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Last updated: 11 january, 2011 - 17:28 GMT

Native New Yorkers tone down their accents

A yellow taxi cab passes through Times Square in Manhattan, New York (file photo)

The New York accent reflects different waves of immigration into the city

Growing numbers of native New Yorkers are using voice coaches to tone down their New York accents.

You might think that native New Yorkers would be proud of their accent, epitomised by tough-talking movie gangsters from James Cagney to Robert De Niro.

But fears that their famously abrasive tones are holding them back are driving them to seek help.

The BBC's New York correspondent, Matt Wells, went to a voice therapy session in Manhattan.

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First broadcast 11 January 2011

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