Accents, Nice & Fake

Accents, Nice & Fake

I am happy to die. Well, not really. I am happy today. If you did not get the hint you should know that to British ears, Australians pronounce “day” as “die” and “lay” as “lie” so that “today” becomes “to die”. While your pronunciation is your ability to pronounce words in a way that makes them understandable to others, your accent includes things like your tone and rhythm of speech. So accent is anything that makes you sound foreign and it can stir up a lot of debates in our day-to-day lives.

One language might be spoken in many different accents but the classic 'accent trap' is pronouncing things like you would in your mother tongue, rather than actually listening to the way they are pronounced in the language you are learning, and imitating it. Broadly speaking, accents fall under two categories, regional and foreign. Regional differences in accents mostly arise due to the geographical distances. For example, people who are from Noakhali often sound different from people who are from Barisal.

In some situations, having an accent can give you an edge over others. It's a daunting task to speak a second-language perfectly with zero flaws. If your accent is native-like, then you may seem dim-witted when you make those inevitable mistakes, whereas, if you have a slight accent, but speak incredibly well, you are likely to portray the opposite image. Given that you speak the language accurately, a charming accent can open many doors. There are instances when having a decent accent is crucial for the job. Call centres and diplomats are required to have stronger grasps of accents because a large part of their job requires them to communicate extremely proficiently.
Accents might also be linked with an array of negative stereotypes and attitudes. Native speakers can find non-native speakers less competent and unpleasant to listen to. People with stronger accents are judged even harsher and native speakers who have difficulty understanding accented speech may grow negative feelings toward non-native speakers for refusing to learn to speak the language properly but it is essential to realise that in some cases it is more important what people say rather than how they are going about it linguistically. In case of your music instructor or maths teacher, the emphasis is definitely on what they are talking about and not how they are doing that.

If anybody here is trying to fake a British accent to impress your crush or friends, you are sadly quite out of luck. It is pretty easy to catch anybody with a fake accent and might lead to more ridicule. But you know what? 'Fake it till you make it' rule surely applies here. For example, if you are trying to strengthen your grip over American accent, watching US TV shows could help. It is however unwise to stress too much on your accent. Eventually, it is something you would possibly want to work on, however you are better off investing that time at speaking the foreign language better.


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