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Repeat. I Did Not Hear You.


I remember been ask this question a few times after my North America travel, and mainly when I  relocated, yeah, sometimes it was so annoying.

I am sure a few of you would have had that experience and may frequently wonder if you are not speaking the universal language of English? When I talk to others, e.g., born international, with mother diction and pronunciation differ from the standard norm in the immediate environment, we all have somewhat similar experiences.

It’s that we can begin to sound different if we do not slow down the pace and flatten that pitch or highlight the “h.”  Yes, of course, you, me, and others we hear it. It’s often said, “You have an accent”! Well, we all have an accent!!! Yes, I will repeat so that you may understand clearly…I am thinking in my mind.

We all have an “accent,” but it’s not something that is readily accepted.  Funny or not, but I do say that out loud.   This “accent” usually is part of where you grew up, and of course, your socialization, we will all have a different spin on words. I think about my wonderful colleague at work who is from New Jersey. Let’s call her “Chill.”

Chill was born in Cuba and grew up in Jersey, all American. Within our conversation is the wonderful Jersey flavor in the dialect that you would not hear if it’s from my friend  “Naja” in Miami.

Naja grew up in Miami but is also someone who came from Cuba, definitely you will never hear any similarities with her or any of the other friends that grew up in the neighborhood that will match my core Southern American friends.  Yes, my good friend “Timmy” he grew up in Georgia. Although very articulate and well-traveled as an officer in the Army, he has to this day an exciting way of giving you the southern gentleman lingua.

It’s all of those blends and mixes that you will get from different people across this great country and other places in the world that makes us so unique, yet somewhat identifiable indirectly. I have also had a former colleague, “Jill” who told me she spent a few dollars to get rid of pleasant Alabama drawl, I love it.

However, she felt very strongly it would not serve in her new environment, which ironically is also the South, the state of Florida. Well, what can I say, different strokes for different folks, I would not change anything about me for a second.  Like my “accent” or not.  What are your thoughts? Do you think we all have accents?  Share your “repeat” stories?