Pardon? What did you say?

I wish there was a way I could learn accents better because it is such a handicap in life.  Whenever I have to call in a takeout order at a Greek restaurant I always have to have them repeat themselves so now Erik has to call in for me so I don’t make a fool out of myself.  Everytime I come across someone that has an accent I immediately get nervous that they will think there is something wrong with me when I act like they are speaking another language.  My friend, who’s Portugese, has parents that have a very thick accent and her mom thinks I’m a lunatic since my friend has to translate her English for me.

This is why I could never work in customer service and why I avoid phones as much as I can.  It’s a good thing I don’t come into this problem when I answer the phone at work, or at least not most of the time.

If you have an accent does it piss you off when people, like me, can’t understand you?

12 Comments

  1. allan

    January 8, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    I have heard that your accent is built in by the time you are 5 years old.

    The sounds you make as a small child help form your pallet, once formed those are the inflections you will always use.

  2. Robin

    January 8, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    That make sense. Thanks for dropping by Allan.

  3. StationeryQueen

    January 8, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    The guy at the Chinese restaurant must think I’m a moron. He’ll say something to me, and there’s a 5 second delay as my brain tries to figure out what he said, then I answer. Ugh.

  4. Robin

    January 8, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    😆 oh yeah, been there.

  5. lani

    January 8, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    my mother has a strong samoan accent. people can understand her, it just comes out sounding funny. like in samoan, there is no letter “g” so anything starting with that will sound like the letter “k”. like the word “good” sounds like “could”. she doesn’t really get upset about being teased unless it’s incessant teasing.

  6. Gary

    January 9, 2006 at 9:16 am

    It’s funny, but I have found that some of the hardest people to understand can be people who were born and raised here. People who don’t have English as their first language usually speak it fairly slowly, which makes it a lot easier to understand them. Al least for me it does.

  7. Robin

    January 9, 2006 at 9:29 am

    Actually I’ve been told I talk very fast and my grandmother always asked me to slow down. Sometimes when I get really hyper even my boyfriend has to ask me to slow down so he can follow me. So I guess I’m in the same kind of category, wonder if it’s a New England thing.

    As far as accents I think it is just a weird hearing thing I have, not the people themselves. If there is any noise around me I have a hard time hearing someone. Anything just slightly off from what I’m used to and I am just a mess.

  8. Brian

    January 9, 2006 at 11:19 am

    I’m actually pretty good at picking up accents. When I travelled around with my friends from college, I’d always have to step in and decipher what other people were saying to them. I think you just have to really try to concentrate on what the person is saying, and to try to follow their accent (i.e. “I just noticed that “good” sounded like “could”. Next time I hear a word that starts with “g” I’m going to question it).

    I guess it’s not as easy as it sounds….

  9. Robin

    January 9, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks for posting Brian 😀

    I think my biggest problem is I get really nervous around people in social situations and if I have trouble understanding them it just makes me that much more nervous. I really should just hide away in my home.

  10. Brian

    January 9, 2006 at 3:50 pm

    Robin, I’d say you should do just the opposite. The best way to not be nervous in a situation is to put yourself in that situation as often as possible. It’s like public speaking… everyone is nervous at first, but if you start giving speeches all the time you become more comfortable with it and in time that nervousness fades.

    You know better than to hide in the house. Hiding from your problems never helped anyone… just ask the Desperate Housewives 😉

  11. Robin

    January 9, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    😆 I’m a pretty social person actually but there are certain situations that make me really anxious for some reason. I get really paranoid, nothing new for me. I used to a hide a lot years ago but I’m out all the time now.

  12. Angel

    January 17, 2006 at 12:41 am

    I have a friend from Texas and when he talks, man I can only understand 2 words out of 10 words 😛 – that’s phone conversation. In real life, I can understand it 🙂 thank goodness!

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