Author Topic: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"  (Read 39801 times)

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whiterose

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2010, 11:35:19 AM »
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.

I have asked telemarketers/customer service representatives if they are located in the USA or in India, but that has nothing to do with accent and everything to do with time zone differences and familiarity with location.

And if it were an issue of my not being understood by customers, I would understand. BUT this had nothing to do with business transactions. I do not even think she had THAT much alcohol in her system- guess it only took a bit to bring out her true feelings. Maybe she was just trying to clue by four me by indirectly saying "your accent- or more accurately, what's behind it- is a major turn off to North American/Northern European guys. If you want to marry one of them and to be a true American girl, start sounding as if English were your first language".
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 11:38:15 AM by whiterose »
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wyliefool

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I know this is kinda old, but I just wanted to say that the way the demographics are going, a Spanish accent will be the 'American' accent in a decade or two. So you may well end up having the last laugh, if your background is what I suspect. And I think some of the hostility you've felt might be the current majority fighting against losing its status.

Slightly OT, but my mom is friends w/ an Italian woman (just got her citizenship), A, and a Chinese girl, B. A taught B some phrases in Italian. The salumeria (Italian grocery) workers were blown away at this Chinese girl speaking Italian w/ a Calabrian accent!  ;D

whiterose

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I know this is kinda old, but I just wanted to say that the way the demographics are going, a Spanish accent will be the 'American' accent in a decade or two. So you may well end up having the last laugh, if your background is what I suspect. And I think some of the hostility you've felt might be the current majority fighting against losing its status.

Slightly OT, but my mom is friends w/ an Italian woman (just got her citizenship), A, and a Chinese girl, B. A taught B some phrases in Italian. The salumeria (Italian grocery) workers were blown away at this Chinese girl speaking Italian w/ a Calabrian accent!  ;D

It is a Spanish accent indeed.

Sadly, some people jump several steps ahead of time and reach strange conclusions about it, from "not aware of how things are done in America", to "will always be late and will care more about parties than working" to, of course, "will have a hot temper". Hence my wondering whether the friend thought it would be a turn-off to the kind of men I am attracted to.

Or if I wonder if it simply annoyed her. If she thought it would go away after my being 4 years here. If what bothered her was the accent per se or what was behind it. Or if she simply thought I was trying too hard to be an "american girl" without doing the most important thing to really be one.
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hobish

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I'm still stuck on what an American accent might be. Are we all supposed to sound like Elvis or John Wayne or Ice-T?

I'm so curious.

Some of the people in my office have an accent, and sometimes i have to ask them to repeat themselves for me to catch what they're saying. Some of them can't understand an Arkansas accent and some of them are so slow at catching a clipped NYC and Northeastern accent that people have hung up on them.

It really makes me wonder what an American accent sounds like.

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magdalena

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It is a Spanish accent indeed.

Sadly, some people jump several steps ahead of time and reach strange conclusions about it, from "not aware of how things are done in America", to "will always be late and will care more about parties than working" to, of course, "will have a hot temper". Hence my wondering whether the friend thought it would be a turn-off to the kind of men I am attracted to.

Bolding mine

If she did, then she was quite silly.

As you know, I live in a country that is not my native and where my native language is not spoken. I no longer have a noticeable accent - people will wonder just where I'm from, but many think it's just another area of this country, not abroad.

My friends - and my husband - have admitted to having been a bit sad when I lost my accent, as they all found it endearing and cute. I'm glad I cannot be "recognized" by my accent anymore, but I never had any man ever tell me that my foreign accent was a turn-off. Quite the opposite  >:D

...and mine comes with many stereotypes as well.
I'm supposed to be shy, melancholic and a drunk. Oh, and in many countries people think that I am, by virtue of my nationality, "easy".

You are an "American girl" of course you are. Don't worry too much about a few idiot who might think differently. You are a talented, beautiful and independant woman. And when the right guy comes along, he won't mind your accent at all, I promise you that.



JonGirl

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My sister is Australian and lives in Cleveland, I couldn't imagine her speaking with an American accent.
But I wouldn't hold it against her.  >:D  :)
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NOVA Lady

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I'm still stuck on what an American accent might be. Are we all supposed to sound like Elvis or John Wayne or Ice-T?

I'm so curious.





I am still curious as to what an American lifestyle is exactly!

whiterose

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Most people do tend to like my accent. Or at least tolerate it. She had never said anything negative about it before. Closest would be saying that I spoke French with a Spanish accent. So I wonder if the alcohol was bringing out her true feelings.

I still am amazed at how diverse this country is- both in accents and lifestyles. I do have the life I want for the most part. My accent per se has not gotten in the way of most things. Granted, I did have a mean boss (from another country!) have a problem with it. And there have been the random rude customers. But it has not been an issue at my job. Has not prevented my making friends otherwise. And my living in the suburbs and having a professional career is certainly not what every.single.American does- just what I wanted back then, still want now, and what I meant.
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aventurine

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2010, 03:59:28 PM »
The best thing I ever heard on this subject, and I can't remember where it comes from, is "Never look down on someone who speaks accented English.  It just means they know more than one language."

Sounds about right to me.




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Everlee

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2010, 08:54:15 PM »
The best thing I ever heard on this subject, and I can't remember where it comes from, is "Never look down on someone who speaks accented English.  It just means they know more than one language."

Sounds about right to me.

Exactly!  My town is big on Chinese and Mexican foods so we have several of each in it.  People around here ALWAYS make fun of the way they speak English.  It's so rude.  I always ask them to speak Chinese in an American accent and see if they think they sound silly.
Then they realize that they can only speak one language.

I heard a joke once about his.
What do you call someone who can speak three languages?
Trilingual.
What do you call someone who can speak two languages?
Bilingual.
What do you call someone who can speak one language?
American.

kareng57

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2010, 09:10:52 PM »
The best thing I ever heard on this subject, and I can't remember where it comes from, is "Never look down on someone who speaks accented English.  It just means they know more than one language."

Sounds about right to me.


That's exactly what I told my kids.  "Anyone who speaks English with an accent knows at least one language more than you".

That shut them up pretty quickly....

kckgirl

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2010, 09:48:28 PM »
What do you call someone who can speak one language?
American.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.  ;)
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M-theory

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Re: "If you want an American lifestyle, how about getting an American accent?"
« Reply #72 on: October 03, 2010, 09:48:46 PM »
What do you call someone who can speak one language?
American.

What a charming generalization.