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dumitus's avatar

When you hear someone speaking English, which category do you fall into?

Asked by dumitus (657points) July 19th, 2015

Let’s say you meet somebody,
and the person speaks fluent English.
But it is clear he/she speaks English with a foreign accent.
It seems possible that English is not his/her first language.

In this case, what is your reaction?

1) I don’t care in what kind of accent they speak,
or if English is their mother tongue.
As long as I can understand them, it’s okay. I never mind.

2) I can tell that this guy speaks English not as a
mother tongue the moment I hear them speak.
To be frank, It starts to get on my nerves..
I’d rather speak with one who speaks English my way.

3) Usually I can’t tell just by listening to them speaking English.
Maybe they are from another English speaking country.

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10 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Generally number 1 unless I am on the phone with Comcast. But that is totally unrelated to accents.

Apple has a call center in Austin and I called them about a decade ago for help and the southern drawl was so bad I had to hang up and call back. I would have rather spoken to someone in India.

Edit:: I should add that I have been to Austin and it was totally fine. The person I talked with was probably not raised there.

Buttonstc's avatar

Number one and I am continually impressed by how really well many foreign born people both speak and write English.

The only thing that seriously gets on my nerves is people who were born and grew up here in this country who couldn’t bother themselves to learn to properly speak (or write) their OWN language.

That is just the height of willful ignorance and it really does get on my last nerve.

It’s even obvious here on Fluther. There are numerous Jellies from other countries who write (and presumably speak) much better English than some of the dimwits (who usually don’t stay very long) who barely bother dividing their lengthy incoherent giant run-on batch of text into sentences beginning with capitalized words and ending with periods or question marks.

They should be hanging their heads in shame that foreigners have a better command of English than theirs but all they do is bitch about the modding and leave with their noses out of joint.

ragingloli's avatar

Anyone who speaks english, regardless of accent, is a bloody tourist to me.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Number 1, because my speaking can’t match my writing.

There are some rules in spoken English that I find so hard to master. For example the tone. I can’t really control the tone because my language pay no attention to the tone (the pronunciation already handles the job anyway). Or having to connect the final consonent with the opening vowel. My languge forbid that. I’m still affected by my languge when speaking English.

If I’m angry at people with foreign accent, it’s like I’m anrgy with myself.

jca's avatar

As long as I can understand them, I don’t care.

ucme's avatar

None of those, i tend to giggle like a schoolgirl on prom night & pretend its because i’m aroused.

BlackSwanEffect's avatar

If I can understand them, that’s all that matters. But if English is their second language, I simplify my speech and make less jokes. Jokes and more creative expression can go over the head of even the most fluent speaker if English is their second language.

syz's avatar

4) I’m impressed that they can speak more than one language, especially since I cannot.

Berserker's avatar

I like trying to find out what the accent is, but it’s not like I’m gonna just go, dude are you Irish or what?
But no, I’m not bothered, and if I can’t understand them completely, I remain patient. In one place I worked there was a woman from Cuba, and speaking in French was pretty tough for her. I mean she knew all the words and everything, and understood others fine…we’re talking about Qu├ębec French here, which is composed of more slangs and terms than a rap song…but her accent made it hard to understand her. Her and I found a solution though; we just fuckin spoke English. She had way less trouble with that. Still, she speaks three languages, she’s badass.

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