Author Topic: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"  (Read 42116 times)

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Cherry

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2009, 05:45:31 PM »
That's absurd. Accents are cool to listen to. I love listening to different accents and never get tired of them. They have nothing to do with intelligence or even lifestyle.

Germane Jackson

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2009, 08:34:40 PM »
I AM American but I have only spent a total of 18 months there over the past 9 years. People tell me all the time out here that I 'don't sound American' or 'If you're American, why don't you talk like one then?' I'm like 'Uh, what the heck does that mean? This IS my accent, I am American, hence it's an American accent!' However, if DH and I do move back to the US someday I wouldn't want him to 'change' the way he talks to sound more 'American'.

Venus193

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2009, 09:18:40 PM »
Is your English grammatical?  Are you easy to understand?  If the answers are "yes" to both questions, you're dealing with a xenophobe.

Interestingly I was in a discussion on another forum last year on the subject of accents and someone there was quite adamant that nobody should attempt to speak a foreign language without his native accent.  His reason?  Because it was deceptive and pretentious.

Of course, this was coming from someone who had no desire whatsoever to learn any other language.  A xenophobe.

whiterose

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2009, 09:30:22 PM »
Is your English grammatical?  Are you easy to understand?  If the answers are "yes" to both questions, you're dealing with a xenophobe.



First question- yes, always. In fact, many people have pointed out that I always speak with proper English and pronounce every syllable of every word.

Second question- usually, unless I am speaking too fast. I have had SLP for that and a couple other things. It may or may not have to do with my accent or English not being my first language. The first principal nitpicked me on that- but the second and third one did not. I guess my tongue tries to keep up with my brain, and I end up talking too fast.
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hobish

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2009, 09:51:57 PM »
Is your English grammatical?  Are you easy to understand?  If the answers are "yes" to both questions, you're dealing with a xenophobe.

Interestingly I was in a discussion on another forum last year on the subject of accents and someone there was quite adamant that nobody should attempt to speak a foreign language without his native accent.  His reason?  Because it was deceptive and pretentious.

Of course, this was coming from someone who had no desire whatsoever to learn any other language.  A xenophobe.

If i understand correctly he means that i should speak German with a New Jersey accent, for instance? That doesn't make a lick of sense.
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Venus193

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2009, 10:11:43 PM »
You understood that correctly and I agree.  It makes no sense at all.

PaintingPastelPrincess

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2009, 10:14:15 PM »
I like accents :)

My theory on the subject is this: If you're moving to a place where the national language is Gibberish, you should learn at least basic Gibberish. It doesn't have to be profound; you don't need to be able to read Shakesphere in Gibberish.  But you should be capable of going to the store and buying your groceries in Gibberish.  (Note: This does not mean you shouldn't be able to speak your native Gobbleygook at home or with friends.  That is wonderful and perfectly acceptable!  You should not talk about Gibberish speakers in Gobbleygook where the Gibberish speakers can hear you.  That is very rude.)

If you are in a specialized career you should learn the appropriate jargon in Gibberish.  If you are working with the public at all, your Gibberish should be good enough to communicate with your client base.  You should be allowed to have slip ups, without fear of being ridiculed.  Native Gibberish speakers make mistakes, too.  And your Gibberish can be accented, lightly or heavily, so long as it is decipherable.

It's okay to go through a learning phase.  Just make sure you are trying to be helpful and communicative, rather than sullen that the Gibberish speaker doesn't automatically know Gobbleygook.

My only other suggestion for "assimilation" (which generally only needs to be minimal anyway) is that if you move somewhere where the dress is more conservative, you are more conservative in public; if you move somewhere less conservative, you should still dress to your level of comfort.

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2009, 01:23:29 PM »
Good luck changing to an 'American' accent. I'd like to know what that is.

I was born and raised in New Jersey, went to school and college there. My kids were born there, and we moved to Kentucky 21 years ago when they were 10, 6, 6, and 5.5 months. We still get looked at by other people and they tell us, "You're not from around here, are you."   ::)

Valentines Mommy

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2009, 01:37:28 PM »
My Papa had a glorious accent and he was an born and raised in the US.  I would give just about anything to hear him speak again.

The person who made that comment was rude.


whiterose

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2009, 01:58:25 PM »
The person who made that comment was rude.



One was drunk.

The other one had a stick up a certain cavity and may have been xenophobic.
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Jariten

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2009, 08:46:28 PM »
If you're moving to a place where the national language is Gibberish, you should learn at least basic Gibberish.

It's okay to go through a learning phase.  Just make sure you are trying to be helpful and communicative, rather than sullen that the Gibberish speaker doesn't automatically know Gobbleygook.
Completely agree.  The second part is so important, but often seems to get overlooked in discussions about living in a new country and relating to people who are not native speakers.  Getting people to recognize it has become a minor soapbox issue since I returned from Japan.  Living with a new language is hard.  Someone being quiet or not responding to you quite correctly doesn't necessarily mean they didn't understand you -- it may mean they do, but they don't really know how to respond.

For the OP, your friend was ridiculous.  I assure you that I had a pretty "Japanese lifestyle," and I definitely do not speak the local dialect, try as I might.  :P

whiterose

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2009, 10:20:08 PM »
Quote
For the OP, your friend was ridiculous.  I assure you that I had a pretty "Japanese lifestyle," and I definitely do not speak the local dialect, try as I might.

Now I cannot help but wonder if the alcohol brought out her true feelings. If she was thinking that I was shattering one too many stereotypes by trying too hard to identify as an American and having all kinds of multicultural friends based on interests instead of sticking to identifying as and hanging out with the Lavenders/Purples. OK, so this may be getting into touchy territory, but even my mother admits that I am not (colloquial term for Lavender).
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 10:21:58 PM by whiterose »
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sparksals

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2009, 02:48:26 PM »
Born and raised Canadian with Alberta accent now living in the US.  My mom's parents were Scottish immigrants with very thick accents.  Mom, despite being first generation Canadian, has a twinge of Scottish accent when she speaks.  I am constantly asked if I am from Scotland or Ireland when I speak.  I must have a bit of the Scottish dialect that was present in my household. 

Mahdoumi

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2009, 11:46:06 AM »
Which American accent is being suggested you mimic?  I suggest you watch every movie starring Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Joe Pesce, and Danny DeVito and go Brooklyn on everyone.   >:D

whiterose

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2009, 08:52:52 PM »
Which American accent is being suggested you mimic?  I suggest you watch every movie starring Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Joe Pesce, and Danny DeVito and go Brooklyn on everyone.   >:D

As I stated previously, I cannot quite assume that she meant the neutral Midwestern accent that newscasters use. However, I can assume that she meant one of the many accents that suggest a person was born and raised in the USA and that English is his or her first language. Hence a Brooklyn accent could count...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

For real, the kind of accents that people tend to guess the most that I have (especially younger people) would be Irish or Scottish, since I roll my R's quite well. But I have gotten all kinds of esoteric guesses.
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