Ah, Accents. A very interesting, yet confusing aspect of world traveling.
“A Glass of Ninth Island Pinot, please.”
As I turn around to prepare the drink, I hear a casual,
“So, where in Canada are you from?”
I glance over my shoulder. “I’m not from Canada. I’m from the United States. New Hampshire.”
“Oh.” Flushed faces. “Well, uh, that’s in the northeast, right? It’s basically Canada?”
“Not close enough.” I say, allowing myself a small smile.
“I thought she sounded Irish!” Another pipes up.
And away they go, my accent out of their minds and instead on their first red wine of the night. Fuming slightly, as that was the fourth time I had heard it that night. Yet, also pondering what it is about guessing the accent wrong that makes people so aggravated. After many wrong Canadian guesses, I have guests say apologetically, “Well, Canadians hate when you call them American, too.”
Is it about pride? Patriotism? A feeling of self worth? I don’t know. But it’s quite interesting, and at times, quite humorous. At my workplace in Tasmania, I had accents from all over the world, due to being in a tourist location. It is fun to try to figure them out, but I’ve learned to never make an assumption. Instead, I simply ask “Where are you from?”
“Where are you from?” I ask a new chef in our kitchen.
“That doesn’t sound like an Australian accent.”
“I’m originally from Poland.”
Sometimes, getting a quick and easy answer for an accent can prove to be quite difficult, depending on each person’s viewpoint of where they’re from.
“I’m from Perth, but I lived in Germany for 10 years, but before that I was in Canada. Oh, but I’m originally from India.”
You definitely learn a lot about someone, simply asking about their accent.
I’ve gotten Irish accent guesses from most of the people I’ve encountered. It could be that I’ve been influenced by the Australian and New Zealand accent, so that mine has altered slightly to somehow resemble an Irish flair. Listening to Aussie radio on the daily, as well as being surrounded by Australians during work in Tasmania had me listening to the way they talk all day long. I love it!
The best part about encountering all these accents is knowing you’ll make friends from all over the world! Helloooo having a place to stay in every country! 😉
What is your favorite accent? Are there any you just can’t understand? Leave a comment!