Saturday, July 23, 2011

Accents - "ya'll shure dew talk foeny"

Everyone has one and yet I see reactions to accents ranging from disgust/disdain to amusement and adoration. Do you have an accent? You must. Everyone has one. Even an "non-accent" is, in itself, a sort of accent by which others are measured. Coming from the South of the United States, I used to be hyper aware and self conscious of having a "southern twang". I lived in Alabama for many years and honed my twang quite well. I have a tendency to mimic those around me to blend in, so, I picked up the accent quickly. I then moved back to Louisiana and was embarrassed by said accent. I quickly suppressed it, as best I could. It still popped out if I was tired or had a few drinks.

I've been told that Baton Rouge doesn't have much of accent -- meaning it sounds someone void of a twang a la the midwest accent. New Orleans, of course, has that wonderful "y'at" accent which is reminiscent of the northern states such as New Jersey. Of course, one of the most famous US accents comes from Boston. I realized that my european friends don't really hear these accents in english, which just increased my curiosity about this whole topic.
Cajun Accent
Boston Accent
Various Accents in English

Once I was able to get over the stigma of "southern accent = ignorance", I began to embrace the idea of having an accent. By this time, I evened out the twang so well that my accent leads people to believe I'm from Ohio. So, I have to say I'm a bit sad that I've lost my "southern drawl".

Now I'm living in Paris and trying to learn a completely different language. I was taking a french course and the instructor played an audio tape of an interview with a Canadian. She warned us that the accent was very strong and to listen carefully. I listened and felt that I could understand the Quebecois much more easily than the Parisians. The cadence was similar to english and they pronounce french words how I would. I just didn't really hear the accent, at all.

This idea of an accent in another language fascinated me, and I've been thinking about it for 2 years now. I want to be able to hear accents in french. How a Brit, a German, an American, or a Russian would sound speaking french. But, that was beyond my abilities. My ear could not distinguish between the words "pen" and "pin" in english. So, I was sort of out of luck.

Well, after 2 years of listening to French being spoken by Parisians and native French speakers, I decided to listen again to the Quebecois accent. Holy Cow!! What an accent! lol. I definitely hear it now, and I LOVE it!! Check it out here:

The young woman is from Canada. The man is not a native french speaker. I can tell this from his accent, but I do not know where he is from or what his native language is. I'm slowly picking up accents in another language, but I'm not to that point.

The most interesting thing to me was hearing her pronounce words and I immediately thought of cajun french. I can hear the influence that cajun french has from Canadian french. This is just fascinating to me!

Friday, March 18, 2011

more Dickinson

He fumbles at your spirit
As players at the keys
Before they drop full music on;
He stuns you by degrees,

Prepares your brittle substance
For the ethereal blow,
By fainter hammers, further heard,
Then nearer, then so slow

Your breath has time to straighten,
Your brain to bubble cool, --
Deals one imperial thunderbolt
That scalps your naked soul.

--Emily Dickinson

also, here is a short video I made of Images that I really Love.

Note, that there is no intention for copyright infringement. I have borrowed these images from google image searches. Please contact me, if there is a problem, and I will immediately remove the image/video.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It's all I have to bring to-day,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
and all the meadows wide.

Be sure to count, should I forget, --
someone the sum could tell, --
This, and my heart, and all the bees
which in clover dwell

--Emily Dickinson (and not the Liz Lemon's cat)

Springtime has arrived in Paris. The lunchroom at work is noisier than ever making it more difficult for me to hear people. The trees are blooming. The tourists are swarming Notre Dame. All I can do is put away my winter coat and smile. I love springtime.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Wretches and Jabberers

I'm interested in watching this documentary about Autism.
Wretches and Jabberers

And here is a song from the soundtrack
One Whole Hour

Wednesday, March 02, 2011