Accentism - have you ever been judged due to your accent or level?

Have you ever being judged because of your accent?

5
83.3%

1
16.7%

This poll will run forever.

Ranger
Posts410Likes 211Joined 4/9/2018LocationCaracas / VE
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Spanish
Learning German, Italian
Other English

Have you ever heard of this term? I found this video yesterday and I started to search information about this:


I also found this website: https://accentism.org/


"The Accentism Project is run by Dr Erin Carrie and Dr Rob Drummond, who are both sociolinguists at Manchester Metropolitan University with a shared interest in language variation and change, language attitudes and perceptions, and the prejudice and discrimination shown towards regional and social language varieties and their speakers – in particular, regional dialects, youth language, and foreign accents." 


If you have a story you can submit it! Here are some of the stories:


https://accentism.org/stories/


Have you ever being judged because of your accent? I have!

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1
#1
Elf
Posts114Likes 78Joined 8/10/2018LocationPH
Native
English, Tagalog
Learning Japanese

Interesting. I kinda knew that this is a thing but I didn't know there's a term for it.


Jess.PWinkler wrote:
and the prejudice and discrimination shown towards regional and social language varieties and their speakers – in particular, regional dialects, youth language, and foreign accents."


This is sadly true. I've seen lots of people sneer at guys who sound different from what they consider "the norm".. I actually find people who have unique accents fascinating as they surely have lots of stories to tell from their part of the world.


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#2
Ent
Posts742Likes 460Joined 18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Learning Korean
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It's not nice to make someone feel bad because of there accent, but it's also not nice to learn a language and make little effort to have good pronunciation. Finally, there's nothing wrong with letting someone know that it's difficult to understand them because of their accent. I don't care for videos like this because the takeaway many language learners will get is that there is no need to try to sound like native speakers.

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#3
Ranger
Posts410Likes 211Joined 4/9/2018LocationCaracas / VE
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leosmith wrote:

It's not nice to make someone feel bad because of there accent, but it's also not nice to learn a language and make little effort to have good pronunciation. Finally, there's nothing wrong with letting someone know that it's difficult to understand them because of their accent. I don't care for videos like this because the takeaway many language learners will get is that there is no need to try to sound like native speakers.

I've been trying to make my English accent better and better, but something I cannot control is that when I get nervous my latina accent comes and stabs me in the back (this point is when I'm a target of prejudice) I've had to face native English speakers that are okay with my accent but there are others that when they ask where I'm from the are like "eww", they once told my older brother to "speak proper english" just because of his accent (and he has a broader vocabulary than I do)... I must say that this "accentism" thing only makes me want to improve my accent, not the opposite. 

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#4
Ent
Posts742Likes 460Joined 18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Learning Korean
Other Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

Jess.PWinkler wrote:
this "accentism" thing only makes me want to improve my accent, not the opposite.

Cool - another source of motivation.

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0
#5
Dwarf
Posts54Likes 18Joined 7/10/2018LocationNairobi / KE
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Other German

Have you ever talked a language like English or any foreign language and feel like you are treated unfairly because of your accent, size of vocabulary ?


someone would say ''can you have someone else who speaks proper English call me'' mind you my English is perfect just not with the accent. 


What are some of your Experiences?



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#6
Elf
Posts125Likes 95Joined 3/9/2018LocationSkopje / MK
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Macedonian
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Hi! I haven't had that experience, as I always try to keep myself away from embarrassement :))) how brave! :))) 

But I did use to hold Skype lessons for a Macedonian guy/gentleman living in the UK and who had this exact problem. He wanted to exercise solely on conversation/expression and pronunciation. I remember he was quite intelligent and knowledgeable, however not feeling confident at all in speaking. He had issues just like the ones you mention, and I lent him a hand for that. I really found British people to be very arrogant and pretentious from what he was sharing with me, the way they acted with him and towards his accent. Not really patient or understanding, why eventually he needed classes. I did however stressed our classes mostly on confidence, as he had all the grammar and vocabulary, just really didn't know how to blend that all together, confidently construct sentences and use his brain in HIS favor. However, as I work in the field of psychology and integration too, and from what I learned about him and his job, which was a lower class job in that society, I understood where his lack of confidence was also coming from, so I just focused on that and raising his will power too, besides his confidence in knowing and doing more. 

What I am saying is, bare in mind that, whenever a person treats you or your knowledge that way, it is often due to YOUR OWN approach to your own level of knowledge/familiarity with and towards the language, which makes us sound the way we do. Our own estimation is not always objective, and if you approach the conversation or encounter with fear and doubt, and in the end not willing to have it or engage in it, your accent or whatever you know about, will be out of place (crappy, sorry for the expression) and people will see /sense that and react accordingly/appropriately. You have to be clear about your level and not get so attached to how you look or sound, but that you're in the process of learning, which kind of opens up vulnerability and not all people are tolerable towards that. But in the end, you don't need people like that ;) 


So, if you feel you're not ready deep down, even on a subconscious level (that you need to get aware of), you'll always get the appropriate reaction, to make you aware you don't feel ready. People will always show you lack of tolerance, and if you find it rude or not compassionate or whatever, you can always change the conversation partner, you don't need those people. Meantime, you can take further expected steps to feel more confident when speaking, but for yourself, not for the sake of looking or sounding good in people's eyes/ears. Because you know you just want to feel more confident and consequently, sound better. 

That's what I have to/would say 


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#7
Hobbit
Posts36Likes 22Joined 9/10/2018LocationNairobi / KE
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English, Swahili
Learning Spanish

Never encountered this, but my friend was discontinued from a video call interview primarily based on his accent. And funny enough, the job was in the technical field, not a customer representative/care where accent might be considered!

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#8
Ranger
Posts204Likes 112Joined 6/10/2018LocationLagos / NG
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Other French

I'm guessing this is only done to people who are not in high position of authority.The richest man in Africa is Aliko Dangote and with his deep Nigerian accent,is breaking bounds and leading in his sector. The same people who will fault you for not speaking English with a clear accent will also be crying foul if a native speaker of another language faults them for not speaking their language properly.

Kevwe A.

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#9
Elf
Posts135Likes 81Joined 3/9/2018LocationLagos / NG
Native
English
Learning French

It is a widely known and increasingly well-explored fact that accent has an impact on how an individual is perceived by others, and therefore on the way in which others treat them. Have you ever been judged by your accents or language?.

For example is it presumed that french speakers are romantic. 


(edit - please don't copy/paste things without citing the article)

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#10
Elf
Posts114Likes 78Joined 8/10/2018LocationPH
Native
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Learning Japanese

I've experienced this numerous times while studying back in the day. This is especially the case when I was studying the meaning of kanji for an exam. I'd love to know how you guys handle this :)


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#11
Elf
Posts147Likes 63Joined 5/6/2018LocationLapu-lapu / PH
Native
Cebuano, Tagalog
Other English

Yes, I have been but I happily embraced it. Differences of accent from people in different walks of life is what makes it beautiful, unique and fun. Learning a particular language would not be so interesting if all have almost the same accent. :) 

Charlyn Amoin

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#12
Dwarf
Posts68Likes 37Joined 6/10/2018LocationJonestown / US
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English
Learning Italian, Spanish

I personally have not experienced this myself but have had troubles understanding people with thick accents in the past. I do not assume them to be any certain way, I just assume it is just the way they speak.

Taylor Fabio

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#13
Dwarf
Posts54Likes 18Joined 7/10/2018LocationNairobi / KE
Native
English, Swahili
Other German

I am overwhelmed by all your responses. It is interesting how you get to see each in a different perspective. I am learning and encouraged at the same time.


:)



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#14