You talkin’ to me?

Do I have an accent?

During the years I worked and lived abroad many people told me they couldn’t figure out where I was from. Many said I barely had any accent at all from Canada. How this happened I don’t know, but perhaps growing up so close to the American border (Niagara Falls) neutralized my speech. I always thought accents were charming and added character so I was a bit disappointed in my lack of one. I Suppose I would have made a great voice actress but it never really occurred to me until this moment and now it’s perhaps too late…read on my friend.

Fast forward to 2012 and I’m afraid I have acquired that dreaded ESL (english as a second language) accent that I thought quite odd when I first moved to Italy. Every teacher I met spoke with a strange lilt and I found it a bit odd and annoying. Why is she talking to me like I’m retarded? I know I have hearing issues but this is ridiculous. And so went the commentary with little cartoon bubbles looming above my head.

But now, I completely understand!

Maybe I should demonstrate for you. Red. Yeah, Red. ESL teacher: RE…..ddde. Somehow we draw our words out to emphasize the pronunciation and start to take on this form of speech in everything we say. When you are a language teacher you must speak slowly and clearly. But for some reason the speed in which I speak English with my friends is still rapid but I now pronounce all my words funny.

Who knew that moving to Italy would finally give me some sort of accent! Too bad it’s not even remotely sexy. But, if I can just get those hand gestures down and show a LOT MORE CLEAVAGE, maybe there’s still hope for me yet.

Ciao mia caro! Just call me Lia Maria amore, kiss, kiss!

About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
This entry was posted in Italian Culture, Teaching English and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to You talkin’ to me?

  1. mouseytong says:

    Hi Leah,
    Ann here. I am living in Genova too. Missed the chance to meet you the last time you had a friendly soccer match.

    Thought I don’t teach English, I get the same reaction from my friends. When I speak to them especially over the phone, they start giggling or laughing and then proceed to reminds me of my terrible Italian English accent. Adding a “no” at the end, dragging my last word and using strange mixtures of simplified English. 🙂

    Hope to meet you soon!

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