Thursday, 5 November 2009

Ah Gringos! Given time I might grow to love them.

As Scottish accents go I never really considered myself to have a particular thick one, but since spending the last 8 months or so living here in the States I'm finding myself having to reassess that assumption. It seems the gringos just can't understand me.

That I could find acceptable if they'd only just try - but whereas Latinos will take the effort to listen and on occasion make an attempt to have conversation like the Mexican worker who the other day took my order for a Whopper and ended up talking about the weather here compared to back home and the film Braveheart it seems most white people in these parts would prefer to cut me off and look at me blank faced as soon as I open my mouth. When I first moved here it didn't take long for me to get used to the close minded attitude of some of the local white population but then just the other week I applied for a job that I was well qualified for. I first sent of an email complete with my resume and then followed it up with a phonecall.

Me - "Hello, I am replying to your advert on ...... regarding the job that you ....."

Interupted mid conversation with "I can't even understand you! If you can't speak English why do you think I would even consider employing you!!!"

When I first came to Utah I thought it might take an adjustment of sorts to fit in and settle down and then reality struck.

I hate to imagine how I might have got on in Utah if I actually had a thick Scottish accent. Like if had a nasally accent like a Glasgow ned for example or a sing-songy West Highland accent or god forbid a Welsh accent like some of my relatives from my father's side of the family.


cannwin said...

I went to England and Scotland last year. My reasoning for going there as opposed to say Spain or France was that I could at least speak the language.

London was okay... Edinburgh was another story entirely! I'd stare blankly at people and wonder to myself 'how does the same language get so muddled between two places?'

It was very humorous and very fascinating. Almost enough to make me want to study languages... like Henry Higgins in 'My Fair Lady.'

Scotsman said...

Probably every 20 - 30 miles or so in the UK, the local dialect or accent changes subtly, either in pronunciation or just in the words used by the local population. It can lead for some interesting conversations in regions that you are unfamiliar with.

Since moving to the States though I have tried not to use too many unfamiliar words and phrases that Utahns might not recognise. Most days though l I might as well not have bothered.

cannwin said...

I'm finding it a bit humorous that you would refrain from unfamiliar phrase-ology in utah. As I'm sure there is plenty going around for you. Like Wards, and Sunbeams, and Relief Society. Lol. Utah has it's very own language too.

Scotsman said...

I almost feel like I have to refrain from using unfamiliar phrases due to the fact that as soon as a say a few words about 7 times out of 10 the person I am speaking to will look at me blanked faced and then look to my Chilean wife to translate. I can't keep relying on her being my side everytime I want to say something.

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