Why do I have an accent?

At the age of 15 – 17 I was fascinated by the Baltic accent. And now I speak with an accent.

By and large, there is nothing wrong with that. But why, as soon as I hear “where’s your accent from?”, words “ I am sorry” fly out of my mouth. For some unknown reason I think that it is wrong to speak with an accent, and that it can irritate my interlocutors.

Or maybe it’s not annoying people but me? Maybe not accent but the fear of not justify someone’s hopes and meet everyone’s expectations.

Atlantic ocean

 Often, I can hear the disappointment in my Russian friend’s voices when I confess that still speak with an accent still.

I am very happy for those who have the opportunity of deep and thorough study of a foreign language at the Institute. This is an important and useful skill in the modern world.

I studied the language by myself. Thanks to the creators of the Internet and Skype! I went to the US with the conviction that in two weeks I would be able to speak English fluently. I was wrong! But I don’t withdraw into myself. And I’m not hiding behind my husband’s back. I overcame the language barrier, made friends and found a job. And the discomfort associated with the accent most likely helps me to move forward, pushes me to self-education and an active lifestyle.

Everyone pays attention to my accent and shows additional interest.

The dog trainer and the veterinarian admitted that I am the first Russian with whom they communicated personally. And I know I made a good impression on them. The vet asked me what language I spoke to the dog. Of course, in English. But if my dog does not listen to me, I swear at him in Russian! It is clear that the Crackle (the name of the dog) does not understand Russian, he understands the intonation…..

Visitors to the library where I work say that I have a beautiful accent.  Last year I held a presentation where I talked about Russia for 50 minutes (about the customs and lives of ordinary people). The presentation and I got a success. One of the regulars told me, “I knew you were special.” At such moments I am glad to realize my uniqueness.

This year I’m running a program about Russian food. And I know people are coming to listen to me and my stories, and not only for new recipes.

An American woman, an English teacher, said that the accent makes me who I am and emphasizes my individuality.

 And my husband thinks that if I get rid of the accent, I will lose my charm.

I am sure that eventually I will know the language perfectly. But I do not want to upset my husband (he is a Saint), so my accent = my personality will remain forever.

Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

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