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I’ve always understood Matt — at least, linguistically. As to where he is coming from, perhaps that is a different story. ;-)
That second panel kills me. :)
I can totally relate… I had a strong Singaporean accent and spoke mainly in Singlish (that even has a wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singlish ), but when I moved here, I had to adopt the American accent before people would understand what I’m saying, even my mother-in-law.
Luckily, I can switch between accents whenever I want. ;)
Awe, poor Matt… That bloody sucks for him!
It’ll fade in and out, depending on the situation. My mother-in-law has been over here for 30 years and generally has a pretty subtle accent, but it gets much stronger whenever her sisters come over from Ireland for a visit.
Now imagine my plight: born in brazil, brought up in Florida, lived in Edinburgh, now live in Boston. NO ONE can place my accent.
Funnily enough, my husband has a similar situation: born in SF, brought up in Zurich, school in Edinburgh, now Boston.
It does create interesting cultural collisions: imagine us saying things like “hella wicked” in vaguely Scottish brogues. :D
Aw, british accent is by far the hottest accent on the planet, he should never loose it !
Sounding American is a misnomer. I’m from Michigan and I moved to Colorado… I assure you the proper pronunciation of the word crayon is in constant debate. My wife was born in Hawaii, raised in Colorado/DC/Arizona by a woman from Louisiana. Vent vs Register, Cart vs Buggy vs Basket, bag vs sac- and I promise you being reminded AM is in the morning (as in “What time is it?”-“7am in the morning.”) is just as frustrating as hearing the H in wHile or wHite.
Zeke, “American” took up less space than “Pacific Northwest American” ;)
I figured. ^^; It just reminds me of all the fun conversations I’ve had. We’ve a friend from Singapore who speaks very clear English (actually a dialect of an British accent)- and our slight American differences frustrate her sometimes. XD
Upside, he could be the son of a man from Louisiana and a woman from Tennessee. Oh, and be from Georgia. YET have a neutral American accent. And have to fight a massive southern accent while drunk. Poor Matt. At least he doesn’t sound completely ass retarded when drunk.
Ahh, but does he say “bag” so it rhymes with “egg”? (Do they even do that in Portland or is that just Seattle? Sorry, am a huge language nerd.)
My big question is, when he’s on the phone with his parents, does the old accent come BACK? Because that is my very favorite trick.
I would imagine that part of the problem is that Matt was frustrated with not being understood and tried to make himself comprehensible. I’m happy to speak loudly and slowly in an English accent so I managed to keep mine relatively intact. Unfortunately that means I find it near to impossible to order water in a restaurant.
Course, I don’t live with a Yank ;-)
That was fun! The two of you should really go live in France or England for about a year. We’d have so much fun with your accents once you got back.
“You’re acting wHeird!”
We call picking up an American accent where I live (Trinidad and Tobago) a “Freshwater Yankee” accent. It usually refers to when a local goes to the States for a couple of days or weeks in order to fit in but when they come back home they forget (or can’t) turn it off.
I’ve had mine since I was 7 :s
My Midwest Ohio accent is leaving. I’m slowly gaining a Southern accent the longer I’m here in South Carolina.
My husband is from London and we’ve been in Canada for five years now. Most days he doesn’t have an accent at all. We finally realized that it was gone when we went through a drive thru an the person taking our order understood “Tomatoe” and “Mayonnaise” the first time.
It was a sad day.
We demand audio proof! ;D
Poor Matt. I notice my own accent, even though I’m very strict about keeping it free of a Dutch one, seems to shift depending on the English-speaker. If I speak to a British person, it becomes the fluent British I prefer, to an American there will be more ‘wanna’ and ‘gotta’ and even when you speak to any non-native who tries their best to even speak English, “my English is easy too, yes?”!
Now that I’ve lived near the BC border for so many years, my mother complains that i have a Canadian accent. i prefer to think of it as “Northern-Pacific-Northwest-American”
My grandma copies the accents of people she’s talking to by accident. >>;; It gets embarrassing.
^^ Kate: That cracked me up
Awesome comic yet again Erica :D
I was five when I lost mine :/
At least it lived a good life with Matt
My parents are both from New England, but I grew up in Portland. My friends in school always made fun of my east coast accent, although my mother assured me I sounded like a Portlander, not a Bostonian. Then I went to college in Maryland, where everyone made fun of my west coast accent. There’s no way to win.
I never knew Matt had such a complicated background! Here I thought he was just a Brit. ;D
I get mistaken for Australia, American, South African… and I’ve never been to any of these places! (Welsh/Scouse parentage) The ‘ozzie or cockney’ accent can be hard to tell between the two as well :)
I find too that Amercian accents slip out more readily with the more teeth you use in your mouth (as in a big cracking smile radiating down to smirking proportions). Thus I’d advise pinging elastic bands at Matt’s head to get him down to reasonable grumpiness :)
I like British English more though…
Hey, I stumbled upon this comic diary of yours a while back and really enjoyed reading through it.
Just thought I’d say thanks for making me smile now that I stumbled back here. And all the best to you! :)
So! I just caught up to the latest update and I must say that I absolutely love this comic! It’s adorable, well-written, interesting and the art is fabulous to boot.
Poor Matt. My Mom moved to Sweden and I visited there myself. A lot of a person’s identity can go into an accent, and this was a topic of discussion among the people we knew who had moved there.
It’s okay, Matt ^_^ Even if you lose the accent, the glasses still make you sexy ^_^
Oh I’m so happy every time you update you wonderful comic! I really love reading it! Keep it up Erika!
/Johan from sweden
I was once talking to someone from the north of Britain, and he kept mentioning ‘th broon bunneh’ and had no idea what he was talking about. Only when I understood that it was that film with the blowjob in it that the coin dropped…
I’ve got a terrible problem — I’m a polyglot. I’ll start a conversation with someone, and by the end of the conversation, I’ve soaked up *their* accent, and have even started dropping in their own slang, and if they’re from a foreign country I’m familiar with, I’ll start unconsciously dropping in words and phrases from their language. All absolutely unconsciously and innocently. I’ve started conversations with Quebecois in English, and ended up speaking in French and didn’t realize it. I’m told I have a nice accent, if a touch too Parisienne. I’ll start dropping in Japanese with a Japanese person, usually much to their annoyance (though one found it amusing), and Chinese with a Chinese person, though they tend to be a bit happier about it, and I shocked a Russian speaker silly with it once. So far, it hasn’t gotten me in serious trouble, though one person did ask me if I was mocking them. My look of panic and “ohmygod, did I do it AGAIN?” convinced them that I sincerely didn’t know I was doing it.
I have a really strong southern accent (I live in North Carolina), but I can do a perfect British accent. Sometimes with my accent I use incorrect grammar. Like instead of “That looks like it’s been eaten by termites” I’ll say something like “That looks termite eat”.
I Have this problem in reverse. I moved to England from the states for my hubby. I’ve lived here 3 years and people always try to play ‘guess the accent’ however now because i’ve been here so long everybody thinks I’m Irish because of how everything has melded in the way I speak >.<
i understand. i have sort of the same situation going on where i’m at.
I miss my accent. :(
@ sio. You. Are. Just. PLAIN. AMAZING! how many languages do you know (more than six i bet!), just curious!
Poor thing! I can relate… In Nottingham (England) we have Flat Accents, so if we are around foreigners for a couple of hours we can take on the other person’s speech.
Never loose faith Matt! Just think of something very British to say!