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Apologetic for accent in English?! (was: Hello to you all!)

From:M.E.S. <suomenkieli@...>
Date:Friday, March 8, 2002, 12:01
> BP Jonsson wrote : > What really annoys me is when I meet British people > and they get annoyed by my Americanoid English > accent. It's like I feel obliged to apologize for > the fact that my grandmother had actually lived in > Chicago and that I picked up my accent from her!
> And Jonathan Knibb replied : > Oh dear ... it would be dishonest of me not to admit > that I am one such Brit, although not usually > openly ... but it would be churlish to mention it > after such a sympathetic response from someone I'd > indirectly insulted .... <scratches head> > > Perhaps the best thing would be for me to stop > getting annoyed by it :)
I second your motion, Jonathan! Before coming to Tokyo, I too was biased in this respect. As I am [Midwest] American, though, it was the reverse scenario -- ie, a bit contemptuous towards Brit/Oz accents for no apparent reason that I can recall even! Now that I've expanded myself by meeting loads of people throughout the world (including UK/OZ/NZ etc) and matured, I no longer worry about such a childish triviality. After all, "everyone else" around the world is kind enough to speak some sort of English to us [predominantly monolingual] native English speakers! I think this also registers quickly if native E-speaking you attempt to speak in some depth in another language (especially, non-Romantic / non-Germanic!). Perhaps I am trailing off the topic, but I always applaud any non-native E speaker for communicating in my L1. Whenever a friend of mine writes to the effect that "I'm sorry for my poor English," I hit the reply key and say "No worries! Thank you for even writing in English [because I might not understand at all if in your L1]." The point I intended on making, perhaps not so successfully however, is: Why should there be any such feelings of animosity between UK and US [etc] speakers over such trivialities as regional dialects/accents? It's silly, and I wonder if the same feelings exist between nations of other common/shared languages (eg, French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc) on such a seemingly wide-scale. Ok, I'm shut up now. But before that, let me just say that one of the best ways to break the ice between UK & US speakers -- in regard to language, at least -- is to point of the difference in meaning between the word =fanny=! (No offense intended to any Brits by using this word, BTW!) M.E.S. __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Try FREE Yahoo! Mail - the world's greatest free email!


Clint Jackson Baker <litrex1@...>
BP Jonsson <bpj@...>