How Do You Say?

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// May 14th, 2007 // Blog

This is such a six-year old's entry. I hear the famous put-down: “Your mental age is the same as your shoe size”, being thrown at me. Now you know my shoe size! Actually, it ranges between 5-7… it depends on the store. I like black leather, with white stitching, no-to-low heels, curved/square toe… why am i telling you this? Well, my birthday is coming up soon, so i thought you may like a hint on what to buy me. Just kidding… y'know i'd much prefer chocolate. OK, OK, i don't celebrate birthdays! Chill, already.

ANYWAY.

I had a random thought about accents – y'know, the accents people have when they speak (or attempt to speak) English – and have come up with a list of faves, and… er, not-so-faves! (Lame, i know, but I'm doing cell culture, so give me a break!)

Faves:

1) French – Oui, j'adore le français! I've already mentioned this here, and elsewhere, but if it's worth saying once, it is worth saying a hundred million times, until everyone is so annoyed with my endless repetition of this useless fact, that they ditch me, and i become a Billy-no-mates. OK, maybe not… i'll try not to mention it again… for now.

2) Scottish – Good news Sumi: i lurve you and your kind! Well, those that i can comprehend. Heh. I'm thinking of the more dilute Scottish accent, along the lines of Ewan McGregor. Favourite Scottish phrase: You're terRRRrible! You know i'm gonna make you say that for me one day, Sumi. :)

3) South African – It's just so funky sounding. Everyone who speaks with this accent sounds so interesting, and intelligent for some reason. Like they're a well-seasoned traveler.

4) Jamaican – Just coz deyr seeriOUsly, eeazy go-ing. I remember my friend and I spent a good hour trying to have a conversation in this accent, once. I was quite awful, but she nailed it so well, that i was in fits of laughter. Even now, she knows just what to do, to get a grin on my face!

5) American – OK, it's a big place, so i can't really get away with this adjective, without some kind of qualifier. Only problem is, i have no idea which US accent i like! All i know is, when i meet Americans, i like to hear them speak… maybe it has something to do with all the US sitcoms i used to watch? Like a psychological thing? Also, this will really irritate some of my readers, but i can't always tell the difference between Canadians and Americans. Sometimes, it's really obvious, but most of the time… well, i'll most likely end up insulting you Northern lot – sorry!

There are more (such as Russian – very nice), but i think these are my 'top five'.

Not-so-faves:

1) Indian/Paki – SORRY, SORRY, SORRY. I know this is so evil of me, but i can't lie. I don't like strong SE Asian accents. Mild ones are fine, but the strong ones just get to me. I'd rather relatives from abroad speak to me in their own tongue, such as Hindi or Urdu, than broken, heavily-accented, Englian/Indlish. SORRY AGAIN. I'm a disgrace to my roots, i know. :(

2) Australian – Another apology to a certain Ozzy reader, but you guys have slaughtered the English language with your weird tongues! You do come off as whiny, a lot of the time. I don't know how Americans confuse the English & Oz accents… they're worlds apart!

3) Chinese – It's not really the accent, but the SHOUTING. I have noticed that Chinese people (in London, anyway) like to speak very loudly, whether it be in their own tongue, or English. The Japanese, on the other hand, are much more genteel in their speech. It's a cultural thing, obviously. [I also hate it when “aunties”, during weddings/other family functions, squash together in one small, living room, and end up shouting over one another, even when they're sitting 10 cm apart. WHY?!]

4) Cockney – Do i even need to explain?

5) Slanglish – The youth in my community, whether it be here in London, or back in my old town, have become so lazy with their enunciation, it's quite sad. Now, i don't speak like the Queen, but i think i can safely say that i like to put a little effort into pronouncing the syllables in my words. I mean, am i just a big weirdo for wanting to be understood? Obviously, from the looks that i get from some people, when i speak to them. Maybe it's what i say, rather than how i say it? Or both. Sigh.

OK, that's enough of that… my cells must be ready for splitting by now.

Toodle-pipski! (Whoever can spot where this comes from, will earn my admiration, and possibly a hug – if you're female, and in the near vicinity. No search engines allowed!).

17 Responses to “How Do You Say?”

  1. Snowdrops says:

    Your mental age is the same as your shoe size

    mine’s 3/4…*sigh* :(

    5) Slanglish – The youth in my community, whether it be here in London, or back in my old town, have become so lazy with their enunciation, it’s quite sad. Now, i don’t speak like the Queen, but i think i can safely say that i like to put a little effort into pronouncing the syllables in my words. I mean, am i just a big weirdo for wanting to be understood? Obviously, from the looks that i get from some people, when i speak to them. Maybe it’s what i say, rather than how i say it? Or both. Sigh.

    i guess i can count myself as lucky…i gave up slang not so very long ago…i was sorta passionate about it then, but now, despise is the word :)…i hate it when people speak it now…they sound soooo much like “wannabe-gangtas”

    xx
    wassalam
    snow

  2. iMuslim says:

    Sorry, Snowy D… i would say more in response to your comment… but i am in absolute mortification mode right now, as i realized a typo i made in my entry.

    If anyone else noticed it… DO NOT SAY ANYTHING. I may be tempted to hurt you.

    Ok, slight mocking is allowed, cos i know i would. ;)

  3. Faraz says:

    I’m a big fan of the South African accent also.

    Yes, many Canadians would be offended if you mistook their accent as American, but there are certainly parts of the US where the accent is similar to us. And even within Canada, the accent differs considerably, particularly in the Atlantic provinces. But if you mention our accent being similar to the Southern states, then you will likely offend most Canadians.

    I grew up in French Canada, but apparently I don’t have quite the typical French Canadian accent when I speak French. That’s a good thing, I think. When I was in France, most people could tell that I wasn’t a native speaker of French, but they did think my accent was closer to pûr laine français then Québecois.

    The funny thing is, when I’m speaking French and have to insert a few English words for whatever reason, I say those English words in this terrible Franglais accent.

    I’m out of practice with my French, unfortunately, living on the West Coast. I’m not as fluent as I once was.

  4. iMuslim says:

    I’m a big fan of the South African accent also.
    I’ve been trying to do it, but it’s nigh on impossible! I can only really imitate accents that i hear on a regular basis. I actually pick them up really easily… i only need spend a week or more in a town with a distinct accent (like in Northern England), and it’s almost inevitable that mine will change. It hasn’t happened in London, because i’m surrounded by so many different kinds, my brain gets confused who to copy. :)

    But if you mention our accent being similar to the Southern states, then you will likely offend most Canadians.
    I have little idea about the geography of either Canada or the US… so you’ll just have to forgive my ignorance for now. Anyway, if i like certain American accents, and they happen to sound similar to certain Canadian accents, then in effect, i am saying that i like Canadian accents, too. So now you guys have to not hate me, right?

    I grew up in French Canada, but apparently I don’t have quite the typical French Canadian accent when I speak French. That’s a good thing, I think.
    Yeah, i think so too, cos according to my French colleague, Canadian-French sucks, big time. :)

    I say those English words in this terrible Franglais accent.
    Ouch! Franglais is an abomination. I tried my hardest to cultivate a decent accent when i was learning French, way back when. There was this one guy in my class who made no effort at all, and i just wanted to punch him in the face when he spoke! It was like nails down a blackboard. I’m sure you’re not as bad as him though… so your face is safe, inshallah. :)

    I’m out of practice with my French, unfortunately, living on the West Coast. I’m not as fluent as I once was.
    Well, now you have to start working on your Urdu, anyway… so the French is making room for the new words coming in. :)

    There seem to be a few Urdu speakers on my blog; you guys should comment in Urdu (but English transliteration) from time to time. I should be able to understand some of it from my knowledge of Hindi, inshallah. And whatever i don’t know, i’ll ask my mum to translate. ;)

  5. Editor says:

    “Your mental age is the same as your shoe size”
    Try European shoe sizes. ;)

    I love the South African accent as well. This guy does pretty wicked accents:
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=crehnquist

    Oh, and DiCaprio in Blood Diamond had an impressively fine accent!

  6. AnonyMouse says:

    Nyah nyah, I’m older than you! I’m 8- 8 1/2…. bwahahaha!
    Oh wait. That also means I have bigger feet than you. Darn!

    Hahaha, I love Indian/Paki accents! They crack me up! My dad hates them, though… so of course my brothers and I have to go around (badly) imitating Indian accents to annoy him… :P

    I also love British (including Cockney!) accents; Scottish; Spanish; and ARAB accents!!!! Arab accents rock… :D Australian accents are pretty cool, too, I think…
    French accents are interesting… but hard to understand… heh, I SUCK at French. I gave it up in grade 7… and although it’s mandatory to learn it here, my distance ed. school is awesome ‘cuz it hasn’t made me take it up yet!
    Mind you, it’s not a very good thing that I’ve wilfully chosen to not learn Canada’s second language – ah, those arrogant Anglos! :P

    One thing I’d LOVE to do is travel the world and visit different masaajid just to hear the Imam leading the salaah with an accent! I know, that’s lame, but still… :P

    I cannot STAND South African accents!!! They drive me crazy!!!
    And guess what? My mom has an S.A. accent! Over 12 years living here in Canada, and she STILL hasn’t gotten over it!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

  7. Sumera says:

    I’d gladly say “terrible” and another one someone got me to say once – “rocket” for you in my accent :p Dont fret – its definitely diluted and not ear gratingly strong ;)

  8. mcpagal says:

    yaay, i’m glad scottish accents are in your top 5! i love em myself (except the stuck up Dundee/Edinburgh varieties… *shudder*)

    i’m also very sorry to say English accents would have to be in the second list for me. Well, not all of them, just the moany sounding ones. Newcastle and Yorkshire accents are cool. It’s just, why can’t English people say the R sound at the end of a word? And drag words out? ‘Door’ turns into ‘doooooooohhh’. That’s how it sounds to me at least! ;)

    My top 3 would be French, Italian, and Irish. Yum.

  9. […] this post by iMuslim this morning about accents reminded me of this classic comedy sketch by The Two […]

  10. sophyie says:

    I learned “Oxford” English in school in Germany, lived in Australia for a year when I was 17 and now live in the US.
    For some reason, I get mistaken for a Canadian most of the time.

    Now that I’m living in the US, the British accents are my favourite ones- I can’t distinguish between them though.

    And then for me as a non- native English speaker there’s always the matter of understanding people with a strong accent. The accent the hardest to understand for me is the Indian accent, I used to work with a guy from India for a couple of months and it took me a long time to even guess what he was saying…

    But all in all, I just love listening to people with some sort of accent, it makes languages so much more colorful!

  11. organicmuslimah says:

    LOL.

    Canadian and American?

    Canadian says “Boot”
    American says ” Boat”

    hahahaha

  12. Sumera says:

    McPagal – Edinburgh peeps are more English than Scottish :p

  13. iMuslim says:

    Mouse: OK, what have you done with the real AnonyMouse? She nevers disagrees with me. NEVER! Bring her back, i say, you scoundrel!

    Sumera: Ooooh… rRRRro-KeT. That’s how i hear you saying it, in my head! If we do meet up in July, inshallah, i’m just going to sit their slurping on a milkshake, while i listen to you talk. :)

    McP: Hmm… i wonder if i sound moany? I’m not from the West Midlands.. y’know, like Lenny Henry. Now that is a moany British accent! I obviously have an accent, but not sure if it is typical for the East Midlands.

    organic: *dons her WWII helmet, and ducks into a corner as she senses an oncoming US/Canadian clash* Tell me when it’s safe to come out!

    Sumera: and that is a bad thing, because…? *stares*

  14. Sumera says:

    They have “issues” :p Id understand it if they had a posh Scottish accent – but they sound English! :p

  15. iMuslim says:

    Apologies Editor & sophyie; Askimet ate your comments!

    Editor: Heeey, good idea! :D I’d be 39 in Europe, 8.5 in the US, and 24.5 in Japan!

    sophyie: accents are lovely, when you can understand what people are saying! EFL people don’t like me much, cos i speak too fast. So it’s not my accent, but the speed of my tongue, that forms the language barrier. :)

  16. iMuslim says:

    but they sound English
    AND WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH THAT, YOU SCOTTISH MUPPET?!
    :P x 1000000000000000

    {giggle}

  17. Sumera says:

    LOL! Trust me iMuslim – if Scottish then sound like one :p even watered down! These poncy Edinburgh people are too posh for my liking – and its not English accents I have a problem with. I lived in Birmingham for a while – and got used to their droning :p

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