I came to a job interview and after fifteen minutes the person said to me: ‘ Now I really have to ask!You were not born in The Hague anyway?! That can’t, because I can’t hear anything!
I thought ‘what a Waus, this is NIE lakeside.. ‘ and said: ‘ Born and raised, Sir. ‘ The other way around can be.Apparently one really expects to be able to hear it. Long Live the filling!
Since I am multilingual and originally from South of France, my answer will vary depending on the language I speak.
My southern accent in French is what the French call a singing accent, the accent of the holidays and of the sun haha…. But in reality this is an accent that you will almost never hear on television, except on the TV-figures that are a bit silly or ridiculous.
When I speak French, against French, they are all very surprised to hear me talk, and they all have to say something about it, or to laugh, or to imitate me.
The funny thing is that if I wanted to, I could distort the Parisian accent, but I don’t want that.My accent is part of my identity.
In English Some people joke about my French accent, but most of them seem to be impressed and say it’s not that bad. Many people find it very sexy, but I think this is not really a compliment, my accent leads them off and I don’t want to sound sexy, I just have it about something and would like people to listen to me.
In Dutch I also have a French accent…. And many people say it is charming and sexy, and I definitely shouldn’t lose it.But there are also just as many people who look at me as if I’m stupid, and like I don’t know what I’m talking about. They look down on me because my accent is not local. I find this very disrespectful: I have learnt your language…. My accent is part of my own identity, I can’t just scrape it off. And I also think it’s very stupid and reducative: it’s not because I have an accent that I’m an idiot.
Anyway…. When things like this happen, I’m even more aware and more grateful to be an immigrant with a white skin, because I think I’m lucky to get a less harsh behavior from such people.
Years back, in the middle of Seoul, South Korea, I walked with a friend through a busy shopping street.
Our attention was awakened at a given time by a crowd that had gathered around a podium.
We arrived closer and closed.
What fun!A stand-up comedian, a local fame also still.
My girlfriend, Korean, and myself, Koreanist, were Korean mighty and kept looking.
Many innocent, superficial jokes that we were very happy to laugh about.
The tone changed when he began on the presence of the American army in Seoul.He got people in his fierce speech against this foreign interference.
He saw me standing, focused his attention on me and began to speak to me immediately and to attack verbally.
He stood with a mouth full of teeth when I replied in Korean and nuanced his story.There was a dead silence. Westerners who speak Korean are unique.
The present audience looked anxiously at the comedian.
In the absence of any better, he decided to repeat the word for word that I had said, and he imitated exaggerated my accent.Everyone, few hundred man, laugh of course. I felt very tiny.
Yes!In the Efteling:)
I was there with my girlfriend and suddenly there were 2 Dutchmen next to me who had seen that I had a plan of the park.They searched for a certain attraction and I show them on the map with a small explanation of how they could walk there. After my explanation they looked at me weird and suddenly they started talking German to me (which I don’t understand well). Missing my accenteless English-according to me-was better than their “gchrs… Dutch “, I have served them in French, which they did not understand again:)
PS: I’m a Fleming of Noord-Brabant (Belgium), so so terribly difficult is not to understand me…
Oh yeah, so many times.If you need to give explanations about pensions by phone, you get a lot of older people on the line that meet your “good morning, you speak with… “Hear three things:
- It is a foreigner;
- It is a woman;
- She is still young.
Conclusion: She has no understanding of matters.Then they ask to speak “someone” who can help them. If you answer with “you speak with the right department, what can I do for you?” They came up with other arguments why they wanted to speak to someone else. “Yes but my question is very important/difficult, I have to speak to a real specialist. Who is a real specialist? Someone with a sense of affairs. There we go again.
Not in Dutch.Just because I am an immigrant I learned to speak Dutch without any accent. My English against it is regularly criticized by native speakers and yes online sometimes ridiculed.
Now I’m trying to learn Mandarin, so the laugh salvos I can go to see.
I come from a Brabants village and that is sometimes clearly heard.But I also easily take on other accents when I spend a day with people from other parts. I have been sitting in rooms for a while with a lot of people from above the rivers, so I also got a hard g.
They sometimes had to laugh at me pronunciation and word choice if that was typical Brabants.But also the other way round, back in my village I was ridiculed because it seemed like I was coming from above the rivers.
I have spent a weekend between Flemish friends and a week later you still heard the Flemish tongue trap with gusts.
Luckily it didn’t do me much, I knew how it came and also knew that I could adapt quite easily again.
Currently I work with both Brabant and Flemish colleagues and it takes some effort to not always switch between the accents, because the combi in the same sounds really terrible.Especially because I find the Flemish sound much nicer, but it is strange to speak that language because I am just in my normal Brabant area.
Yes.It’s super frustrating and irritates me.
Wherever I come, people always appoint it, but nobody knows how to place it properly.In the north of the Netherlands it is thought that I come from Flanders, in Brabant they find it ‘ too neat ‘, and again others find it just sounding weird. But I really do my best…
I think it’s only ‘ painful ‘ when people can’t understand me, even though I’ve said it 3 times in a while.Once I said a sentence, which I had to repeat very often, and then my interlocutor said that he did not know soft G’s (even though I said no word with a G!!).
Also, I don’t know so well how to react when people ask where I come from or how long I live in the Netherlands.For my feeling, I just talk Dutch, so it never feels fine when you are addressed to it, and especially not if it is the first thing people want to know about you.
Dutch is my first language, so when I speak Arabic it is with a Dutch accent.The people of Morocco should always laugh about it. I am sometimes talking. They also sometimes think that I am very stupid, because my grammar/Zinsopbouw is not 100%.