Having an accent can be a very frustrating barrier when you are trying to communicate in a foreign language. Going back 8 years ago, when I first started to learn english, it was a very unique experience. My native language is Sango, the unofficial language spoken in Central African Republic. Growing up in an old french colony in Africa, french rapidly became a very predominant language that is used in school, administration and social interactions. After few years of studying in France, I noticed that my accent has acquired a very unique blend of taste. Today at work, while I was training a new trainee that speaks english as a second language, and recently hired to work in our department, he asked me a question that I used to asked myself: Have you ever been bothered by your accent?
After a pause, I explained to him that I used to ask myself this question, but while I was learning english and improving myself, I learn some very helpful tips from my english professor. One day she said Christian, you know english is not your first language, if you want people to understand you, then you have to “speak slow and articulate every words that is coming out of your mouth”. I did great usage of her advice and it has worked for me. Further more, we talk about personal insight on the accent subject. I shared with him an interesting fact that I have learned again from my english professor. I told him that every person has an accent but they just don’t know that they have an accent. An american from texas has an accent that differs from an american that lives in New York. Same goes for a british that is living in Canada and found that every body has this kind of accent. One of My friend from Nigeria, speaks with a very unique english accent that I find it fascinating. Accent is an added value and it’s also part of our brand. It defines who you are, and separates you from others.
It made my day to share a very special moment in the world of accent with my new coworker. I bet we are going to be friend after this little chatting lol and we got back to work feeling all happy about our unique accent.
Feedbacks are our only way to improve and get better at what we do. So thank you to my english professor in my first year of learning english at the Houston community college in Texas. The Feedbacks she supplied me, it was a huge gift.
Now I’m going to dream in english:))