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Accents in films


One very difficult part of learning English is understanding different accents. But imagine having to learn how to speak in a different accent for a film! We chatted to Irish actor Colin Farrell to see how he coped with learning a Russian accent in the film The Way Back.

Colin (who plays Valka in the film) had to learn how to speak English in a Russian accent. To do this, he used an accent coach and spent a lot of time listening to Russian. He also studied Russian poetry. There are many key characteristics to a Russian accent. For example, Russians often use a “v” sound instead of the “w” sound. So, instead of saying “what”, they may say “vat”. Also, articles such as “a”, “an” and “the” are often omitted as they aren’t so common in Russian. The Russian accent also has fewer tone and pitch changes, so it isn't as "sing-songy" as English (it is often spoken more as a monotone). Other actors who have spoken with a Russian accent in films include Mickey Rourke (who played villain Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2), Nicole Kidman (in her role as a mail order bride in Birthday Girl), and Rosanna Arquette (in The Whole Nine Yards).

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About Learn Hot English

The latest issue of Hot English (201) is out now! Learn over 1,000 useful words and expressions and improve your listening skills with Learn Hot English! This month: 14 jokes to improve your listening skills and teach you lots of useful words. Plus, 8 useful words and expressions for talking about the bathroom, 10 useful words for driving in the road, idioms, phrasal verbs... plus: • Jokes – jokes in English. • Functional language – making conversation • Grammar – must / should • Work – poor excuses. • Business – supermarkets. • Architecture – famous castles. • Culture – how British are you? • Cinema – True Grit. • History – Native Americans. • Psychology – mind control. • Sport – sponsorship. • Cuisine – easy curry. • Cars – the Mini. AND LOTS, LOTS MORE! By reading and listening to all this great content, you'll improve your English reading and listening skills and learn up to 1,000 useful words or expressions. Plus, you'll get a better job and pass English-language exams more easily. Guaranteed!