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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 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


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