Oh yes. Accents.
When I was in Czech republic, me and my friends adored traditional BBC british accent. We thought that it’s the sexiest of accents. Being mostly exposed to American one, we felt like British English is something exotic, something charming, traditional and Great!
After I moved to London, I was so looking forward to be surrounded by Britishness I wanted to soak in it and absorb it through my skin. Everything I linguistically dreamt of should had come true. But…
To my surprise, there are no English in London!
It took me about 3 months of working in a Charity Cafe to meet native English who were not Irish, Scottish, Welsh or from Hackney. The first encounter was quite remarkable.
But traveler beware! You’re first moment with these mysterious Brits will be a fiasco. You won’t understand. At all. And that’s exactly what happend to me.
Few months (and many embarrassing moments) later I finally started to understand pretty much everything was said around me and also started to feel like my own accent is improving.I was blending, building my English disguise. But then the Cafe experience came again and punched me down from the heights of accent olympus.
‘Do you want some tomato with your sandwich?’ *
‘Are you American?’
Just this one simple question was enough and they saw through my trick.
However, now I’m 10 months of English course wiser and my accent is perfectly Brit-ish. I was waiting for this moment, when I can say ‘Girl, you speak British’, forever. My dream came true!
But… (oh yes. there’s always a but in English language)
Nobody can understand me!
When you travel, people are just not used to swallow-most-of-the-word-and-speak-like-your-nose-is-full English. (how i apparently sound to the outer world)
French accent is sexy, Scandinavian is perfect, American is cheerful, when Aussies speak you can feel the beach life, Russians have this soft lisp and Indians are indecipherable.
But Czech/wannabe British accent… Not cool. Not sexy. My brother (guy who was mistaken for Canadian by various parties, including police) makes fun of me, that I speak like I have a potato in my mouth.
But my hope for the heaven of delightful speech shall remain.
And If I don’t master English I can still can switch to American
What do you think of Various English accents? Which one you prefere, which one do you hate? Do you want to speak British?
* listen to this and you’ll understand: tomato/tomato http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/tomato