I blogged a lot about my accent in my posts in French. I thought doing one post about it in English, or more precisely, about my accent when I speak in English. Because it is a strange one. I can get a proper Italian accent it seems, even though I know very little Italian, but I could never get a proper British accent after spending more than ten years of my life in England. Some people think I am American, except of course Americans. Some people think I'm French, which is strange as I do not have a French accent. I don't have the strong accent many Quebeckers have when they speak English, yet I did not absorb the accent of a native.
I wish I had done so. But instead, I get that thing from nowhere. People thought I was German, Greek, Italian, whatever. Only a few people people hearing me thought I was actually Canadian, fewer thought I was Quebecker (except, well of course when I am in Québec). A kid in the school I used to work in identified me as a Canadian because "you speak like an American but you got that twang that is not American". So I have a twang when I speak English. And this is a twang that is from nowhere. I don't think it is a Canadian twang, whatever that is (the kid got it right but I think it was pure blind luck): I learned English watching American TV, like many people I guess. I tried to mimic that kind of English, taking a bit of stuff from here along the way (mainly vocabulary). The twang I have is a construction, it is artificial. Maybe it is another sign of being an expat...
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18 hours ago
Ça reste un accent québécois, plus subtil que d'autres, ça s'entend (calembour fortuit), mais un accent québécois quand même, que les autres le sachent ou pas. J'ai vu un de mes collègues aujourd'hui qui vient de Chicoutimi et dont l'anglais est presque impeccable, du moins au point de vue grammatical, et on décèle toujours un petit quelque chose dans la prononciation à un moment donné. Faut être bilingue "de naissance" ou, du moins, avant l'adolescence pour ne pas avoir l'accent de la langue maternelle dans une langue seconde. Et encore là, ce n'est pas dans tous les cas.
Greek??? Lol. At least no one suggested that you are Australian mate...talk about a twang :-)
I used to speak English well enough that few students at my anglo university knew that I was a French speaker. Even when we travelled to the States most people thought I was Canadian or American.
Now, I've lived close to three years in France and I speak English with a Parisian accent! It's plain horrible to hear and I get labled as a Frenchwoman as soon as I open my mouth!
@PJ-Je me réécoutais au discours de ton mariage et en effet, j'ai l'accent québécois, qui est plus ou moins subtil selon ce que je dis.
@Anonymous-I think some people thought I was Greek as I was hanging around Greeks and some people would say I look Greek.
@Cynthia-Oh, how I love when a native English speaker thinks I am a native English speaker!
Il faut dire qu'ils ont une méchante panoplie d'accents régionaux en Angleterre dont certains sont incompréhensibles pour ceux qui ne sont pas du coin précis. Par conséquent, lorsque le vocabulaire, la grammaire et la syntaxe sont adéquats, ce n'est pas impossible pour un sujet de la reine Zaza II de penser qu'au lieu d'être étranger, tu viens d'une région éloignée/isolée du Royaume-Uni... Ce qui est un brin ironique pour quelqu'un qui vient "des régions" d'un point de vue Montréalais...
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