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Radio Industry/Can a person from the United Kingdom become a DJ


QUESTION: Can a person from the United Kingdom become a DJ on a radio station in the United States, if he or she can only speak the same type of English that a person speaks on BBC World Service and BBC World News TV speaks?

ANSWER: Absolutely!  English is our primary language in both the US and the UK.  If you're talking about accents, that's fine as well - some stations would probably love to have someone with a bit of an accent on the air for style and presence.

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QUESTION: Why it is that it is extremely difficult when a person that speaks English with a Southern United States accent, travels to Europe most Europeans cannot understand him? When a radio DJ from the same part of he United States travels to Europe and speaks the same type of English that is spoken on the radio most Europeans that speak English have no trouble understanding him.

ANSWER: It's what the ear is accustomed to hearing.  If you're born in the South, you grow up hearing the accent to the point, you don't hear it after a while...that is...until you go somewhere else in the US that has an accent (like NYC or Boston). I'm figuring the same is with the UK.

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QUESTION: I am a European and I live in Detroit area of Michigan? Is that the standard accent that is used on radio and TV in the United States? Why is this case? I had an American telling me that when I speak English (English is my second language) he can understand me better than most people in the United States because I only speak proper English. He says that most American cannot understand me because I do not speak slang/street talk.

There is no "standard" accent in the US.  The Northeast (New York/Boston) has a few of their own accents alone - let alone Rhode Island (which can have a hybrid of NYC and Boston).  Maine has a few...southern Maine has it's own, while Northern Maine takes a bit of the Canadian accent.  Same with parts of Vermont.

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Marc Lemay


Can answer general radio broadcasting questions, voice overs, radio production, radio advertising, station operation, AM radio questions, programming questions, local radio questions, radio marketing, radio tech, radio formats, radio education, podcasting, radio and the internet


More than 20 years experience working for small and medium market radio stations in New England.

High school graduate, learned all I had through the School of Hard Knocks.

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