The Magic of an Accent

When I was singing Tubthumping/I Get Knocked down (weird name, weird lyrics but horribly catchy) earlier today I noticed that I was adapting my voice so that I sang with a British accent. Now I think it’s important to understand that I have a stereotypical American accent, without any twists. I’m not sure what part of the United States it comes from, although I’m guessing that it’s a mix of New York, Boston and San Francisco, transmitted to me via my obliging parents.

Yet even being an American teenager living in Paris I still find a foreign accent perfectly thrilling to listen to. It sounds exotic and exciting and because of the whole “the grass is greener on the other side” thing, I always tend to think that foreigners are, in general, better people than the ones I find here.

Here are a couple of the accents that I, in a rather clichรฉd fashion, adore the most.

#1 : French

I’m putting French first more in loyalty to my country than anything else, but it still means that I’ll be able to fire a quick retort at any snarky politician who accuses expats of not being patriotic enough. Not that that will ever happen per say, but you can never be too sure. French is known as the language of love, and for a visitor, a visibly distraught French citizen struggling to make you understand that the rind on a Saint Nectaire cheese can be eaten safely is extraordinarily sexy.

#2 : British

My friends and I have this ‘game’ where we walk around for a couple hours speaking only with British accents, holding our pinky fingers up and holding our heads so high that they are in danger of being permanently stuck that way; the position is so uncomfortable. And yet melting down the entire population of the UK into one accent and attitude is seriously fun, though I can’t figure out why for the life of me. Then there’s the guys. There is nothing hotter than a boy speaking with a sophisticated sounding British voice. Once again, why? Once again, no idea. All I know is that I have this preconceived idea that any British boy will be willing to sit and listen patiently to my whining while offering me tea and crumpets as opposed to an American boy who would probably (and rightly) tell me to f*ck the hell off. So British boy, come to CT. Ugh, that sounded weird.

#3 : Canadian

This one I’m pretty certain came more from How I Met Your Mother than anywhere else, so in reality I’m not sure how life-like it is, so to all my Canadian readers, I am sincerely sourry if I am putting forth a false portrayal of your wonderful accent. The Canadian accent is awesome because you can hear it in both languages: English and French. I have a friend who speaks (French) with a Canadian accent and in that Canadian way, not exactly wording things the way that we would or saying things that make sense to us. Nonetheless, whether it’s in French or in English, the Canadian accent is delightful because it’s familiar and yet very different at the same time.

So now that I have successfully degraded three accents, I will go to bed and read aboot a lady who kills her psychoanalyst for the sole reason that he annoys her. Aaaaah, summer reading in high school…

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.


20 thoughts on “The Magic of an Accent

  1. “I always tend to think that foreigners are, in general, better people than the ones I find here.” I believe this is the same for all of us… It also happens to me,while you don’t find your accent interesting I find it pretty interesting.

  2. I also have a soft spot for the Canadian accent (albeit because I’m from Quรฉbec but there ya go). But for us it’s the French who actually have the accent ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I agree with what you say ๐Ÿ™‚ But I hate it when people say they love the English accent…About a third of people in England speak like that and they’re from the southern end (dauwn sawwth as my people say). You say you like British accent – listen to me with a Yourkshire accent (South Yorkshire) and you’ll see that it makes you sound stupid. I like speaking in a way that shows where I am from – I’m proud of it, but I hate how stupid it makes me sound O.o

    • You make a really good point that I (embarrassingly) hadn’t thought about! I guess that we judge on what we hear in popular culture; movies, music and what not. And I’ll bet that your accent isn’t that stupid at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • haha, it is actually a thing that people from northern parts of England find it very hard to make it in national radio/new reading etc. People like to hear proper Queens English I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That moment when people find out you’re English and they ask you to speak to them, thinking what’s going to come out of your mouth is a beautiful, deep melodious (and sexy) voice like Tom Hiddleston’s, when actually you just sound awkward with an awkward east midlands/yorkshire accent.

      By the way CT, if you think all British guys will sit obediently eating cookies with tea, you haven’t watched “the only way is essex”….

      • I should do a post where I create a perfect guy with Tom Hiddleston’s voice who will sit eating cookies with tea ๐Ÿ˜‰ My English teacher is from Essex, so I understand the whole different accents thing quite well now..

  4. Ah! Accents! I can relate to all of this. Especially the whole British boy thing. I absolutely love listening to different accents, even if I’m being shouted at it with one.
    I listen most attentively when someone with a British, American, French, Australian or Irish accent is speaking. I don’t know why. I guess it just amuses me and kind of makes me feel happy (if that makes any sense). But if someone who has an accent similar to mine will be talking, I will probably be least bothered to listen to them or even utter a word as an answer.
    I guess everyone experiences this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Completely agree with #3. I visited Canada a few weeks ago and was surprised by how much the canadians sounded like the people from How I Met Your Mother (albeit, slightly less exaggerated). If I was canadian, I think I’d make my living by narrating children’s books, because there’s nothing more friendly and soothing than a canadian accent.

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