As a relative newbie to living in the USA, I still encounter many fascinating, quirky, funny, odd and unusual things. Experiencing this is not particular to America, as I am very sure many seasoned expats elsewhere can confirm, but recently I have had people tell me, very sincerely, that I will lose my English accent.
As it has happened more than once, I am wondering if this is a ‘thing’ …
This has been said to me by quite a few store employees I have spoken to on my daily walks and weekly shopping trips. They very cheerfully tell me that I will lose my English accent as someone they know of through a friend of theirs … … well, you get the idea.
I can agree to the fact I have now adopted some American words just so I can be understood when asking someone for something, but it is most definitely not said in an American accent. I would not dare attempt it as I would sound ridiculous – a sort of USA twang that comes via Ireland and South Africa … it is truly appalling.
So why do people think I will suddenly stop talking in my English accent and ‘go native’. I have shown no signs thus far of having any kind of American accent, and the few British people I have met who have been here a much longer time than me, have also not lost their regional accents (I detected the Liverpudlian lady in the fruit and veg section from about a mile away like a British homing pigeon) … so, thoughts please!
I have adopted some American words just so the laughter and/or confusion is reduced enough for me to go about my daily tasks without greatly adding to the time it takes to complete them, but a whole change of accent seems a bit far fetched. Admittedly I have not been here a very long time, and I am still finding my feet, so I would love to hear your thoughts … have you lost your accent while living abroad? Do you think it will happen? Is saying ‘zee’ instead of ‘zed’ the forerunner to the death of my English vowels?
As always, leave a comment, as I love to read and respond to what you have to say.