Sunday, February 1, 2015

"I Beg Your Pardon?" My Foreign Accent

It shouldn't be like that but, having lived in the US for almost fifteen years, I know that too often a foreign accent is a handicap.
When I arrived to the Midwest to do my graduate degree in English at one of the state universities, I asked my linguistic professor how I could get rid of my Israeli accent. He wasn't optimistic, I wanted to know if a strong accent indicated a lack of musical talent. He answered that based on what he had read it was a matter of personal identity. There were some people, he called them the Chamaeleon type, who could speak with almost no trace of a foreign accent. He felt that  subconsciously I  probably didn't want to lose my Israeli identity. This explanation was reassuring, it was a relief to hear that it wasn't my fault. I am not sure if this is still a valid theory, but I am not going to look for conflicting evidence.
As a person with a foreign accent I was often  treated with superiority.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

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