Lulu posted an article yesterday where she mentioned that when we talk to people from other countries we tend to speak slowly and very loud. Also sometimes we tend to imitate their accents.
Here's what happened to me years ago when in Paris:
I was lost and needed to ask for directions. I was due to meet my wife at a café near the Eiffel Tower.
I stopped a man in the street. He looked, and in fact was, French. This surprised me. I did not expect to find any French people in Paris; the place is always full of tourists.
I pointed to the map I had in hand and said in a French accent hoping he would understand, "scoouse moi monsieur ... were eez zee direction to zee Effelle
Toweer? You know ... Effelle ... Toweer!"
He got a little irritated. I could tell straight away by his demeanour and the fact that he went a little red in the face.
"Why you speak to me in zee French accent?" he asked, "Are you take zee Mickey Mouse of my speaking?"
"Non ... non ... monsieur. Pardonne zee moi!" I replied still in character. Now I started there was no point in changing tack in mid-stream. "I do not intend zee insult to you. I just ask for zee directions!"
He was not convinced with my apology. I wonder why. He stomped his foot and said emphatically, "I will not tell you. Ask zis man passing zee by here."
passing man stopped. He was not French, but a visiting tourist. You find them everywhere in Paris.
"Buon giorno," he said with a smile, "Come sono di assistance for you?"
Before I said anything the French man addressed him first.
"Allo my Italian friend. How 'appy I am
to see you. Veree 'appy! Mamma mia ... canna you 'elp zis man 'ere? 'E izz a tooreest from zee Engle and. 'E wantsa to go to zee
Eiffella Towera. I no tell 'im bee causa I no likee 'im!"
The Italian tourist frowned a little and said, "Ei ... why you speaka to me in funny Italian accent? You taking zee pizza of me?"
"No ... no ... signore ..." continued the Frenchman still in character, "I no taking zee pizza offa you ... I take zee pizza offa zis English man 'ere!!! 'E no speaka zee Frenchy and 'e aske me zee direction to zee Eiffella Towera!"
I realised that an argument was about to take place between those too. There was a gendarme not far away. I withdrew a little and asked another passer-by for directions.
"Och aye ... ye ken," he said in a strong Glaswegian accent, "watsa matter with them two? I'll gie 'em a skelpit lug!"
I explained that they were two foreigners fighting and there was no reason why we should be involved in the fight; especially with a policeman not so far away.
We withdrew a little further as he mumbled, "Aye ... Whit's fur ye'll no go by ye!"
I asked him, in perfect English because I did not want to be the recipient of a Glasgow kiss, the way to the Eiffel Tower.
"Ah dinnae ken from 'ere pal," he said, "Yer aff yer heid going there! It's a dreich day! And anyway, there's nothin to see in the Eiffel Tower. It's all made of Meccano pieces ye ken! The place at dis ma nut in."
Basically, he discouraged me from even trying to go there. He suggested we go for a drink instead.
"There's a pure dead brilliant pub down there. Let's go for a pint or two of Newcastle Brown," he continued with a smile, "let's get oot our face ... aye!"
He convinced me. I went to the pub with him, and let my wife find her own way back to the hotel.
...I watched the Indian Doctor on TV last night and I understood perhaps half of what was said. What language were they speaking?ReplyDelete
Sanjeev Bhaskar is a British/Indian actor and comedian. In this series he plays the role of an Indian doctor in Wales in the 1960s. A number of the characters speak to each other in Welsh. We the audience are not meant to understand (or care) what they say. It's there for authenticity. They also speak in English with a pronounced Welsh accent. Not as difficult to understand as Scottish Glaswegian accent. The actors speak in Welsh to each other to highlight that they do not want the Indian doctor to understand them. The TV show is based on a real story.Delete
God bless, Tom.
I wonder what these guys would think if they heard a Southern American accent? "Whars the Eiffel Tower, y'all?" Very funny today, Victor. Blessings!ReplyDelete
I am always amazed at the number of different accents that exist, Martha. In the UK, every few miles there's a different accent. For example, the distance between Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland is only 47 miles - yet totally different accents.Delete
God bless, Martha.
I don't think I could pull off any type of accent that's not my own.ReplyDelete
I guess you can try different US accents, Kathy. Just practice by listening to TV/cinema programs.Delete
Just like Kathy, WHY pretend to be someone else?
A bad joke and indeed at times insulting...
No insult intended. What do you find insulting, Mariette? Many films/TV programs have people with various accents - Scottish, Welsh, French, Italian etc ...Delete
The accent is OKAY but trying to mimic others is often insulting... 😜Delete
My mama would say what is good for zee goose is good for the gander or moi!ReplyDelete
Enjoyed the entertainment for today.
Sherry & jack (Thanks for the prayers)
It's good to laugh, Jack. Great for the soul.Delete
Hope you're feeling better. Praying for you and Sherry.
People are so quick to take offense. Whatever happened to, 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?'ReplyDelete
I sure enjoyed this sketch ... and more so, your link to Lulu's blog. I laughed out-loud at her story about crossing the Canadian border.
I'm so pleased you enjoyed this post, Mevely. And the fact you visited Lulu's Blog. I hope you enjoy her writings.Delete
God bless always.
God bless, R.Delete
I can't do accents although recently my friend who grew up in NY had her sister visiting and the sister asked if I was from Wisconsin! HaHaHa....I had a friend who I worked with and he called us from an outside line at the hospital and acted like he was from the country of India. He really had us going. You give people wisdom and smiles too. Have a wonderful weekend.ReplyDelete
How nice to see you visiting here "My Tata's Cottage". Thank you so much. Please call again soon and often; and invite your friends too. Let's share our Blogs together and encourage each other.Delete
Accents can be very interesting, can't they? So many accents!
Next time I suggest holding a photo of the Eiffel Tower and just point in all directions with a quizzical look on your face and a polite shrug. I do the accent copying thing and it annoys the heck out of me. I try not to, but it just happens.ReplyDelete
It's natural to do the accent copying thing.Delete
God bless, River.
What's great now is to use a translate app on the phone. Not as much fun, though.ReplyDelete
Modern technology can be useful at times, Mimi.Delete