Sunday, March 30, 2008

Being new to a city... as well as being here for a while

I am not new. But my visitors are. :)
They've been going around the oh so multicultural city of Sydney, seeing people from different backgrounds, all shapes and colours, hearing different languages being spoken, and hearing different accents using the same English language. How does one keep up with conversing with persons whom one can barely understand. Although both persons would be using the same language, accents hide the spelling and meaning of the words. You can both say the word "eight", one means the number but the other was referring to "ate" conjugating the verb to "eat". Well, this happened to a visitor. Both have a well grasp of the English language, but because of the heavy Aussie accent, my brother couldn't understand what the salesman was asking.

In the beginning of my stay here, I found it quite a challenge to get the accent, but then it grows on you. I used to have a heavy American accent when speaking English (coming from Manila does this to you), and told myself I couldn't learn how to speak with an Aussie accent. Now, having lived here half a decade, I am slowly losing my American way of speaking. I find myself adapting to my environment and just rolling the letters "a" and pronouncing less of "--er".

Nothing wrong with this at all. I still speak straight Filipino whenever I can but at work I could not have noticed how or when I've picked up the Oz accent (a bit). Adaptation is good. But realising that each one is different. Some of us may think that other people speak funny English, but who are you to say?

Just recognise that we live in a multicultural world. We should all celebrate our uniqueness. Whether it be the way we speak, or the way we dress, or the way we think. This makes the world a more interesting place to live in! :)

P.S. How fun it is probably to be a great actor and be able to imitate other accents! :) Imagine and English actor doing a Chinese accent!


erasmusa said...

i've been imitating accents as a kid watching cartoons, but i still had so much fun listening to a danish friend speak mandarin. it's just not something you expect. :)

Raft3R said...

have a good day, mate!

Gorgeous Traveller said...

Hi Erasmusa, Am sure it would have been quite entertaining listening to your Danish friend :)
It's amazing how many different accents there are in the world!

Heya Raft3r! :)

Lulu said...

Nice blog!!! Will be back!

I only speak English and Japanese but I doubt that I will ever have an accent good enough for native speakers to not pick up on the fact I am not a native speaker (on the phone....I think within the first 2 minutes they would know) and because I look so different well they always know straight away I am not a native!

I pick up accents very easy and while I am australian my accent is so screwy now that most times they can`t pick where I am from! Even other Australians! hehe!

Raising bilingual kids

I am pretty proud about our eldest being able to speak my mother tongue (Filipino). As young as one year old we taught her to speak Tagalo...