Author Topic: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"  (Read 41286 times)

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LadyPekoe

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2009, 09:01:57 PM »
I think I must not have a typical American accent (although I'm born and raised in the US) because people are CONSTANTLY asking me where I'm from, even when I'm in home state.  And they always seem disappointed when I answer "Iowa" :)
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Mahdoumi

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2009, 10:14:28 PM »
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.

Brooklyn with rolling R's would be very cool, I think!  lol

nonesuch4

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2009, 09:39:22 AM »
I think accents are fascinating to listen to.  This summer I waited on some young women whose native tongue was Verdigris.  But when they spoke English, it was with an undeniable Maine accent. 

And I've had a co-worker who said she and her best buddy, while in high school, spent hours with a reel to reel tape recorder trying to rid themselves of the same.  They had decided their lives would take them out into a big, diverse world. They didn't want the first thing a new acquaintance said to them to be, "Oh.  You're from Maine."

whiterose

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2009, 12:48:21 PM »
I think accents are fascinating to listen to.  This summer I waited on some young women whose native tongue was Verdigris.  But when they spoke English, it was with an undeniable Maine accent. 

And I've had a co-worker who said she and her best buddy, while in high school, spent hours with a reel to reel tape recorder trying to rid themselves of the same.  They had decided their lives would take them out into a big, diverse world. They didn't want the first thing a new acquaintance said to them to be, "Oh.  You're from Maine."

You see, since I have such an accent that makes it undeniable that English is not my first language, people ask me where I am from. I try to beandip with saying I moved to Guavatown from the northern part of the state (true), then they keep pestering. Then I have to say I am from Lavenderland. Then they cannot see anything else about me other than the fact that I am from Lavenderland. Sometimes they point out that my accent is not Lavender (and at times that it does not even sound Purple), but then they still typecast/pigeonhole/stereotype. Bye bye hobbies/interests/goals/quirks/talents/qualities- all they can see about me is my hometown and ethnic background.
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sparksals

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2009, 03:31:04 PM »
I don't think people are trying to be offensive when they ask where your accent is from.  I think they are showing interest. 

whiterose

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2009, 07:58:13 PM »
Oh I am pretty sure most are. It is a benign question in most cases after all.

It is those few that hold it against me that ruin it for the great humongous majority who think it is cool or neutral.
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sparksals

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #51 on: October 23, 2009, 12:55:50 AM »
Ohhh... I didn't understand that from your post.  So people actually judge and hold against you your nationality? 

Sophia

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #52 on: October 23, 2009, 01:09:50 AM »
I remember in college watching several people work hard to drop their whatever accent, eventually got a generic newscaster accent, then after about 3 months switched to a thicker accent than the start of school because the accent made them more attractive to the opposite sex.  Don't know what Purple really is, but a vast majority of the accents are attractive to Americans. 

I moved to Texas at 8, I would loooovve a Texas accent.  Nope.  Darn parents and their Minnesota accent. 

whiterose

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2009, 09:10:12 AM »
Ohhh... I didn't understand that from your post.  So people actually judge and hold against you your nationality? 

Not exactly nationality, since I am an American. But the hometown/ethnic background, yes at times. Most people do not, but there are always those few who ruin the whole experience.

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I remember in college watching several people work hard to drop their whatever accent, eventually got a generic newscaster accent, then after about 3 months switched to a thicker accent than the start of school because the accent made them more attractive to the opposite sex.  Don't know what Purple really is, but a vast majority of the accents are attractive to Americans. 

Some people like mine, some people don't, some are cool with the accent per se but have a problem with what's behind the accent. One guy originally thought it was Russian...and eventually found himself holding my hometown/ethnic background against me, saying he had never met a Lavender woman who had a long fuse  :'( He had a very strong preference for Orange women- he ended up marrying one. I asked him why- and one of the reasons was because he thought they had beautiful accents when they were learning English (now Orange is another broad group, and not all languages in the Orange part of the world are related to each other, but whatever floats his boat). He also said he liked the culture (again, not all Orange cultures are related to each other and it is mainly proximity) and that he found the physical features attractive (there ARE distinctive Orange features, while Purple is a linguistic/cultural umbrella). I was relieved- part of me was afraid that he would bring up an Orange women stereotype that Purple women do not share  :( but I am glad he did not.
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Sophia

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #54 on: October 23, 2009, 10:19:59 AM »
Years ago I was chatting with my boss at the time.  We only saw each other once a year when we manned a convention booth together.  So, we had lots of time to talk.  He was a great guy, so this came as a shock.  When I told him I wished I had a Texas accent he said, "But then people will think you are dumb".  He might have used uneducated instead of dumb.  I responded it "Only idiots would think that, and having an accent would be a good way of identifying them." 

CG

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #55 on: October 31, 2009, 11:11:21 AM »
Years ago I was chatting with my boss at the time.  We only saw each other once a year when we manned a convention booth together.  So, we had lots of time to talk.  He was a great guy, so this came as a shock.  When I told him I wished I had a Texas accent he said, "But then people will think you are dumb".  He might have used uneducated instead of dumb.  I responded it "Only idiots would think that, and having an accent would be a good way of identifying them." 

My mother and I had this conversation many years ago when I was looking at colleges. Mom was raised in South Dakota, Kansas, and New Mexico. I was born and raised in Texas. I have a Texas accent, drawl and all. I was looking at schools up north, and after telling me I'd freeze to death (I told her I would learn to wear a coat after the first few bouts of hypothermia), she told me they'd make fun of my accent. I told her that some guys LIKE a southern accent. Her reply? "Yeah, but you don't have the southern belle accent. You have the Texas trash one." I didn't seem to have any problems in NJ.

Oh, and by the way - it IS possible to drawl in German. And French. And Russian. It will, however, make your native-Russian-speaking prof look at you like you've just grown another head.

Sophia

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #56 on: October 31, 2009, 01:23:47 PM »
He He He.  I am trying to imagine a German drawl and my brain just does a comedy routine.  A precise drawl. 

bopper

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #57 on: December 01, 2009, 12:17:46 PM »
I am in Germany and there is a guy at our international church who is from Brazil but has a U.S.A Southern Accent mixed with his Brazilian Accent...it was so interesting we had to go ask where he got those accents!

mannerscount

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #58 on: February 02, 2010, 01:19:16 PM »
To answer your question, why would she say this, I can tell you there may be several reasons. However, that does not matter. What should be of consideration is that her statement shows that she has little understanding of the purpose of manners.
Manner are: to make others comfortable in your presence.  I guess either she doesn't know that or doesn't care. Her comment was rude. Partially for what she said and partially because she offered an opinion without being asked.

I think an appropriate response would be "What accent? I don't have an accent. You do."

Eliminate this rude person from your life.

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Lady Snowdon

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2010, 05:10:15 PM »
Born and raised in America (Utah and Colorado, to be precise).  My family is at least four generations from immigrant status.  I shouldn't have much of an accent, if any at all.  One of my first jobs in a call center, I had a person accuse me of lying to them about where I was located, because "You sound like one of those *expletive* Indians!", referring to the call center we had in India.  There is no way I had one of the awesome British-flavored accents of our India reps.

Nowadays, when some people learn I live in Minnesota, they're very disappointed to learn that nobody I know talks like the people in "Fargo".

People will believe and say what they want to believe, and that may not have much, if anything, to do with reality.