent? I might be missing something here. People in the British Isles may be exposed to several different accents which occur in Britain. Do people in Britain choose an accent according to what and to whom they are communicating?
 
  • #5
symbolipoint said:
What is this "British accent" and "RP" relationship? What does "RP" stand for? Where do these british sports announcers live? What is their exact language? What is their normal accent? I might be missing something here. People in the British Isles may be exposed to several different accents which occur in Britain. Do people in Britain choose an accent according to what and to whom they are communicating?
symbolipoint, please note that British accent is also called RP (Received Pronounciation).

In most cases, I don't know who those commentators that I often heard their voice are from, nor their normal accent.
 
  • #6
In America there is a form of English called Standard English. Most politicians at the national stage will learn to speak in this manner so as to appeal to the majority of Americans. I am sure other countries do the same and that what the sports announcers are adopting follows this form.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_English
Why not contact a few sports announcers to see how they learned to speak that way? or ask an English language professor at the local universitty the same questions?

As an example, they may be affecting a British accent or an Australian one. As @symbolipoint has mentioned there are many types of British accents if you travel through the British Isles that you will encounter. Some are easy to understand and some are not.
 
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Thanks for anyone that move this thread to General Discussion forum.
 
  • #8
bagasme said:
Hello,

When I watched live matches of football (soccer) leagues and MotoGP, live commentators often speak British accent. If I want to be live sport commentators, will mastering British accent (RP) be helpful, assuming that many commentators speak RP and I have taken ESL course?

Cheers, Bagas
Unless you have been listening to sports commentary from the 1950s, RP is a thing of the past. British television presenters speak with a range of regional accents. Most use what might be called "careful" English - words and phrases that are in general use.

The last of the great RP commentators was Henry Bloefeld (and, yes, Ian Fleming did use that name as the Bond villain). He was a radio cricket commentator for decades and made the most of his Eton accent. He was wonderful to listen to.

But in my lifetime the great voices of sport have had a range of accents with the RP speakers gradually dying off: Henry Longhurst for the golf, Dan Maskell for the tennis and Bloefeld for the cricket.

These days your best bet is a Scottish or Welsh accent, I would say.
 
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PS for anyone interested here is perhaps the greatest play in British Sport. The Barbarians against the All Blacks (New Zealand), 1973.

The commentator is the late Cliff Morgan (who was a Welshman).

 
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  • #10
PeroK said:
Unless you have been listening to sports commentary from the 1950s, RP is a thing of the past. British television presenters speak with a range of regional accents. Most use what might be called "careful" English - words and phrases that are in general use.

The last of the great RP commentators was Henry Bloefeld (and, yes, Ian Fleming did use that name as the Bond villain). He was a radio cricket commentator for decades and made the most of his Eton accent. He was wonderful to listen to.

But in my lifetime the great voices of sport have had a range of accents with the RP speakers gradually dying off: Henry Longhurst for the golf, Dan Maskell for the tennis and Bloefeld for the cricket.

These days your best bet is a Scottish or Welsh accent, I would say.

@PeroK , I do not particularly watch much British sports commentary specifically, but I do watch BBC news (BBC news broadcast are available in many parts of Canada), and virtually all of the anchors, presenters, and journalists who broadcast speak RP British English (with the rare Scottish accent on occasion).
 
  • #11
bagasme said:
Hello,

When I watched live matches of football (soccer) leagues and MotoGP, live commentators often speak British accent. If I want to be live sport commentators, will mastering British accent (RP) be helpful, assuming that many commentators speak RP and I have taken ESL course?

Cheers, Bagas
Queens English sport commentators reigned in the 40s and 50s along with actors and all things BBC.
It's different now, knowledge, passion and personality are what matters.
 
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I don't think there is anything that says you need to speak like we do here in the UK. What I do know is that we have good commentators and many other countries use our coverage and rebroad cast it, that is probably where you are getting this misconception from.

I think our main Formula 1 feed goes out to over 100 other countries. Watching football in other countries normally has the domestic commentary used also, i know that is the case when seeing UK football on some US channels.
 
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  • #13
StatGuy2000 said:
@PeroK , I do not particularly watch much British sports commentary specifically, but I do watch BBC news (BBC news broadcast are available in many parts of Canada), and virtually all of the anchors, presenters, and journalists who broadcast speak RP British English (with the rare Scottish accent on occasion).
The main news presenter these days is Huw Edwards, who speaks with an distinct welsh accent. Kirsty Wark, who presents Newsnight, is Scottish. Fiona Bruce, who presents Question Time, is also Scottish. Andrew Marr, who has his own show, is Scottish. Gavin Estler is Scottish. John Humphrys is Welsh, although has only a slight accent ...

What does seem to be missing are regional English accents. That's interesting. They are certainly around in sports commentary. But not national news.
 
  • #14
I believe that accents can change over time and therefore can probably be changed on purpose.

I know that I had developed a bit of a Texas accent after spending 4 months sharing a compartment (room), on a ship (large boat), at sea, with an engaging guy from Texas.
I also have a couple of friends who have lived in the UK for several years and developed British accents.

The most extreme case was a neuroanatomy professor who was a sub-continental (not an American) Indian (Indian accent), went to schools there and learned English with a kind of British accent (colonial leftover presumably), then worked in the lab of an Austrian neuroanatomist, picked up some of his accent (Austria) and then ended up in Indiana (Mid-West US). All of these were detectable in his accent, but the Mid-West the least (to me).
 
  • #15
bagasme said:
Hello,

When I watched live matches of football (soccer) leagues and MotoGP, live commentators often speak British accent. If I want to be live sport commentators, will mastering British accent (RP) be helpful, assuming that many commentators speak RP and I have taken ESL course?

Cheers, Bagas
Ok just checked another thread about where you were asking about learning Italian to do music.
Now it's learning a British accent to be a commentator?
A bit confused.
 
  • #16
Thats talk British but sing the praises of athletes in an operatic voice.

Remember the Breaking Away movie now.

 

Related to Mastering a British English Accent for Sport Commentatory

What is the importance of mastering a British English accent for sport commentary?

Mastery of a British English accent is crucial for sport commentary as it adds credibility and authenticity to the commentary. Many sports, such as cricket and football, originated in Britain, and having a British accent can enhance the listener's experience and understanding of the game.

What are some tips for mastering a British English accent for sport commentary?

Some tips for mastering a British English accent for sport commentary include listening to and imitating the accent of native British speakers, practicing proper pronunciation and intonation, and using slang and idiomatic expressions commonly used in British English.

How can I improve my pronunciation to sound more like a British sport commentator?

Improving pronunciation takes practice and dedication. Some ways to improve pronunciation for a British English accent include watching and listening to British media, recording yourself speaking and comparing it to native speakers, and seeking feedback from a language coach or instructor.

Do I need to be a native British speaker to successfully master a British English accent for sport commentary?

No, you do not need to be a native British speaker to successfully master a British English accent for sport commentary. With dedication and practice, anyone can improve their accent and sound more authentic. However, it is essential to be respectful of the culture and not mimic or appropriate it in an offensive manner.

Are there any resources available to help me master a British English accent for sport commentary?

Yes, there are various resources available to help you master a British English accent for sport commentary. These include online courses, language learning apps, books, and audio recordings specifically designed for this purpose. It is also helpful to work with a language coach or instructor who can provide personalized feedback and guidance.

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