I forgot how I used to talk. It didn't seem like an accent then but it kind of cracks me up now.
Even though the states are connected, Wisconsin accents differ greatly from Chicago, or Illinois for that matter. The cheesehead (local talk for "you come from Wisconsin and I don't." But strictly in the non-offensive sense. Although I don't think there's an interchangeable term for Illinoisans. It's probably because the Wisconsin-ites are too nice.)
Anyone who's seen Fargo is familiar with the Wisconsin accent. I hate to say it, but that movie exaggerated not at all. Wisconsinites make full use of their vowels: ayyyye (like Fonzie) = a; eeee = e; aye (like a Scottish person) = i; ohhhh (this one's the biggie and probably the winner for most likely to crack me up) = o; yoooo= u (my second favorite).
Chicago. To start with, move the exit of words from your mouth to your nose. Chi-caaahhhh-goh. That's right. Hold that "ahhhh."
Without reason, the pronounciation changes of some words. Bad = Bayd. That's not quite it. Remember how you learned there was the long version of "a" and there was a short version of "a". The one with the mouth of the smiley face over it (does this make sense?)
If you can, you've got the word "bad."
Oh, one other thing. You must talk with other people as if they are a slow child. "HAHH. HAHHHH. I LOVE DA CUBS!!! I'M FROM DA NORT-SIDE AFTER ALL." (Heavy short use of "a" on "after.")
The person you are speaking with will respond in kind. "NAHHH. S-AHHH-X ALL DA WAY. I'M FROM DA SOUT-SIDE!!!"
In a bar situation (most of which are sports bars with a TV featuring one of the 22 Chicago sports teams turned up to a ear-shattering volume), you and your friends will have an unwritten pissing match of who can talk louder. Your throat will be raw, although a true Chicagoan will be unable to place the source of their laryngitis the next morning. Double this if a Chicago team is in playoffs. This can be any sort of playoff. (Official NBA playoff or Denny's playoffs, Fred's playoffs, the hot dog stand down the street's playoffs etc.)
Although sort of unrelated I have to add that there is no sports town like the Windy City. They are crazy. For example, I am sorely underpacked for this trip. Honestly, I didn't bring any t-shirts to go to the gym, sleep in, whatever. (Not sure what I was thinking really.) So I went to various sports stores looking for t-shirts. A quarter of the store was taken up by local sports team stuff. From t-shirts to pencils to lipstick (just kidding), it was there.
There was a stretched out, perhaps previously worn Nike shirt with some sort of stain on it on the clearance rack. I bought it.
One note of a weird sort of slight - they've got every shirt from every imaginable college. Except mine. Yeah, Northern Illinois may never have won a game. In any sport. Ever. But they at least deserve a t-shirt. Even on the clearance.