wispfox: (Default)
[personal profile] wispfox
I got curious. So you get a poll!

[Poll #1992443]

Date: 2014-12-16 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wispfox.livejournal.com
I don't find that anyone talks precisely the same way as anyone else, although certainly accents will adjust how different people sound from each other.

Accents also affect how easily I can read someone's lips (which I do a lot of the time), and I have determined that I can fail to recognize someone if they are not moving and are speaking in a different accent than that to which I am accustomed from them.

I absolutely have trouble understanding most people. This is why I love closed captioning! And yes, the more I hear someone talk, the easier it is to understand them.

Sufficient exposure to an accent can mean I'll pick it up. This happens way less often in Boston because there are a lot of difference accents around. I can't usually do an accent on purpose, at least not if I haven't heard it recently.

Date: 2014-12-16 11:19 pm (UTC)
kiya: (media)
From: [personal profile] kiya
I had this fascinating experience while watching "The Full Monty" where the first half of the movie, the dialogue was all in gibberish, and the second half of the movie, it was fully comprehensible.

Date: 2014-12-16 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wispfox.livejournal.com
Ok, _that_ is fast adjustment. :)

Actually, I'm not sure how long I take, given that I cheat and use subtitles most of the time anyway.

Date: 2014-12-18 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnpalmer.livejournal.com
I can understand most thick accents relatively quickly, but I have a hearing (or brain) problem where I sometimes can't catch an out-of-context word. There, I'll use subtitles. Usually, it's so I understand the *specific word* that didn't make sense (and then it makes perfect sense - "oh, of course they said (whatever)").

Worst TV event ever: Watching Firefly when deeply fatigued. First episode, Mal starts cussing in Chinese, and I feel like I've gone crazy. But that's how bad my processing is - I couldn't realize he'd done a language change.

Date: 2014-12-17 12:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weegoddess.livejournal.com
I've been known to intentionally mimic a person's accent in order to help them feel more comfortable. Not a friend's accent, mind, but clients. Having a business in the UK helped me hone this skill. And it's not merely in spoken communication; I found that there was Brit-business-speak in writing too. Even just matching the 'music' of my speech to the other person's seems to help.

It's hard to know whether I have natural tendencies to use my ear to attune to different accents, or I just learned it from my years as a speech-language pathologist.

Date: 2014-12-17 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wispfox.livejournal.com
Hmm! Neat. :)

Date: 2014-12-17 09:42 pm (UTC)
blk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blk
I don't -think- I adopt accents, but I do adopt general style/attitude of speaking without thinking about it. If I'm with someone quiet, I'll spend much of our time together being quiet. If I'm with someone chatty, I've spent hours over a dinner with constant conversation, both of us with words just running over each other.

Date: 2014-12-17 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leiacat.livejournal.com
I don't pick up accents easily - which is why 25 years later I still have my own.

Drives me utterly bonkers when people pick up my accent. It never works quite right, and it always sounds like mockery.

Date: 2014-12-20 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spacehawk.livejournal.com
I very easily pick up certain accents, and never pick up others. It depends on several factors, including the age I first was regularly exposed to that language and/or people speaking in that accent. I also sometimes end up changing accents in other contexts (for example, when I am studying Hebrew, and then speak English, I have a noticeable accent in English for a while, even though I haven't been speaking Hebrew with others, just reading).

I almost never have difficulty understanding someone's accent in English, so it is a memorable experience when I do. This is almost always because the other person's native language is one I am unfamiliar with (which is rare because I've studied so many languages). I may have difficulty understanding someone because of idioms or for other reasons, however!

Also, though I have certainly observed others picking up my expressions, or mannerisms of talking or laughing, or little sounds I make (which I've often picked up from other people), I have never observed someone picking up my accent.
Edited Date: 2014-12-20 06:02 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-12-20 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spacehawk.livejournal.com
Addendum to speak about accents in other languages:

1) My Spanish accent is COMPLETELY mixed up because I've had teachers from everywhere, and I will apparently switch things up mid-sentence, or when switching from speaking to reading, etc.. People ask me where I'm from because they have no idea. And when they do know, they still remark with surprise and shock as they observe these sudden accent shifts.

So I suppose I do pick up accents in Spanish, but can't keep anything straight. (US? Spain? Cuba? Mexico? Argentina? Vaguely South American somewhere? WHO KNOWS.)

2) I do not pick up accents unconsciously in Chinese, since I learned it later, and have to make a conscious effort to change my Mandarin pronunciation to the Beijing (or "academic") pronunciation when I am speaking to someone from that region, and to the Taiwanese pronunciation when I am speaking to someone from that region.

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