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vlobo's avatar

Daughter talks in 2 different English accents?

Asked by vlobo (4points) November 4th, 2010

My daughter is 8 and she was born and raised in America. We’re still living in America. My husband and I are both indians and talk the British English. My daughter talks with an American accent in school or with outsiders but to us in an Indian accent. Is this normal? When will she stick to any one accent? People think she is faking her accent? Please help.

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15 Answers

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

That is absolutely normal. Most of my bilingual/bicultural friends who grew up in America speak to their friends in a “normal” American accent and to their parents/relatives in the accent that their parents have. It’s logical, as she hears her friends speak with American accents and thus learned to speak to them that way, but she also hears you speak to her with an Indian accent so she learned to speak to you in that vein.

trailsillustrated's avatar

its totally normal. my daughter is australian and I am australian we live in the us. she talks american at school. it’s about wanting to be understood

asmonet's avatar

It’s called being bidialectal.
John Barrowman is one celebrity who your daughter has something in common with. He developed an American accent after being picked on in American schools and uses his Scottish accent when with his parents and in the UK – or really whenever he damn well pleases. He is currently starring on Torchwood, a BBC Sci-Fi show that takes place in Wales and he uses and American accent for it, funnily enough.

JLeslie's avatar

That is wonderful. She can do both, totally normal. Being able to speak with two accents is no different than speaking two languages.

asmonet's avatar

You can see John Barrowman switching back and forth here, I would skip until a minute in and continue from there for the best examples. If you’re daughter can do that?

Kind of awesome.

Pandora's avatar

I do the same thing around people with really strong accents. My husband use to think I was doing it consiously. But it really is how my mind works. If I am around someone with a heavy accent and I don’t adapt my speech than I have a difficult time understanding their english.
Same thing when I speak to someone with a heavy spanish accent. If I don’t start talking spanish to them instead than my english turns to spanglish. Which I hate but I start to mimic their english.
Same for southeren accents, and boston accents, and NYC accents.
It took me a while to understand that pak ca meant, Park car, in boston.
Once I started to understand that my speech started to eliminate the letter r and in doing so I was able to understand a Bostonian accent.

Nullo's avatar

Perfectly normal, or else exceptional. It’s a good talent to have, in any case; people put a lot of value on how much like them you sound.

Adagio's avatar

I once heard a woman I had known for quite some time talking to her mother on the telephone, she had been born in Scotland but raised by her Scots parents in New Zealand. I had only ever heard her speak with a NZ accent but a short time into the telephone conversation she began speaking in a very broad Scots accent, I was flabbergasted at the sudden and seemingly unconscious switch and had to remove myself from the room before I burst out laughing.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I talk in several different accents depending on where in the US I am. I tend to assume the dialect of the area I am in.

lillycoyote's avatar

She’s only 8. I think this will eventually sort itself out. I think she will probably end up speaking with little or no accent at all, most likely no accent, but if she does end up with a slight accent of some sort, I don’t really think it will have much of an impact on her life.

downtide's avatar

It’s natural for people who are rased by parents with different accents. She might grow out of it, she might not. I have a friend who was raised in Yorkshire but whose mother was Irish. He speaks mostly with a Yorkshire accent but every now and again he’ll slip into a wonderful Irish accent without even noticing. And he’s 24.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Please don’t worry about it. It’s a talent.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, it’s absolutely normal.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

Remember Gillian Anderson from The X-Files. She was born in the US and almost immediately moved to England for the next 10 years with her American parents before moving back to the US. She was so picked on because of her British accent that she adapted.

Interview with Jon Stewart Anderson interviews in an American accent.
Interview on Parkinson – BBC

When I moved from rural Virginia to Minneapolis at 24, the southern drawl became less pronounced upon the ‘encouragement’ of co-workers. When I go back home, I can slip right back into it when around others. On the other hand, my sister-in-law is from Colombia, and while she has been living in the US for decades, she still has a noticable accent.

So, no, I don’t think that it is uncommon. And no, I don’t think it is fake. Some have the ability to switch accents without really being conscious of it. It does seem more common in those that have switched living in places in their earlier years.

ahughes's avatar

I have this two accent thing, I’m 25 it makes me embarrassed and uncomfortable, any suggestions as to how to get rid of this and just speak in one, i don;t care which one!

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