Ranting Against Accent


“You have an accent!” A man commented after hearing me speak for less than 30 seconds. Maybe he thought he should let me know. That was not the first time I heard someone said that to me. It will not be the last time either. Yes, I have an accent when I speak English. Not only English, even a native Nepali speaker can tell that I have an accent. Nepali is not my native language as well. Yet, I can say this that I can speak Nepali as good as most native speakers. What truly annoyed me was the tone of this man’s voice. I do not need him to tell me that I do not speak like him or any other native English speakers. And for the record, I never fancy speaking like him. I have been living in West Michigan for a few years now. Owing to this fact, I need not imitate the native English speakers nor do I need sound like them. As opposed to mimicking, I would rather want to learn to pronounce words clearly and speak with fluidity without verbal fillers.

Owing to this fact that I need not imitate the native English speakers nor do I need sound like them. As opposed to mimicking, I would rather want to learn to pronounce words clearly and speak with fluidity without verbal fillers.

I would have been grateful to him, had he tried to correct my pronunciation. I would have learned one or two things from a total stranger. Speaking without exceptions, he had his own accent. A person from West Michigan does not speak like a man from East Coast or West or Pacific Coast. He does not or may not speak like my friend from Atlanta, Georgia or Nashville, Tennessee. That is to say, we all have our own way of speaking and thus have the distinctive accent. Mind you, English as a second language (ESL) does not even apply to me. It is my third language out of four different languages I speak with fluency. It used to be fourth but I am bringing it down to third. I hope it comes down to second at last.IMG_1220

Rather than indulging in your grandiloquent ability to speak your native language and making fun of someone’s accent, be courteous to the person who is speaking your language. They had to learn it from the scratch.

Next time, do not tell me I speak with an accent if you have nothing positive to offer. Rather than indulging in your grandiloquent ability to speak your native language and making fun of someone’s accent, be courteous to the person who is speaking your language. They had to learn it from the scratch. I was not born into the English-speaking family. My friends had to drop out of school or college due to English class. You cannot relate to non-English speakers’ struggle to learn English. It is hard to learn due to its senseless sentence structure with all grammatical rules, pronunciation, vocabularies, and idioms and phrases. As long as the speaker is speaking words with clarity, please do not discourage him or her for mere accent. I have seen quite a few non-native English speakers articulate their ideas sans sounding an American or an English. If you still insist that I speak like you, I dare you to not speak but pronounce one word in my native language. Can you say a word, “Nhyakâ”? If not, know by now how challenging it is to speak someone else’s language.

P.S. Pineapple neither resembles with a pine leaf or tree nor does it taste like an apple.

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