Lost in an Accent Jungle and I’m Mowgli

I’ve been traveling in a couple of countries and also lived in a few.
One of the reasons why I love being abroad is to meet new people and make friends by exchanging stories despite of the small possible language barriers or tiny misunderstandings. They’re usually covered with laughter and even by making up new words.
But to cut to the chase: I love to talk.

I haven’t been that chatty recently. Why? Here’s a little something.

accentjunlge

Since I came to USA and started having conversations with native English speakers,
ever so often (almost all the time) I hear a few of these phrases right after I say something

 “Oh the Finnish accent is so cute”
“What did she say?”
This is usually said with a smiley face turned to my boyfriend in hopes of getting a translation from my English to their English. I don’t know, maybe it would be terrible to ask me to repeat.
       “Aww you all sound the same”.
YOU ALL SOUND THE SAME? WHAT THE HELL?
Like, do I sound like Kimi Raikkonen? Geez
    “You’re so ADORABLE – talk more!”

Adorable. Adorable. When people say that I’m adorable because of my accent, they usually have this special expression on their face. It’s a look you would give to a three-legged puppy which you kind of want to have as a pet because it’s cute and strange,
but then can’t keep it because you don’t have enough time to take care of its needs.
That’s how I feel like. I’m the puppy.
You can listen to me saying funny things for your entertainment – but carrying a conversation is hard for surprisingly many, because why? BECAUSE OF MY ACCENT.
Then I lose my interest too and keep my awesome hilarious jokes to myself. (Which probably do sound amazing with my Kimi-Accent btw).

aketntti

But why people have to make such a big deal out of different accents?
Shouldn’t it be amazing and marvelous and uhmm ENCOURAGED that people actually want to learn and speak other languages than their own?
When I meet someone who speaks Finnish with a foreign accent I’m rooting for them for their talent because that mothereffin language is a bitch to learn.

The battle of the accent jungle doesn’t stop there. The game is strong even between the Finnish too.
Before, whenever I met Finnish people while living abroad I was excited and just wanted to start pouring my heart out to them in our language.
Turns out, my Finnish is something to made fun about as well. By people from Southern Finland.
The ones who are from the South (all the regions below my hometown apparently) are these cool modern super humans,
and we in the north are the mystical wild creatures they probably have heard being mentioned on the news.
“Oh, you must be from THE NORTH
Yeah like 200 km away from you, but if it’s exotic for you that’s fine.

At first this pissed me off really bad, now it just makes me laugh.
I guess after all I’m fine with being the Mowgli in this jungle of accents.
Mowgli is happy in the jungle doing his own thing even though everyone’s like “hey you don’t belong here”.
But Mowgli is like “Baloo gets me”.
It’s like I’m basically part of the gang – but still slightly isolated because sometimes I speak funny.
Thankfully, I have lots of Baloos in my life.

Wouldn’t it be a good time to stop paying so much attention to HOW someone sounds
but to WHAT they are saying?

I promise from now on I won’t get annoyed when someone is overwhelmed by my accent (finnish or english)
– I’ll get amused
Because, you know, I’m cool like that.

Had similar experiences (with any language whatsoever)?
Tell me, oh poor soul!


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