The Accent

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Someone posted a video of a girl supposedly speaking in more than 25 American accents.

It's not the first time I've seen someone claim they got the American accent down and it won't be the last. I don't really bother with it. After all, America is now so diverse that every accent out there is an American accent, if you know what I mean.

It's also entertaining to watch people try so hard to sound American. The fact is that unless you were raised here, you really won't get  it. A native American will spot an accent 50 miles away. You can spend every waking hour copying the accent but a native, and those who have been here long enough, immersed with Americans long enough, will spot the difference.

Americans don't mind though. They generally don't care about the accent or even the grammar for the most part, especially if they know you are not a native. They just care that they understand what you are saying. As long as they get it, then you can butcher their accent 7 ways to Sunday. After all, they won't even know you are butchering their accent, they'll just think you're just being you speaking their language that best way you know how.

It's fine really. If people think they have the American accent down, whatever helps them sleep at night. I just hope that other Pinoys won't think there is something wrong with our accent. We speak English very clearly which is really an advantage. It's easier for Americans to understand us.

What is more important, if you find speaking their language imperative to what you do, is understanding the sensitivity and nuisance of the language. There's so many expressions and contextual considerations.

Knowing what they really mean when they say "How are you doing?" or "We are going out" or "I'm down" or "I'm buying" and I could go on forever.

Then there's the right timing. There's the acceptable time to go all gangsta or street and the right time to speak proper English.

Accent or not, Pinoys are fine. We are good in communicating in the strictest sense  of the word. That's what really matters.


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