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Q: Do you think China makes you lose your "accent"?

I know everyone thinks that everyone else has an accent. Especially the Brits!  But have you noticed that over the years, people seem to lose whatever accent they had when they came? Im sure this will seem to piss people off but it seems everyone I know from England or Australia or whatever that has been here for a number of years seem to either have a really really soft accent or sound like an off- American accent.  Im not American, just an observation!  I mean, Americans sure dont start sounding like Brits.

5 years 46 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - China

 
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Nope, 

 

I still have a "mid-western" accent which spans parts of the U.S. and Canada.

 

The weirdest thing I have ever heard in China was "You speak English very well." multiple times from many Chinese people. What they meant to say was that my pronunciation and accent were easy to understand. 

 

I explain how to weird it is to hear a comment like that (since I am a native-speaker) but telling them "Your Chinese is really good too!". They always laugh and say... "Of course, I am Chinese!" I say, "I know... now you understand." 

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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yeah,,  weird thing happened to me down in Manila last year. I met some back-packing guys from the US (don't recall where) and they kept asking me where I was from and stuff like that,,, they said I had the weirdest accent or non-accent, they couldn't place it,,, no matter how much I told them I was from the States.   At first I kinda thought it was strange, and it even kinda scared me,,,  cuz they were implying rather directly that they thought I sounded very strange, but then I just told them that I guess it's from traveling around most of my life , living lotsa places, and fact is I've been in E/SE Asia the past 10+ years.(I actually lost track of how long it's been).  So, I guess what u are talking about does happen.

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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Well then it is probably a good thing if people start speaking properly, like us Canadians. Haha

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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Absolutely, I am from South Africa and been here for two years and now no one can guess where I'm from. Admittedly we don't have the easiest accent to place but having been here and having friends from all over the world, my accent gradually changed to something in the middle of all the accents. I think I first changed my accent so that when I'm at a dinner with friends from all over, that they can all understand what I'm saying, so I started using the neutral accent. 

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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When I'm with Chinese I for sure start talking slower and toning down my accent. When I'm with other English people, it all starts flooding back.

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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I've been in Asia 12 years, now people say my American accent is gone and now I sound British I've been told 100 times.

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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My Aussie accent is gone... I kept being asked if I'm English!

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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When speaking French (ie. my native language), I lost any trace of my Southern accent, I just kept the lexicon.

When speaking English, I still have light to medium French intonations. People who have been to Europe can tell I'm French. My lexicon became more British than American, I took some intonations too. I watch a lot of BBC, British series and I'm addicted to the Yogscast channel on Youtube (made by Brits) ^^

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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It all depends who I'm speaking with.  

 

If it's the kids at uni, I was asked to use American English so I attend to adopt a slightly Southern drawl that I adopted at college.  If I'm teaching little kids, the books are British English so I slip into a generic Northern English accent.  When I call home, I speak as I would at home (Cumbrian/Scottish) - with a few Americanisms slipped in from time to time.

 

If I'm talking to friends and colleagues who are from North America, that southern drawl slips back in but magically disappears again when speaking to Brits, Irish, Aussies, Kiwis or other Europeans.

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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I often speak Chinglish now, it just happens overnight. Sometimes the Chinglish is just more convenient. It becomes a problem when you're (Chinese) wife starts commenting on it and correcting your English!

 

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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  Not at all, in fact it may even strengthen it; when i'm in class I make sure to speak as clearly as possible, and probably sound like one of those old "This is the BBC World Service" recordings from the 1940s. As for my ability to elucidate thoughts in an articulate manner on the other hand, it has suffered no end. In the classroom I often find myself dumbing down and even Chinglifying my English on rare occasions by way of maintaining clarity of understanding for my students, then after the lesson suddenly find myself talking to other teachers like they're 5 years old and i'm a f***ing moron.

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5 years 46 weeks ago
 
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What accent? I don't have an accent.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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I've made a conscious effort to kill my accent over the last several years, but I have kind of a nasal voice due to always being stuffed up... then again, traveling is a recent thing for me.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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I'm American, born and raised and educated and lived all my life in the south (Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee).  When I go home to visit the family, my accent definitely slips back into a southern drawl complete with colloquialisms.  Otherwise, people think I'm from Chicago.  Weird.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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