Friday, August 15, 2008

Who has an accent, me??? Noooooooo........

I don't think so. Well I never hear it, but apparently other people do. Because we have lived here for the past 19 years I just figure everyone understands everything I say.

I was at the pharmacy the other week, and have been going to the same one for donkey's years, and I was talking to her and a woman from the Caribbean and we got on about accents etc and I said I didn't think I talked any different to anyone else. However Celia (pharmacist) pointed out that not many people say donkey's years......I guess not?

I was in a children's clothing store the other day and one of the cashiers was from Liverpool and she thought I was visiting, as she thought my accent was so strong. I said I was full of cold, so that's maybe why my accent sounded so strong.

I am always shocked when people don't understand me. The funniest story I have with someone not understanding me, was when I went into an Italian bakery and a little Italian woman was serving me. I wanted a bun with butter on it. The bun bit she got, the butter thing she didn't get. No matter how I tried to pronounce butter, she didn't get it. In the end I did a spreading action and then she got it.

Over the years I have figured out when people don't understand me, by watching their expressions. Dd boyfriend is the best, as I can tell right away when I have said something he has no clue what I am talking about and dd will then translate. Did I mention we speak English!!!!

When we go to the States as soon as I open my mouth the first thing people say is where do you come from. I used to say Canada, and then the expression in one of total confusion, so now I say we are originally from Britain but now live in Canada. It saves on such a lot of confused looks and questions.

I find when I am with other British people, I drop back into a thicker British accent. However when we go to Britain they say we talk with a Canadian accent. In Canada, everyone comments on my British accent. So basically we belong to neither country :o(

12 comments:

Niki RuralWritings said...

Aw Gill, you belong to us!!! :)

I know what you mean about accents between my british father and german mother both of whom thought they had no accents, we had lots of conversations about this very thing.

raining sheep said...

I laughed so hard at this post. I am orginally from the Czech Republic. I lived in France and spoke French before English; then we moved to Canada. I met an old childhood friend I had not seen in 25 years...the first thing she said to me was "you sound Canadian now". I was so puzzled...I never thought I sounded anything but Canadian before!

Denise said...

I can relate. People often say here in the US, "You haven't lost your accent." When I go home, "You sound so American." If I go into a restaurant and ask for 'water' the waiter doesn't understand what I am saying, so I have tried to pronounce it the American way, no problem there, I get my water order in the first time round and don't have to repeat myself three or four times. Since I am working with all my British friends in the tea room, I think my accent has come back quite a bit. Great post Gill.

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

I love british accents ! My neighbor where I moved from was from Enland and I could listen to her talk all day.

Stephanie D. said...

I grew up in Alabama, but lived 20 years in New Mexico. Folks always said I talked too fast for a Southerner when we lived in AL, but NM friends always teased me about my Southern accent, which always got thicker when I was tired or talking to family.

While in NM I added my ending consonants, and now, back in the South, people ask me where I'm from.

You just can't win!

Imanoptimisticbeauty said...

That is so funny. I am from BC and I have a very strong accent. Strong enough that I get asked where I'm from quite frequently. My response is BC... lol. Its actually quite humorous. My Mom's family is from Norway so as a youngin I picked up their accents and despite years of speech therapy I haven't lost the accent totally.

You would think with the melting pot effect here in Canada people would be more used to it!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

My dad was a Geordie and when he first took my mother to meet his family way back in 1941, she couldn't understand anyone. I don't recall dad having a very strong accent though.

My son and his family have been living in Australia for over 4 years and I think the children definitely have Aussie accents now but at their school they love their British accents!

Gill - That British Woman said...

well I am glad I am not the only one.........

Gill

Kathy said...

Hi Gill, I am a Londoner, been here (USA) for five years now, The people in the supermarkets still say they love my accent, when I go back my daughter says I talk funny (she is grown up and still lives in London) and when I return all the Brits here say they dont understand me because I have lapsed right back into my cockney accent, oh dear where do I belong anymore. great blog, esp the free food part haha. Kathy.

Angry In Oman said...

What is Canadian anyway? Anyone from anywhere looking for a better life!

My husband is from England and his friends and family like to tease him about how he sounds Canadian.

I think they say it for fun.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I was amused when a group of Geordies (myself included although I would be called a "Sand Dancer"...I will explain that some time) went to Hull one day. One chap with a thick accent could not make himself understand to a girl working it McDonalds. It was extremely amusing...

Tracy said...

I can relate too :)

Mum got pulled over for not wearing her seatbelt and the police officer asked if she had a valid Australian drivers license! She's been in Australia 35 years! Can't keep a good Welsh accent hidden.

My accent also thicken when I'm around other Poms ( English) and I've been here since I was 7. But my dad was a Scouser so the accents were thick in the house growing up. After 30 years in Aust. Dad still sounded like he came from Liverpool!