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4 Comments

  • I spent 10 weeks in Long Island, New York when I was sixteen and since I already could communicate fairly well in English I benefited from my stay by acquiring a good American accent (in my opinion and that of others). When I came back to my country, Chile, every time I met an American he or she would say they said I spoke as a New Yorker (and they dropped the “R”). I was young, and I felt really proud. Through the years I guess I sort of lost my accent a little bit but still native speakers in England asked me if I was American and Americans would say I had a “European accent” (whatever that means!). Anyhow, I’ve been teaching English for many years, therefore my pronunciation has become more careful but I would have never expected anybody to say I had an English accent and that’s what a young British colleague said to me a few days ago! I don’t know what to say… I truly loved my American accent!

  • I spent my earliest linguistic years in Georgia and then moved to rural North Carolina at age 7, where everyone made fun of my accent. I lost that one and didn’t leave NC until I graduated college and moved to New Mexico, where I proceeded to pick up some of the regional linguistic flavor.

    Now I’m out in California where my accent is a bit more “neutral” i.e. Midwestern sounding, however people here don’t realize there is a California accent too. Observant people can still hear my Southern twang and I’ve also been told it comes out when I’ve been drinking or I get strident, but also when I’m talking about family or cooking, and especially when I come back from holidays in North Carolina.

    However, when I spent a week in London, as someone who is good at accents and also a long time viewer of a variety of BBC TV shows, I had to actually work to stop myself from automatically repeating back the London accent I heard around me. I knew it would just sound at best odd and at worst pretentious or even mocking. Language, I love it.