Lv 4
toosh asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 8 years ago

how come some people change accents really easily were otheres never lose theirs?

for example my parents were born and raised in London and so both had English accents until when in their 20s they both moved to Ireland. Now over 20 years later my mother has an Irish accent, not a hint of an English one whereas my father still sounds English. Whats the story with that

6 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Some have more empathy with their fellow human beings than other do. Some are better natural mimics than are others. Some are just obstinate.

    I married someone from Missouri and we began our married life in Trinidad & Tobago, Within six months she was approached to settle a bet on her national origin, since she was far too fair-haired to pass for a native, And even fellow Americans failed to recognise her as one of their own. Three years later we moved to England, and only returned to visit her folks after another four years, when they told her she now sounded more English than I did. On the other hand, our son lived in England and Brazil before settling in Ohio at eighteen. He is now almost 50 and has yet to lose his British accent. I am 80 and have lived in seven English counties, four American states, and many other places. I speak four foreign languages, but none of them well enough to hide my Britishness to anyone with a good ear, and try as I may, Lowland Scots is the only English accent I can even attempt to fake. My normal speech embraces a range of reigsters, all of them basically vairieties of Estuary English, an accent I loathe and despise but can never really get free of.

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  • Dee J
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    I like all your other answers :) It's complicated!

    I personally feel that it is all about mimicry. Like birds, some of us can do it and others can't. Some of us can do it in some languages and not in others.

    My mother tongue is English and due to my father's airline job, we lived in many different countries. My 1st foreign language at age 5 was Arabic (which I subsequently forgot), then Dutch, which I forgot and re-learned by myself after many decades, then French, German, Italian and Spanish.

    When I speak French, people think that I am French, except on some days, like the morning after the night before and somehow, the "taint" of English pops up. I live in France.

    When I was working in Holland and had re-learned my Dutch by myself, most people thought I was Dutch but some very astute people would ask me what part of Belgium I was from because to them, I had a French accent!

    My German suffered a similar fate as I had a French teacher and although I was not as bad as some of my classmates (because of the English), people thought that I was French.

    My Italian and Spanish have never been "main" languages to me and I know I do have some sort of (probably bad) accent to native speakers.

    I think that my French is good because I went to French schools with French students. What I do find weird is that whilst speaking Dutch, I have a French accent. And I used to speak Dutch as a child before even learning French. How did that come about? Enigma.

    Another thing, I change my accent (unconsciously, people have pointed it out to me) if I'm with a group of Americans or Britishers. I don't sound like them exactly but there are different intonations and expressions and apparently, I just adapt myself to them..

    I don't actually agree about the success of people striving to keep their stiff upper lip accent no matter what. A lot of people just get taken over by their new community and before they know it, they're speaking "local". It is a relatively small group of die-hards who refuse to integrate, mentally, emotionally and therefore, linguistically.

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  • Good question.... I have a strong welsh accent and lived in England for years, but there was no way I was losing mine, it is part of my personality. I met a polish girl the other day who has been living in Wales for the last 5yrs, as she is learning English, she has picked up a welsh accent, which is great.

    My partner has quite a posh English accent and has lived in Wales for years too, but she won't lose her's, mind you we both have perents with the same accents.

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  • ?
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    It depends on one's age. A boy, 12, moved to my school in S.Wales from Yorkshire and acquired a local accent within a few months. Yet if he was over 20 he would prob never lose his Yorkshire accent.

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  • I live in canada, had a scotch neighbour growing up. he had been in canada 20 years and still spoke with a heavy accent. I believe he did not want to lose it. it made him different from everybody else.

    maybe it's an identity thing. I am what I am

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  • 8 years ago

    Some folks are flacky

    Source(s): And some are not !!!!
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