Monday, July 24

Accents, And The Likeness Of It

The Beautiful

The new semester resumes. I'm glad. The holidays do not present much of a fun atmosphere as much as a 19yo. Guess when age catches up on you, an extended holiday is just another excuse to laze and be extremely unproductive. Which i detest.

But i digress.

Sitting with my sidekick of the day, the very likeable Bridget (you'v got a messed up family girlfriend lol) in a late afternoon lecture, i listened to the introductory speech presented by our co-lecturer Amanda Crane.

It hadn't occur to me at all, but Amanda was harping on and on for a full 5 minutes before she mentioned that her American accent sticks out like a sore thumb.

American? In our progressive society, where the American behemoth gradually constructs and takes over the every facet of Australian life, the North American accent wasn't apparent to me at all. Until she mentioned it.

In the following 10 minutes i mentally tried to deconstruct her accent and compare it to the Australian accent. They're very, very different. But having lived here for over 18 months and being brought up on the American culture my entire life, i realised i was having trouble trying to pick them out! It's so ingrained in my speech and intonation, to the point where i couldn't even pick out a different accent when i hear one.

It's then i realised my problem was my English. I speak with a three-tone American, Australian and International English all thrown into one. It's hard to pick out where i'm from when i speak.

3 weeks ago while shoving chips into a chip bucket in a busy retail outlet (a very humbling experience i gotta tell ya), the register girl told me she had problems trying to figure out where i was from as my English sounded very American. I was amused. I don't think i sound like an American i sound. International English is what i prefer. I do not profess to love everything American, but American English is the de rigeur for the listener. It's very easy on the ear and i love the way it resonates, particularly the East Coast American English.

Australian English on the other hand, sounds more rough and forced. I do love way many words are stressed differently than their English counterparts in Britain. It does have its charm though. Putting it to use often makes for dinner table conversations. My folks back home still think i'm batty when i use words like fair dinkum. Like, wtf?

Nobody believes me when i tell them i've only been in Australia for just under 2 years and i hail from a land more notoriously known for her strict drug laws and fines.

Such is the beauty of an International English. Haha. It's easy to get around. People can't pintpoint where you're from. It's a great conversational piece and sets you apart from your regular blow hole Aussie bogun or American yobo. Which are the same thing. *chuckles*

American and Australian English. Two completely different continents with contrasting use of inflections and native slangs. I marvel at the way English has amalgamated over these few decades.

English truly is a work of art, don't you think?

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