The copy machine is broken. (related audios are linked)

The linked audios have three persons’ pronunciation for ‘copy.’ Which are the materials for TOEIC test that is consisted of three national pronunciations: American, British, and Australian. But I don’t acknowledge which is which. Can you write their IPA symbols down and say how they pronounce ‘o’ each?

  • 2
    #1: /ɑ/, #2 /ɒ/, #3: /ɔ/ Nov 18, 2014 at 23:54
  • 1
    Stoney has a better ear than I. I would have said:#1: /ɑ/, #2: /ɒ/, #3: /ɒ/.
    – tunny
    Nov 19, 2014 at 0:00
  • 3
    @Listenever Unfortunately, even if we use the same symbols for some vowels it doesn't really mean they are the same. In my opinion 1: American 2. Australian 3. SSBE English. The symbols traditionally used within each transcription system are as given by tunny above. However, this does not mean the #2 and #3 vowel are the same. To understand the difference you really need a narrow transcription, because for example, the sound used for the phoneme /ɒ/ in British and Australian accents are different. Nov 19, 2014 at 0:37
  • 1
    @Listenever BTW I'm taking it on trust that you're correct about there being one of each of those. The 2nd sound Australian to me just on the basis of the vowel in copy ... Nov 19, 2014 at 0:40
  • 3
    None of them are Australian! Australians would call it a photocopier instead. ;) Nov 19, 2014 at 7:32

1 Answer 1


This is probably not the answer you want, but having taught English in Korea for nearly 6 years and learned a bit about the publishing industry there, I'm going to take a vote that there isn't actually an example of three different English accents represented.

Both recording 1 and 2 can pass for standard North American English. 그리고 재생각에는, it's quite possible that the third one is an Aussie who is trying to use a North American-like accent (since that is what is typically expected when teaching English in Asia).

P.S. I used to grade TOEIC. There aren't any questions about accents on there. You simply need to be able to understand Aussie, British, and American/Canadian accents.

  • I think you're right in principle, but 2 is definitely not an American accent. I think it sounds like an Indian accent, but very close to an English accent. 3 sounds weird, my guess would be that it's someone putting on an Aussie accent rather than an Aussie putting on a different accent.
    – Alan Third
    Jan 9, 2015 at 17:26
  • #2 as Indian? Interesting. The only reason I'd think not is because of the way the 'n' in 'broken' is pronounced. (Honestly, I thought #2 sounded like a European--French maybe?--aiming for a North American sound.) As for #3, to be honest, I can rarely tell an Aussie from a Kiwi so if you're from anywhere near there, I'll take your opinion on it. ;) Jan 10, 2015 at 18:27

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