Here in the US, as long as I don't open my mouth, I blend in quite well with the rest of the natives.
On the occasions that I do open my mouth, I can usually guarantee on at least one of the following happening...
1 .. People try to encourage me to keep talking as apparently they 'love the accent'. Men are the worst for that. Not long after I got over here, I was offered a job as a sex-line operator. Actually, I was offered that job a number of times. Apparently there are a lot of male sex-line owners in this town.
2 .. People misunderstand what I'm saying. Those computerised phone menu thingies are the worst. They NEVER understand me. I've been known to yell unprintable things at them.
Earlier this year, I witnessed a domestic incident outside one of our local fast food joints. Things were getting a bit physical, so I called 911.
The Police dispatcher had a few problems understanding me ...
PD ... ' Whereabouts are they? '
Me ... ' They're right outside Wendy's '
PD ... ' Where , Ma'am ?'
Me ... ' Outside Wendy's. '
PD ... ' Outside Windy's ? '
Me ... ' No! Wendy's on the corner of Virginia and Gentry. '
PD ... ' I'm not showing any Windy's there, Ma'am. Could you spell it please. '
Me ... ' It's WENDY'S. W_E_N_D_Y_S .'
PD ... 'Oh, you mean WENDY'S. I thought you were saying Windy's ! '
Gee, lady, I'm really glad I wasn't calling to report that the fryers had caught fire Because Wendy's would have burnt to the ground, before we got that one sorted out !!!
Apparently my 'e' can sound like an 'i' and my 'i' can sound like an 'e', to some.
Which probably explains why, when I once asked someone to buy a 'TIN of baked beans' from the supermarket, he brought back TEN cans of baked beans...
Judge for yourself. Does it sound like 'tin' to you or 'ten' ?
Mind you, I am speaking a lot slower and more precisely there. My normal speaking voice, when I forget I'm speaking to Americans, is a lot faster and the accent is a little heavier.
Found this one on YouTube.
I sympathise with my fellow Kiwi. This illustrates exactly what happens to me, when I try using voice recognition software on my computer or try talking to a computer generated menu on the phone!!
Do any of you often get misunderstood on the phone or by computers? Do you think you have an accent ?
17 hours ago