How to Learn a New Accent – Tips from an Impressionist

Learn how to improve your pronunciation, work on your English accent and become more intelligible with great tips from impressionist Akeem Lawanson, the hilarious creator of the AtomicHole YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/AtomIcHole
As well as improving your accent, you’ll also learn how to talk like Kermit the Frog, or any other celebrity or cartoon voices that tickle your fancy.

In this video, we’re going to learn how an impressionist copies voices. And discover how you can take your spoken English to a new level.
Today I’m here with Akeem. And Akeem has a YouTube channel in which he does impressions and comedy. What’s it called Akeem?
Uh, so the name of my channel is AtomicHole. Um, yeah, as you said Vicki, it’s a place where I pretty much do a lot of voiceover work and impressions.
So you are the perfect person to tell me about what you need to do to make yourself sound like someone else.
Absolutely, yeah, but first we should figure out who you want to sound like.
I want to sound like Kermit The Frog.
Ok, Kermit, heh heh heh heh, Kermit the… Kermit the frog. Of all the frogs in the world you chose Kermit.
I did.
OK. That’s perfect, perfect choice.
Um, so, in order to do Kermit you have to think like Kermit. OK. All right? Think green. That’s the first step. Uh huh. Thinking green.
OK, so I think of recyclable bottles.
OK.
Or, I think of Go!
Go is good. Go is good. Go is good when it comes to doing voices …Go… is what you want to think of. Just go for it. It’s green. Green means go.
Ok, that’s really useful advice when you’re learning to speak another language as well. You’ve got to go for it. And just try it. Absolutely, yeah. So, now that we’re thinking go, yup, all right, we’re just gonna do it. It doesn’t matter if you sound exactly like the character or not. All right, so in order to do it… what is something that Kermit the frog says often?
‘Miss Piggy.’
Well, he has said that numerous times, yes, um but one of the things that he kind of opens up like The Muppet Show with uh, is ‘Hi ho, Kermit the frog here.’ OK. So, taking a phrase from the character that you want to do an impression of, yeah, and repeating it. Excellent.
OK um, ‘Hi ho Kermit the frog here.’
OK Vicki, I’ll demonstrate before you just ‘go-for-it.’ Ok, so you can know exactly the pitch we’re going for here.
That’s another bit of useful advice, actually, which is to wait until you have an example and a good teacher.
Absolutely, I definitely agree 100 percent. Uh Ok, so, so, Kermit… so this is how you do it. So it’s ‘Hi ho, Kermit the frog here’.
Ok ‘Hi ho, Kermit the frog here.’
Close. Close, very close. Hi ho, Kermit the frog here. If you, if you listen to the voice you notice, you know, Kermit has a sort of.. uh, uh a certain inflection in his voice and he pauses at certain… he has a pace, a pacing, a certain pace to his voice… Yeah. …uh, that’s just very unique to him. You know, he talks like this. It’s very weird like no one really talks like this. It’s uh, uh I don’t know. I’ve never met anyone that talks like this. So it’s listen to the rhythm. Exactly, yes, the rhythm of his voice, um and the cadence as well, is what you really want to pay attention to when you’re actually going for an impression.
Yeah.
So let’s, so let’s try it again.
‘Hi ho Kermit the frog here.’ ‘Hi ho, Kermit the frog here’
Ok, that’s… I think we’re getting there. I think with a little bit more practice, I think we can actually get there. Um and so after that, so after you’ve practiced, you know, this line that… from this particular person, this, you know, celebrity, cartoon character, what… whomever it is, what you want to do is … one of the things that I do after I’ve, you know, driven everyone around me insane by repeating the same thing over and over again, is I try to just talk. Ok. You know , just talk regularly.
But that is another piece of really good advice, actually, for when you’re learning a language, which is to keep saying things over and over again. Just the same thing.
Absolutely. And getting it.
And particularly actually, with pronunciation. You’ll find that the way your mouth has to move or the.. the rhythm or… or the intonation that you’re using for one thing is going to transfer to another thing later.
Definitely. Absolutely. It definitely will. Uh, so now that we know how to do it, so we’re just going to talk like, uh, Kermit uh, just regularly. I think for the rest of this interview we should talk like Kermit. What do you think?
I will certainly try to do that.
Ok, I think we won’t, no, we gotta scratch that right now. But yeah so, it … sorry I even brought that up. We’ve had lots of good advice for language learning coming up here, ’cause some of the things that are going on..
Yeah, there’s…there’s…yeah I can see, I can see the correlation between the two, absolutely. Um, and I encourage, your viewers, Vicki, to go out there. If you guys… if there is a voice that you really want to do, just do it. No hesitation at all. And take the same attitude to speaking English. Just do it. Go for it.
I love the ‘go-is-green’ think. Um, and also, another thing to do is to go and make sure you see Akeem’s channel. You don’t want to miss it. Tell us again. Where is it?
It’s YouTube.com/AtomicHole. Uh that’s my channel. Uh if you enjoy various voices that are unique to other people, uh, my channel is the place to go. So you will get lots of Kermit the frog , he’s there , he’s you know, covering songs and what not, and we’ve got, heh, we’ve got uh Fred Flintstone, some of you guys might know him. Oh yes, we’ve got Peter Griffen there, You know he talks like this out of the side of his mouth.
So check the links below and I’ll probably put one on this video as well. And thank you so much Akeem. Thank you, Vicki. I appreciate it.

So what did we learn that you can use?
First – Go for it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right at first or not.

Just do it. No hesitation at all.

Second – You need a good example phrase – a model you can copy.

What is something that Kermit the frog says often?

So choose a phrase that native speakers often say. You’ll find lots of examples in my videos, so make sure you subscribe to my channel.
OK Step Three – Pay special attention to the pace, the pauses, and also the intonation.

So it’s listen to the rhythm
Exactly. The rhythm of his voice. And the cadence as well is what you actually want to listen to when you’re going for an impression.

Step Four is essential. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Drive everyone around you crazy by saying it again and again.

One of the things I do after I’ve driven everyone around me insane by repeating the same phrase over and over again is I try to just talk.

And that’s the wonderful thing about practice like this. It helps you just talk. The effort you put into getting one phrase right transfers over to other things you want to say.
Oh, and something else. Listening and pronunciation go together, so you’ll find working on your pronunciation like this will improve your listening too.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed the video and come back soon because we have more videos on pronunciation and lots of other things in the works. Bye now.

See more of Akeem’s videos here:https://www.youtube.com/user/AtomIcHole
And to see Vicki in one of Akeem’s videos, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-VmBzbvbJI
Click here to see more videos on English pronunciation.

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