Particularly shortly after doing a lesson, I find myself speaking English in a bit of a Welsh accent! I’ve always had an embarrassing problem with mimicking the accent of those I’m speaking to, and I now seem to be doing a poor impression of Iestyn even when speaking English.
Anyone else find themselves doing the same thing? Strangely, I doubt very much I’d be speaking English in a French accent if I were learning French…!
I have been trying to refresh my long lost French on Duolingo and found that I couldn’t stop myself rolling the Rs, which is definately not a good thing to be doing. I had to find a You Tube clip on how to pronounce the French r and luckily it has come back to me, but I’m still having lapses.
I don’t think if I ever speak with an accent like Iestyn, but if I’ve been speaking Welsh for a while my jaw definitely feels like it has to move back to a different position when I go back into English, so I feel like I’m not speaking very naturally at first.
Yes. Very much so. Every time I’ve been speaking Welsh for more than a couple of sentences it takes a while for my Estuary English to come back. I don’t think it’s anything at all to worry about, to be honest!
I don’t hear any change in my accent in English (which is a bit “brith” anyway), but when I went home (to South Wales) for a school reunion a few years back (and spoke in English because none of my old school friends speak Welsh), everyone said my accent sounded more Welsh to them, though I wasn’t aware of it.
The other thing I’ve caught myself doing is, if I have to inject an English word into a sentence, either because I lack the vocabulary or because I’m quoting someone, my accent doesn’t flip back to English, so I find myself saying a word or two in the most peculiar mongrel Welsh accent.
Yes, I do do that as well sometimes No seriously, I recently went into work near Bridgend (S Wales) immediately after completing a N Wales Challenge in the van, and could hear myself speaking with the “wrong” English.
Edited: OK this looks weird, and could be misunderstood. Basically, I love the N Wales accent and found myself drifting into it, even though I live in S Wales. I’ll stop digging.
Similarly, when reading Welsh out loud, and there happens to be some English within the passage, for whatever reason, it’s very hard to read it in one’s normal English accent.
I’ve also had an almost lifelong bad habit of occasionally coming out with random English phrases in one or other of the Celtic accents (for supposedly humorous effect), much to the annoyance of my wife, especially with the Welsh one. She would (probably correctly) accuse me of sounding like a southern Welsh person and thinking that was the only Welsh accent that there was, when the ones in North Wales were quite different. (She spent 5 very formative young years in north Wales). Until I started with SSiW, probably most of the Welsh accents I’d heard (on radio or TV), probably were indeed southern.
I thought I was unusual in having this problem! It can be so embarrassing. When much younger, I … er… picked up a handsome French Canadian on the plane to Paris from Heathrow. I was going to a Scientific Conference. He was on a work trip. We… er… well, enjoyed each other’s company. My French was stretched and it was so relaxing to be able to rely on his, but some French were very rude about his Colonial French! On arriving at Heathrow, I realised I had a strong Quebequois accent! I was so frightened it would still be with me at work next day, but I managed to shake it off. Strangely, I have been in Scotland for 15 years now and no trace in Scottish accent, but I share this house with a girl raised in England who has no Scottish accent either! As to Welsh, depends who I’m talking to!
You didn’t need to clarify, Stephen. As usual I was just replying in a light-hearted way (I must stop doing that ).
I was born in Wales, brought up and educated in Scotland from early childhood, worked in England for 20+ years, and spent the last 25+ years working and retiring in Wales so my accent is in fact very confused. The consensus is, however, that I have a valleys Welsh accent when I talk English. Thanks for this interesting thread.
I sort of have the opposite problem - I never had a strong Welsh accent (growing up in Cardiff and having a lot of English friends during uni), and since moving away only people who are very perceptive hear even a hint of Welsh when I speak English! I’m finding it more frustrating as time goes on.
On the bright side, since going to bootcamp I can put on an acceptable ‘Gruff Rhys’ (i.e. Bethesda) accent without needing to drink first. Sadly I can’t try to adopt it since it’s not where I’m from!
Actually my thing is that I speak Welsh with a London accent! I haven’t yet mastered the ‘…io’ verb ending. I know that I don’t give it a Welsh sound but a very South London one. Can’t say I’m bothered though. Everyone who speaks a ‘foreign’ language is going to bring their own accent to it - unless of course they are very, very good! I do share your ‘problem’ though of unintentionally mimicking the regional accent of whoever I’m with. It can be a bit embarrassing: I wouldn’t want anyone to think I was taking the mick!
This is the problem, isn’t it? If you’re very, very good at the accent you’re unintentionally mimicking, then people who don’t know you will just assume it’s your natural accent… but if you’re not very good (and I suspect I’m not!) then it just sounds like you’re taking the mick.
I remember buying a dog collar when I was about 13, and the guy in the shop asked me, in his extremely Somerset accent, “DAHG OR BUTCH?” and I replied in an awful copy of his accent with “DAHG!”.