Monday, May 07, 2007


'So, where does your accent come from?' The question would pop up inevitably in any conversation I conduct in English, even now.

When I first came to the UK , I used to be ashamed about my accent and rather upset that I could not manage to get rid of it. And I tried. I asked for advice. One friend said 'Just try talking without opening your mouth'. Another said 'What is wrong with your accent, I understand you perfectly all right'. But it was not what I wanted. I wanted to sound - if not exactly like the HM the Queen, but at least in a way that would not discredit what I was saying. Also, I disliked that I could be pigeon-holed based on my oh-so-foreign accent.

Until one day, an acquaintance said to me 'I like it that you have decided to keep your accent'. 'I beg you pardon?' I said. 'Well, with your linguistics skills, surely you could speak without any accent, if you want, he said. 'I like that you keep it as a part of your identity'.

And this it was. Ten years on, I still speak English with an accent -- but I do it by choice. Besides, and this is something I always knew, foreign accents are sooo sexy!

No comments: