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Accent changes

Accent changes

Old May 29th 2017, 1:13 am
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Question Accent changes

Hi all,
We lived in the USA when my daughter was born and my step son (who I have raised since he was 2)
When we came back to the UK 10 years ago my son was 8 and my daughter was 4, my son still sounds American with an English twang, my daughter has completely lost her American accent. We are moving back in July and it got me thinking wondering if their accents will change? When I was there I picked up Americanisms stroller, sneakers, diapers etc but I think my accent stayed the same but people here said I had a "twang" it's completely gone now. I remember coming back and hearing little English kids, they sounded so cute until I got used to it.

So has your accent changed? Do you hear English accents now and think it sounds odd?

Kelly
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Old May 29th 2017, 1:48 am
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Default Re: Accent changes

My accent hasn't changed much since I was eight years old when my family left Sheffield.

I spent ten years in Glawster and picked up nothing of the local drawl. I then went to uni in Landan, and worked there until I left for the US, and picked up nothing of the accent there. It is unsurprising to me that after 14 years in NC I haven't picked up little or nothing of the local accent here either. This is unlike my sister who picks up the local accent about five minutes after she arrives somewhere and changes it whenever the wind changes direction!

That said I use lots of the local lingo and pronunciations - just in a mild Sheffield accent! So on moving to the US I immediately switched to "tomayto" and "gah-rahje", and very quickly to "wadder" and "ledduce", after experiencing blank looks in restaurants and sandwich shops. I also find "y'all" invaluable.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 29th 2017 at 1:51 am.
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Old May 29th 2017, 2:13 am
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Default Re: Accent changes

I have moved more toward a big standard middle class English accent and away from my regional accent as a way to be understood in America, with the odd American word thrown in like Depot.
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Old May 29th 2017, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Accent changes

I have never changed the pronunciation of any word (no tuhmayters here!) and have always been understood. However, I do cringe when I hear my recorded voice these days as I have, albeit unintentionally, picked up a definite US "twang."
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Old May 29th 2017, 7:29 am
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Default Re: Accent changes

This subject has made me laugh as this is very much on my mind! We move out in a couple of weeks and this is worrying me! Hubby thinks if we went on a long holiday l would pick up the accent but in truth a long weekend would probably do it!! Haha! Everyone says our 5 yr old will pick up the accent in no time but suspect it will be me first! My dad who spends a lot of time in the states says just speak American with a British accent but think that is easier said then done!!
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Old May 29th 2017, 7:55 am
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Default Re: Accent changes

My accent has not changed. Our daughter was 11 and her accent did not change. Shortly after moving to the US someone mentioned that if you move before the age of 11 you will adopt that country's accent...after 11 it is less likely. I found this to be true.
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Old May 29th 2017, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Accent changes

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
My accent has not changed. Our daughter was 11 and her accent did not change. Shortly after moving to the US someone mentioned that if you move before the age of 11 you will adopt that country's accent...after 11 it is less likely. I found this to be true.
My scouse husband lived in Australia between the ages of 40 - 65 - he didn't lose his scouse accent and I still occasionally have trouble understanding him
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Old May 29th 2017, 11:32 am
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Default Re: Accent changes

I have been in South Africa 8 years. Children were 7 and 3 when we came here. We all still sound very English. I am still very South-East London but the children have I think more of a neutral English accent. Someone once described their accents as 'International'.

It will be interesting to see what happens to our accents when we move to Texas!
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Old May 29th 2017, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Accent changes

Originally Posted by elizabethsmum View Post
So has your accent changed?
We moved from Glasgow to Toronto when I was 6 and my brother was almost 9. I lost my accent within about 2 years (3 years for my brother). I don't know about him, but I consciously tried to sound "local" so others wouldn't notice.

When I moved to the US, I did the same thing. I deliberately tried to sound "local" so others wouldn't notice. Now, after 19+ years, my southern twang has become my "natural" speech. As Pulaski notes, I find "y'all" to be invaluable. Also "bless your heart" and "yes sir/ma'am" to almost everyone regardless of their age.

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Old May 29th 2017, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Accent changes

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
My scouse husband lived in Australia between the ages of 40 - 65 - he didn't lose his scouse accent and I still occasionally have trouble understanding him
My wife and I have been married for over forty years. I find that if I raise my voice and speak slowly, she will often understand me.
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Old May 29th 2017, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Accent changes

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
My wife and I have been married for over forty years. I find that if I raise my voice and speak slowly, she will often understand me.
That happens in reverse at our house. But I think that is caused by selective hearing, not my Essex/Texas accent
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Old May 29th 2017, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Accent changes

Originally Posted by MariaKW View Post
I have been in South Africa 8 years. Children were 7 and 3 when we came here. We all still sound very English. I am still very South-East London but the children have I think more of a neutral English accent. Someone once described their accents as 'International'.

It will be interesting to see what happens to our accents when we move to Texas!
Hmm. Both my kids were born in SA. They're 35 and 32 now, and have never lived anywhere else. My son has a noticeably SA accent, but my daughter does sound more 'international' as you put it, with a lot of SA vocabulary.
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Old May 29th 2017, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: Accent changes

The most prominent change for me is using the American version of "tomato" as I don't go for them much and find myself asking restaurant servers to keep them off my food.
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Old May 29th 2017, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Accent changes

I've more-or-less kept my mostly-neutral-English-with-a-slight-Scottish-twang accent but I found myself having to say certain words the American way - as I work with telephony, I usually have to use "rowting' instead of 'rooting' when talking about call or network routing. Other than that I still use the UK English for water or tomato. Thankfully I haven't had to ask for aubergines or courgettes yet..
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Old May 29th 2017, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Accent changes

If I work on a project with a group of Indians, after a few weeks I feel like I'm speaking with an Indian intonation! And when I go back to the UK, I tend to 'revert' back to a British sound, for a short period.

I find, more generally, that I adapt to whoever I'm surrounded by without thinking, so I've naturally adopted an American accent. Others I know remain as "British sounding" as the day they arrived.

I do view it as an advantage to have a British accent, over here, so I'm certainly not trying to lose mine ... but it's almost gone.

Certain words just sound 'wrong' now, when spoken in their British form - 'Schedule' being the most noticeable (I say 'skedule').
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