Friday, January 11, 2008

You've Got a Thick Accent ....

I was in Wellington, New Zealand recently and I shared a Taxi, from the Airport to the hotel, with a colleague/friend. During the drive she asked the Driver for direction to the nearest shopping mall/district since her luggage did not show up in New Zealand, to which the driver responded "It's hard to understand you, you've got a thick accent, where is the accent from? ...."

As an immigrant in the US with my Ekiti accent, I get the "where is your accent from?" question every now and again to which I joking respond "What accent? I don't have an accent". Most Americans don't believe they have an accent, to most they speak the English language with the standard accent and the British speak with it with the English accent. Considering the US dominance especially in Entertainment and Global News Airwaves (read CNN and CNBC), the American accent may appear to be the standard but it is not. English is the language of the Englishman and that is the standard accent.

In any case, it was nice to observe my colleague's reaction and I couldn't help but laugh. I had finally been vindicated!!!

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