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-   -   is your accent something that gets commented on alot (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/your-accent-something-gets-commented-alot-597582/)

idk4 Mar 15th 2009 12:27 am

is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
i may be moving to the us. i hear about them loving the uk accent.i was just wondering if its somethingg people notice alot or is it only occasionally people comment on it? does your regional accent make a difference, say a posh southern get more attention for being queen like lol.
im quite self conscious so being different can make me feel embarrased because everytime i speak to someone new they will be thinking 'shes british'. though it may be nice to be the novelty, i dk. plus i have a pretty awful accent anyway, so they will probably be thinking 'she has a shit accent'
and also are american nice people, nicer than british?

Elvira Mar 15th 2009 12:29 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7379890)
........are american nice people, nicer than british?

WTF :blink:

dunroving Mar 15th 2009 12:45 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by Elvira (Post 7379896)
WTF :blink:

I think there must be a full moon tonight: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=597505

Islandgurl Mar 15th 2009 12:45 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
average americans just hear the British...they cannot really tell the regional differences...ones that actually have a passport and have travelled some often can..
I've been her for over a decade, and still get asked about my accent, and if I like it here..:blink: when I'm home I get called a yank..apparently my accent has reached a bastardized stage..:rofl:

idk4 Mar 15th 2009 12:49 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
i kind of want to fit in though, and i think having an accent may hinder that...i guess its a good conversation starter but after some time you will still be classed as the newbie even if youve lived there for years because they probably assume youve only just come to the US. i also worry about people saying 'get back to your own country' like im a drain on their resources or their jobs and stuff

Elvira Mar 15th 2009 12:50 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by dunroving (Post 7379939)
I think there must be a full moon tonight: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=597505

Full Uranus more like:

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=597018

;)

Islandgurl Mar 15th 2009 12:52 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7379947)
i kind of want to fit in though, and i think having an accent may hinder that...i guess its a good conversation starter but after some time you will still be classed as the newbie even if youve lived there for years because they probably assume youve only just come to the US. i also worry about people saying 'get back to your own country' like im a drain on their resources or their jobs and stuff

I've never found it a hinderance..I think its actually helped a lot...people always assume I just got off the boat..and NO.. I dont want to fit in, I've not lost my accent..prob because I don't want to....

MagStu Mar 15th 2009 1:02 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
I have lived here for 28 years and people who meet me and do not know me still ask if I am from England. However, I go back to England every year and people who do not know me there assume that I am American. So I think that I have lost some of my accent but am still recognizable as English.
As for it being a hinderance - on the contrary, it is nice that people like the accent so much and, as you say, it breaks the ice when you meet people.

dbj1000 Mar 15th 2009 1:24 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7379947)
... like im a drain on their resources or their jobs and stuff

Are you?

AdobePinon Mar 15th 2009 1:48 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by Islandgurl (Post 7379940)
average americans just hear the Australian...

Fixed it for ya! ;)

penguinsix Mar 15th 2009 1:55 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
Trust me, you'll get far with the accent. It will be an instant ice breaker at parties with people asking 'Oh, are you from Australia' and 'Oh, you sound like the GEICO lizard in the TV adverts (long story)'. If you were a guy I'd tell you 'the accent can get you laid' but not sure how it works the other way.

Would suggest you read these wiki items

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Making_Friends_in_America
http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Cultur...US_and_England

mayhemuk Mar 15th 2009 2:04 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
I think it depends where you are.
In the big citys (NYC, San Francisco etc) certainly and most places to be honest you probably won't be a novelty at all.
If you are somewhere a bit further out then maybe you might have some comments.
Been here just over a year and not had a bad experience. And meeting different customers daily with work and only occasionally does anyone comment.

As for drain on resources, what resources? You almost certainly won't be eligible for anything if there's anything to be eligible for. And if you've transfered for an international company isn't there a good chance you'll be in expat company anyway.

YoungSteve17 Mar 15th 2009 2:45 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by penguinsix (Post 7380091)
' and Oh, you sound like the GEICO lizard in the TV adverts (long story)'.

HAHA :rofl: :rofl:

I have had that before, it's hilarious

It was pretty good when i first came here but now i don't really like when people notice my accent because i get asked the same old questions i have been asked a million times already. The answers to them are pretty scripted now

I saw that someone said on this thread they had been here 28 years, I cant imagine what 28 years of the same questions feel like :blink:

Mummy in the foothills Mar 15th 2009 5:25 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by YoungSteve17 (Post 7380174)

I saw that someone said on this thread they had been here 28 years, I cant imagine what 28 years of the same questions feel like :blink:

I've been here 24 years and it's gets really old and annoying.
I'm told I sound like I'm from Boston :confused: I think my accent has crossed the Atlantic and is getting closer.

sime303 Mar 15th 2009 7:12 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7379890)
i may be moving to the us. i hear about them loving the uk accent.i was just wondering if its somethingg people notice alot or is it only occasionally people comment on it? does your regional accent make a difference, say a posh southern get more attention for being queen like lol.
im quite self conscious so being different can make me feel embarrased because everytime i speak to someone new they will be thinking 'shes british'. though it may be nice to be the novelty, i dk. plus i have a pretty awful accent anyway, so they will probably be thinking 'she has a shit accent'
and also are american nice people, nicer than british?

Get used to being Australian.

idk4 Mar 15th 2009 11:06 am

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
is it true they dont get our sense of humour. i am very sarcastic and self-depricating and like 'taking the piss' out of my friends. im just worried they wont get me. i pride myself on being laid back and funny but it may be all taken as rude or weird overthere!

dunroving Mar 15th 2009 12:37 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7380938)
is it true they dont get our sense of humour. i am very sarcastic and self-depricating and like 'taking the piss' out of my friends. im just worried they wont get me. i pride myself on being laid back and funny but it may be all taken as rude or weird overthere!

What part of the US are you going to? Especially in some parts of the US, "taking the piss" as you put it will be taken very literally and cause offence.

Are you sure you want to move to another country with a different culture? You seem rather preoccupied with worry about the possibility that you may need to make adjustments to the lifestyle and culture you have grown accustomed to.

Accept the fact you will make mistakes - like the first time I used the expression "well blow me down" to mean "that surprises me" and realised the audience (a class of college students) thought I was asking for a blow job. :rofl:

I think the the more pleasant aspects of being seen as a slightly wacky Brit far outweigh the occasional social gaffes you make. Embrace the fact you are in for an adventure, but probbaly the number one piece of advice/comparison I'd make is that most Americans have a slightly more naive/literal interpretation of things than Brits, and are less open to cynical or negative implications in "humorous" remarks.

But then the US is comprised of 50 countries, so it depends a lot on where you are going as to how "different" you will be perceived. In NYC, you won't be seen as different, but in rurual backwoods of Arkansas you will definitely be different. ;)

Lothianlad Mar 15th 2009 12:41 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
If I ever get to be in the USA surely not even the Americans could ever mistake my Edinburgh Scots accent for an Oz one? :frown::eek: If I was there for ever I would never change my accent in any way at all. I would make a determined effort never to allow Americanisms to tarnish my accent in any way...no way. I may well like the Americans as people but their accents are mostly something else.

dunroving Mar 15th 2009 1:15 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by Lothianlad (Post 7381230)
If I ever get to be in the USA surely not even the Americans could ever mistake my Edinburgh Scots accent for an Oz one? :frown::eek: If I was there for ever I would never change my accent in any way at all. I would make a determined effort never to allow Americanisms to tarnish my accent in any way...no way. I may well like the Americans as people but their accents are mostly something else.

Never say never ... after dealing with blank looks for a few years, I wouldn't be surprised if you stop using words like "claggy" and "dreich". :rofl:

Also, depending on how thick your accent is, I also wouldn't be surprised if, at least in some company, you instinctively soften it a little. You just get tired of people not understanding you - and after all, it's more reasonable for you individually to make an adjustment than to expect 300 million Americans to learn Glaswegian or Aberdonian. ;)

But after 23 years, I just couldn't bring myself to say "toe-MAY-toe" or "a-LOOM-ee-num" (having said that, anyone with a modicum of commen sense could figure out what a Brit means when they use the "English" equivalent of those words).

Xebedee Mar 15th 2009 1:53 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by Lothianlad (Post 7381230)
If I ever get to be in the USA surely not even the Americans could ever mistake my Edinburgh Scots accent for an Oz one? :frown::eek: If I was there for ever I would never change my accent in any way at all. I would make a determined effort never to allow Americanisms to tarnish my accent in any way...no way. I may well like the Americans as people but their accents are mostly something else.

Never, ever, never underestimate how ignorant some Americans can be.
I've been asked if I'm German. The prosecuction rests m'Lud.

Also, you haven't heard of the three stages of assimilation have you? For whatever reason, you will eventually lose certain words and parts of your brogue; if for no other reason than you get sick of not being understood and having to explain something for the million'th time. As for Americanisms - eventually you may come to see it as futile to avoid them.
Trust me, I'm a Doctor. ;) :)


Originally Posted by dunroving (Post 7381301)
Never say never ... after dealing with blank looks for a few years, I wouldn't be surprised if you stop using words like "claggy" and "dreich". :rofl:

Also, depending on how thick your accent is, I also wouldn't be surprised if, at least in some company, you instinctively soften it a little. You just get tired of people not understanding you - and after all, it's more reasonable for you individually to make an adjustment than to expect 300 million Americans to learn Glaswegian or Aberdonian. ;)

But after 23 years, I just couldn't bring myself to say "toe-MAY-toe" or "a-LOOM-ee-num" (having said that, anyone with a modicum of commen sense could figure out what a Brit means when they use the "English" equivalent of those words).

I use that word every day on drawings and such. In converstion, I now call it "aloom-enum-enum" which gets knowing smiles sometimes.
I read the response as "he says it different and is taking the piss out of the way we say it here."
Suppose its part of the 3rd stage. ;) :D *innit*

YoungSteve17 Mar 15th 2009 2:00 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by dunroving (Post 7381301)
Also, depending on how thick your accent is, I also wouldn't be surprised if, at least in some company, you instinctively soften it a little. You just get tired of people not understanding you


Yes i started doing that along time ago.
When i came here i had a strong Suffolk accent. Even back home some of my mates use to take the mickey out of me sometimes when i said certain words. I have gotten so use to speaking properly so Americans can understand me that i do it all the time without thinking about it.

I would say i speak more "Proper" now.

MrEmjoy Mar 15th 2009 2:11 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
This is a peeve of mine not aimed at anyone here.

If you went to france and tried to speak english you wouldn't get anywhere. People come to english speaking countries expecting things to be the same as England! I miss england, but I want to stay in America more than I want to be in England so I'm learning to adapt and say things in certain ways, not change my accent though.

If you come to the states and expect to be understood while forcefully trying to retain an English accent then you wont get anywhere either, fair enough you can moan about it but at some point you've got to learn to speak the 'local' language, if you do it while thinking about it rather than slowly having your accent change it's far easier in my opinion. My neighbor has been here 20 years and she still sounds like she's from york.

BUT, every now and then I get caught out and asked to repeat something a few times and it is annoying, but I bet its much harder than being in a non English speaking country.

You can play on the accent and use it to your advantage but dont loose the advantage by being stubborn.

dunroving Mar 15th 2009 2:27 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by MrEmjoy (Post 7381416)
This is a peeve of mine not aimed at anyone here.

If you went to france and tried to speak english you wouldn't get anywhere. People come to english speaking countries expecting things to be the same as England! I miss england, but I want to stay in America more than I want to be in England so I'm learning to adapt and say things in certain ways, not change my accent though.

If you come to the states and expect to be understood while forcefully trying to retain an English accent then you wont get anywhere either, fair enough you can moan about it but at some point you've got to learn to speak the 'local' language, if you do it while thinking about it rather than slowly having your accent change it's far easier in my opinion. My neighbor has been here 20 years and she still sounds like she's from york.

BUT, every now and then I get caught out and asked to repeat something a few times and it is annoying, but I bet its much harder than being in a non English speaking country.

You can play on the accent and use it to your advantage but dont loose the advantage by being stubborn.


Agreed. :thumbup:

It can be irritating sometimes to be asked to repeat repeat repeat yourself. ;)

Sometimes the situation arises due to the fact that the listener is too lazy or stubborn to "work with you" (try just that little harder to figure out what you are saying).

Other times it's due to the fact that the speaker is too lazy to "work with you" (try just that little harder to slightly adjust their accent to something a little more "neutral").

I'm occasionally surprised at how some people with very thick regional accents (American or British) seem almost completely unaware of the possibility that someone might find it difficult to figure out exactly what they are saying - and then sometimes I think it's just a stubborn refusal to adjust for the sake of being helpful.

Brit3964 Mar 15th 2009 2:35 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by Islandgurl (Post 7379940)
average americans just hear the British...they cannot really tell the regional differences...ones that actually have a passport and have travelled some often can..
I've been her for over a decade, and still get asked about my accent, and if I like it here..:blink: when I'm home I get called a yank..apparently my accent has reached a bastardized stage..:rofl:

Yup, I get the same thing. Gets annoying after a while but then where I am it's kind of a novelty. Got that transatlantic drawl y'all ;)

another bloody yank Mar 15th 2009 3:03 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by Lothianlad (Post 7381230)
If I ever get to be in the USA surely not even the Americans could ever mistake my Edinburgh Scots accent for an Oz one? :frown::eek: If I was there for ever I would never change my accent in any way at all. I would make a determined effort never to allow Americanisms to tarnish my accent in any way...no way. I may well like the Americans as people but their accents are mostly something else.

Yeah... let me know how that goes, groundskeeper Wille.:lol:

another bloody yank Mar 15th 2009 3:04 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by Elvira (Post 7379896)
WTF :blink:

C'mon... you know it's true.

idk4 Mar 15th 2009 3:40 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
if americans take offence easily and take humour literal, then what is their sense of humour? what do they find funny?
i dont think ill have problems being understood as i dont have a strong accent.

MandyNi Mar 15th 2009 3:56 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
Well I have a Northern Ireland accent, not an overly strong one though, and the people of Virginia don't seem to have many problems with it.

As for what do americans find funny, well depends on the american, but just tune in to Sky or other cable channels we are offered up lots and lots of american comedy programmes - they'll give you a clue!

penguinsix Mar 15th 2009 4:25 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7380938)
is it true they dont get our sense of humour. i am very sarcastic and self-depricating and like 'taking the piss' out of my friends. im just worried they wont get me. i pride myself on being laid back and funny but it may be all taken as rude or weird overthere!

Americans can take a joke and even an insult, from someone they trust. But a newbie arriving off the boat speaking with an English accent will easily be labelled a 'jerk' if the first thing they do when meeting folks they don't know that well is to start 'taking a piss' on everyone. Satire is regarded by many over here as the last refuge of a weak-minded. Used by someone who cannot come up with anything productive so they take the easy way out with a simple minded witty retort rather than come up with a full-reasoned valuable response. It's regarded as very unprofessional in the workplace (though it goes on) and almost a no-go in social circumstances. You'll quickly get the label 'snarky' which isn't a nice one to have.

Better, no. Worse, no. Different.

But as others have pointed out, the US is a huge place. You WILL find people, eventually, who like satire and can understand your accent, but if you go around, well kind of 'screw you this is me so f' you' there will be a lot of people who say 'ok, f you' and you'll find yourself sort of lonely for awhile.

Good luck.

YoungSteve17 Mar 15th 2009 4:52 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by penguinsix (Post 7381651)
You'll quickly get the label 'snarky' which isn't a nice one to have.

Yes i have been told i have a "smart mouth" For the most simplest responses to questions that some Americans found a little sarcastic i guess.

I think Americans are over sensitive when it comes to humor

Mummy in the foothills Mar 15th 2009 5:56 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by YoungSteve17 (Post 7381679)
Yes i have been told i have a "smart mouth" For the most simplest responses to questions that some Americans found a little sarcastic i guess.

I think Americans are over sensitive when it comes to humor

I believe it's cause they don't understand the UK sense of humor and try so hard to be politically correct in front of people they have just met. Once they know you better they relax and can laugh with you, either that or they spend their time trying to one up you, and get snarky themselves.

MagStu Mar 15th 2009 6:12 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
In reply to YoungSteve17, 28 years of people asking me about my accent has not been a burden. I have always wanted to retain my accent and having people who do not know me say that they like it and am I from England, makes me feel good. When I return to England and people think that I am American, it makes me feel bad. I am English, and although I am living here and doing everything that Americans do, my bloodline is who I am.
So, I never get tired of it. Also, Steve, I came from Colchester, pretty close to Ipswich where you come from so in 28 years time you should still have your accent!!!!!

idk4 Mar 15th 2009 7:18 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
well my boyfriend may be getting a chance to go over there. The thing is, everything i hear about americans is negaitve in my sense. from what i have read they seem to have a strong work ethic but in a getting to the top kind, they seem to not have a sense of humour, and not very relaxed.and probably will not get me one bit.

penguinsix Mar 15th 2009 7:26 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
First, don't believe anything you read / see / watch in a) Hollywood movies and b) the European media regarding life in America.

Second, by the way, I guess we should have raised this earlier.

It will be nearly impossible for you to get a visa to work or live in the US if it is just 'your boyfriend' coming over. He needs to be your husband, or you need to have a path to a visa in your own right. I think there is one class of visas that allow 'partners' to enter but for almost all the others you have to be married, and even then, many of those don't allow you to work.

Do you happen to know which visa he is seeking / his company is seeking for him?

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulask...ork_in_the_USA

Englishtart Mar 15th 2009 7:35 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7382037)
well my boyfriend may be getting a chance to go over there. The thing is, everything i hear about americans is negaitve in my sense. from what i have read they seem to have a strong work ethic but in a getting to the top kind, they seem to not have a sense of humour, and not very relaxed.and probably will not get me one bit.


If you form opinoins of people, before you have even met them, that makes you closed minded (and stupid) You have to take what other people say about America and it's people, with a grain of salt!
If you ever do make it to the US, for vacation or to move here, your attitude will not help you make many friends here and you will be miserable!

Kaffy Mintcake Mar 15th 2009 7:35 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by penguinsix (Post 7381651)
Americans can take a joke and even an insult, from someone they trust. But a newbie arriving off the boat speaking with an English accent will easily be labelled a 'jerk' if the first thing they do when meeting folks they don't know that well is to start 'taking a piss' on everyone. Satire is regarded by many over here as the last refuge of a weak-minded. Used by someone who cannot come up with anything productive so they take the easy way out with a simple minded witty retort rather than come up with a full-reasoned valuable response. It's regarded as very unprofessional in the workplace (though it goes on) and almost a no-go in social circumstances. You'll quickly get the label 'snarky' which isn't a nice one to have.

Better, no. Worse, no. Different.

I don't agree with the comment "satire is regarded as the last refuge of a weak-minded" but do agree that it's good to have a rapport with someone before using a lot of sarcasm, or 'taking the piss'. It's pretty easy to read if someone's sense of humor is along those lines or not ... listen to see if you ever hear the person in question express a dry sense or humor or any sarcasm.

Example - one of my coworkers is a very friendly, polite man. He sent a sincere note to me that he was very sorry that he would be unable to make our work happy hour (which was a welcome to me and another new girl in the department) due to another engagement. I was about to make a smart remark, just in teasing, but thought better of it because I've never seen him interact with others that way. I think that was a wise move.

In contrast, another coworker of mine, who I've known for a while was telling me the other day that she learned to play a card game a different way than what we would be doing at an upcoming social tournament. Her boss overheard and said "Oh, you mean you're used to cheating?" and a series of ribbing comments came from me and her boss.

The difference? That girl is on the same wavelength, can give as good as she gets, and there's a rapport there already.

I can see how if you make remarks like that right off the bat, when noone knows you, that some might think "Is he being serious?" and may misunderstand your intentions.

Kaffy Mintcake Mar 15th 2009 7:36 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7382037)
well my boyfriend may be getting a chance to go over there. The thing is, everything i hear about americans is negaitve in my sense. from what i have read they seem to have a strong work ethic but in a getting to the top kind, they seem to not have a sense of humour, and not very relaxed.and probably will not get me one bit.

America is like every other country, you'll meet people you like, and people you don't like. Some may "get you", some may not. With a population of millions, I would think everyone would find some people they could get along well with.

PepsiChic Mar 15th 2009 7:38 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
My accent got me loads of attention in St Louis, Missouri,

In fact I've ended up becoming great friends with Jeff Burton one of St Louis's top djs and spend a fair bit of time in the studio now for The Point. The listeners love my accent and I've ended up recording some phrases and lines for the show.

Its a little weird for me though to hear my own voice on the radio station!

dunroving Mar 15th 2009 7:39 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 

Originally Posted by idk4 (Post 7382037)
well my boyfriend may be getting a chance to go over there. The thing is, everything i hear about americans is negaitve in my sense. from what i have read they seem to have a strong work ethic but in a getting to the top kind, they seem to not have a sense of humour, and not very relaxed.and probably will not get me one bit.

You seem to be going into this with the wrong mindset ... have you decided you are not going to like it before you even leave?

idk4 Mar 15th 2009 7:56 pm

Re: is your accent something that gets commented on alot
 
well i will probably marry my boyfriend before then. im not close-minded, i find it quite exciting, just abit worried about fitting in. i guess everyones different


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