How to Do a Long Island Accent

Learn how to do a Long Island accent from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban in this Howcast video.

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Need to know how to speak with a foreign accent? Let dialect expert Andrea Caban teach you how to do everything from a British accent to a Bronx dialect in these videos.

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So Long Island is a very big place. We're going to zero in on one Long Island accent here. And the person that I studied, to bring these tips to you, was a Yittish first language speaker. So, her lip corners were very tight, and the back of her tongue was very high so that a lot of sounds became nasalized. So if you saw it through this oral posture, you get haa, haa. You hear that? A very, very, nasal sound. Go for that one. The ough sound in thought, coughst, doughg, becomes thought, coughst, doughg. Comes a [inaudible 00: 43], two elements. Oughr, oughr, oughr. I thought it was going to be houghrible. I thought it was going to be houghrible. I kind of pretend that my nails are drying to get really into this accent. I thought it was going to be horrible. There are no R's at the end of some words, so there, care, player, try that. The T sound becomes almost like a ss sound. So, Sony takes his time going to Long Islands. Sony takes his time. Ss. Ss. Ss. Hear that? So what's the musicality of this nasal accent? Well it's very nasal-i, so that affects some of the way the words are pronounced. So, words like apartment become apoughtment. So there's no T. It's apoughtment. All through the nose. There's a lot of pitch variety in this accent. There's a lot of up glides at the ends of thoughts. But don't take my word for it. Go listen to some native Long Islanders. Long Islanders. And listen to it that way. Train your ears, train your eyes, and train your tongue.

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  • Andrea Caban

    Andrea is a voice and speech coach and an actor in New York City. She believes you can train your muscles of articulation, your ears, your eyes, your brain and your spirit to attain the accent(s) you want. Her passion for exploring accents lead her to creating multi-character solo plays. As an award-winning solo artist, she has performed across the US and abroad and is currently touring her play Questions My Mother Can’t Answer. Andrea studied voice and speech under master teachers Catherine Fitzmaurice, Dudley Knight and Phil Thompson. She holds an MFA in Acting from UC Irvine. Andrea coaches actors and non-actors from all walks of life on speech/accent work and is available for private coaching in person and via Skype.