Nov 26

Social Engineering: Accents For Pretext

There may come a time in your social engineering career when your pretexting warrants an accent other than your natural speech. However, if you’re going to use one, do it right. The following points have helped me, and I hope you find the same value.

Start With Vowels

Vowels (a, e, i, o, and u) vary in their  pronunciation, not just by language, but by region and dialect. Think about how Nevadans say “Nevada” versus how the rest of the United States population usually says “Nev-ah-da”. This is a small example and there are countless others. Be mindful of how vowels are used when putting words together in the accent you are attempting to portray.

Continue With Consonants

After getting the vowels down, consonants round out the “shape of the word”. For example, Filipinos are known for not being able to pronounce their “f” and “v” when speaking English. So, a sentence like “If you converse with me, I will be very overwhelmed” would sound like “Ip you conberse with me, I will be bery oberwhelmed” (Source: I’m half Filipino and this was the first accent I would consider that I mastered after listening to a lot of family).

Another example would be how the Irish and Scottish handle consonants. The Irish “Think” versus “tink” or The Scottish tap (not roll) of their “r”. Hopefully, the point of this importance is made because we are moving on.


Colloquialisms and Slang

I think this section is the one most people miss, and if your mark is a native speaker of the accent you are attempting to portray, they will have you figured out if these aren’t used properly. Imagine attempting an authentic (not exaggerated) Jamaican accent, also known as Jamaican Patois (“patwa”). Would you be able to respond to someone asking you “Wa gwan?” Or “Weh yuh deh pan?” Don’t be caught in mid conversation or all of your pretext work is over!

Final Notes

*Listen to examples! Movies, music, interviews, etc.
*Practice long before utilizing any accents in the field.
*Don’t exaggerate the accent! This is a bad trap in which to fall. Making your pretexts believable should go without saying.

I hope this helps in whatever future projects you may have.

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