[quote="theresacorbett, post:1, topic:11706, full:true
I realise in talking in Welsh with my daughter and her attempts to correct I don’t have the ear for accents and I wonder how with any language I can ever get past my Midlands twang?
Thank you if you have read to the end I would love to know your thoughts.
Forgive me if this posting appears wrongly - I am not sure how to cite Theresa’s original words.
I bet you are pretty busy with five year old and a full life, and how wonderful that she sees/hears you learning Welsh, and on a caring, respectful language journey that matters to you.
Personally a Midlands twang in a lovely person is a marker of belonging, heritage, associations deep and for your daughter (I am guessing here) something she heard in utero! (I can hate any accent that I come to associate exclusively with a bully.)
If your daughter is absorbing, acquiring Welsh in a Welsh locality, then she too will have a local twang, which - though you maybe cannot yet pick it out from other Welsh twangs - you will come to love and associate with happy times in that locality. You will never lose aspects of Midlands speech habits in any language, unless you are going in for high-level spying, politics, or possibly acting. Never hate your own accent, but do catch and celebrate yourself sounding like your daughter or another good role from a range you decide on. I like to try speaking English or Welsh like Huw Edwards; I need a North Welsh hero or two, though, as I am opting for North Welsh.
My English Dad (less my English Mum) insisted that his children growing up in Derry, NI should have BBC accents. Well, tape recordings exist of us all with Derry twang. (20-years-in-Derry-Dad with a West Mids Derry twang, my mother with a Yorkshire Derry twang. Twangs (to me) are lovable, and the days of dissing anybody’s twang are, imho, long past.
I remember that American Army kids in Derry, their accent, or a local Derry accent, would be disliked by one of our French teachers, but not at all by the French-born French mother-tongue teacher, who told us in the Division 2, class (less gifted?) about how her daughter (aged 5) stopped her reading “cows in the meadow” as “cows meed-oh”, and taught her “meddo”. How lucky are bilingual kids to be thus acknowledged & respected by their parents.
Mimicry is a skill like any other improves with (well received) practise, and relaxed play! Get your daughter to mimick you, and have fun mimicking all sorts of speakers in any language. Attune your ear to how the SSiW
Speech habits are habits of muscle use. French & Italian have great dexterity at the front of their mouths and ears attuned to making distinctions between vowels, even in rapid speech. Danish and Russian speakers swallow their words, by comparison - along with English they reduce many unstressed vowels to “uh”.
You need and I need to discriminate what habits and norms are particular to our current target language.
Aiming too much at accuracy in speech certainly gets in the way of fluency.
Speaking fluently in any accent is preferable to a speaker giving his/herself extra stress. Good speakers adopt local rhythms and pitch and intonation, too. Let them wash over you, and do them in English too, for fun, and with respect. (You may need to explain to others that it IS a language exercise).
Native speakers’ shortcuts will be those that do not obscure meaning, a “foreign” speaker is less aware of possible confusions. That is why SSiW is brilliant, emphasising what Welsh speakers REALLY say.
I think it is great when people speak really calmly and consistently. Our “as listeners’ ears” will attune to those we respect, amazingly quickly. No need to hide who you are.
Please ‘scuse this lecture delivered from the Black Country. Tararabit, duck.
I am new to this forum, but you hit a nerve, and I had to respond. No beating yourself up! Your unrepentant brain knows best! Love it!
Love to you. Thanks for posing your multi-faceted question.