Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ek se vir jou!

It's a funny thing, but some of them are simply irresistable.

And some not.

Like Soli Philander. A nice enough chap, and clearly not unintelligent, but one too many guffaws and 'Ja, nee's" from him, and I have to turn off the radio.

It's strange, how after a certain age it seems impossible to lose an accent, no matter how unbecoming! All those old Jewish folk from Lithuania, with their thick Yiddish accents. 50 years they've been living here, and they are still not understandable! No wonder they tell you to immigrate, when your kids are younger then 12..

Although, come to think of it, my brother once went to Canada to visit cousins for three weeks, and came back with a Canadian accent! These things can be done with enough will.

I know another girl, who went to Israel for a year, and returned almost without an English vocabulary. She would um and ah with great effect, trying to remember a word in her mother tongue! I thought it was adorable, and very entertaining.

Some accents are rather sexy. There is something about French for instance, that makes even a few swear words strung together, seem appealing. To say nothing of an Italian accent, which can make grass grow in the dead of winter!I once heard a man speaking a sophisticated Portugese at the dinner table, and he might have ignited the flambe, if it hadn't already been flaming!

I don't know that I could live beside an accent. I have a friend, married to a very charming Greek gentleman. Another of those 'forty years later and still going strong' accents. And, he has a slight stutter. I think I might eventually say, 'O for goodness sake, speak normally already!'

My own accent leaves much to be desired. At drama school it was positively upmarket. Why, even as a young girl I had an uncle who used to say 'how now brown cow' everytime he saw me! It was meant to tease my pronunciated, actressy sensibility. Meant to. It didn't!

Today I have a nasal quality that terrifies me, when I hear myself recorded. This is why my voice message sounds like someone from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art! I am determined to overcome this ...

I shall have to visit London for three weeks, and using my brother's example, return with something delightful and Royal!
xxx elle

1 comment:

  1. Oh, well...

    Even if you expend your whole life studying a language, unless you get the phonemes from that language before the age of six you will always have a peculiar way of pronouncing stuff.

    I've even met people whose parents are Spanish but have grown up in France and have a French accent when they speak Spanish. This is a mistery for linguists. They should speak proper Spanish. In fact the have all the right words but... They just don't sound Spanish.