It’s interesting listening to Americans talk here, because they talk differently. I’m already doing it also. Part of it is we use British terms, like toilet, rubbish, takeaway, garden, whatever. But it’s not just the vocabulary. The longer an American is here, the more they use a British lilt. It’s hard to explain in writing. But it’s like they talk with a British intonation but using an American accent. And again, this is something both Jieun and I have picked up a bit also. The flow of our sentences is different.

Jieun takes it to another level: sometimes when she’s at a store, she’ll approximate an English accent. I kind of make fun of her for being “fake”. But is it really? Talking is entirely about communication, about conveying ideas to other people. Americans here kind of instinctively adapt how they talk to facilitate that communication. “Keeping it real” in how you talk doesn’t even make sense if the point of talking is other people. So why not do an accent if that helps the people you’re talking to understand?

I’d do it myself if my English accent weren’t so horrid. It doesn’t help anyone understand. I used to be pretty good at accents when I was a kid, but somehow I completely lost that ability. My Korean pronunciation was a lot better as a kid also. I don’t know what happened to that but it’s gone.

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