Accent is not fake–it is being original

Image Courtesy: iowaworkforce.org
Image Courtesy: iowaworkforce.org

Contrary to common belief among common people, accent is not as fake as it sounds or they feel it is. I my opinion, having an accent is the right thing to do if you are trying to speak in any other language that you can’t call native.

I have an accent–what’s the problem with that!

Well, for experiments, I developed an accent that I could not brand as British or American. I simply tried to pick it from people to whom I talked–of course, foreigners. They came from the US, UK and various other European countries. So, when I felt quite fluent in speaking and was fairly comfortable in my flow of English, I regularly used that accent. It worked. The other people felt very okay with it. They never mentioned that it sounded fake or unreal.

Problem Indians have with and accent while speaking in English

The problem starts when you happen to use that accent with Indian people outside BPOs or call centers. They don’t like using it and quickly brand the person using an accent as fake, unreal or show-off.

I certainly don’t agree to that. Accent is about giving better modulations and accents to the words and their pronunciation rather than making a simple style-statement.

To better understand it, just reverse the process–imagine a foreigner speaking Hindi or Punjabi. You would love to have them making more and more effort to pronounce the words correctly and also with the same mode that you have as a native. If he/she tries to speak Hindi the way you speak, you will never brand him/her as having an accent. Isn’t that so? In fact, you would love it.

Similarly, with English: Having an accent is trying to sound more original and as good as it could be. It has little to do with style-statements and show-offs.

I firmly believe in this and hope there are others who will agree on this point.

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