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Mimicking a foreign accent
Thread poster: Jack Doughty

Yolande Hivart
Austria
Local time: 16:47
Member (2016)
German to French
I find it unrespectful Sep 21

I do not like it when the German speaking people attempt to mimick the French accent for instance in a piece of theater. It is made so obvious for people to understand it was not German but someone "outside their group" that they are pushing it to the extreme making me think whether these people are on a first year of German course with the vocabulary of a 8th grader. It makes me think like "we know how you speak wrong when you talk to us and here is it how".

On the other side inclu
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I do not like it when the German speaking people attempt to mimick the French accent for instance in a piece of theater. It is made so obvious for people to understand it was not German but someone "outside their group" that they are pushing it to the extreme making me think whether these people are on a first year of German course with the vocabulary of a 8th grader. It makes me think like "we know how you speak wrong when you talk to us and here is it how".

On the other side including foreigners would be to make them feel like noone had noticed. It is even the rule of some higher educated society to do as if noone had noticed if someone his doing something blaming himself. It can happen to everybody.
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
It can happen to everybody Sep 21

Right, it can. It used to be that nothing was funnier than an Irish accent on British TV, and nothing was funnier than a British accent on Irish TV. In another scenario, wasn't it in "Boule de Suif" that Maupassant had a Prussian officer saying things like "Foulez-fous ...?", "fotre falise", "nous affons ..." etc.?

We used to laugh at German officers barking "Vee haff vays off maykink you talk" and so on, and I'm pretty sure the Germans make fun of an English speaker speaking Germa
... See more
Right, it can. It used to be that nothing was funnier than an Irish accent on British TV, and nothing was funnier than a British accent on Irish TV. In another scenario, wasn't it in "Boule de Suif" that Maupassant had a Prussian officer saying things like "Foulez-fous ...?", "fotre falise", "nous affons ..." etc.?

We used to laugh at German officers barking "Vee haff vays off maykink you talk" and so on, and I'm pretty sure the Germans make fun of an English speaker speaking German too. Actually, now I think about it, if anyone has an example of that, an English speaker speaking heavily-accented German on YouTube or whatever, I'd like to see it. My German's a little rusty, but I think it would be amusing ...

No need to read too much into it.

[Edited at 2020-09-21 11:32 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-09-21 11:35 GMT]
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expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:47
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Fun only Sep 21

Yolande Hivart wrote:

It makes me think like "we know how you speak wrong when you talk to us and here is it how".



I can understand your point, but I tend to see this only as fun and according to some specialists it is a different way to develop your linguistic skills.
You can say you don't see the fun of it, but try to think that for phonetics purposes this can be helpful.
As well as Mervyn, I would like to see a foreign person impersonating or mimicking an European Portuguese speaker. It's hard, I know, but it is not impossible.
Once I saw an Algerian actor who tried this and I gave a loud laugh. It's for fun only


P.L.F.Persio
Zibow Retailleau
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
On the other hand Sep 21

Arguing against myself now ... in the professional world, there's the danger that you won't be taken seriously or considered intelligent in your field if you don't speak the local language properly. In the last few months I've heard internationally renowned non-Spanish experts on this and that speaking rather poor Spanish, and non-English speakers speaking rather poor English, and quite illogically it does take them down a few notches in one's esteem concerning their expert field.

A
... See more
Arguing against myself now ... in the professional world, there's the danger that you won't be taken seriously or considered intelligent in your field if you don't speak the local language properly. In the last few months I've heard internationally renowned non-Spanish experts on this and that speaking rather poor Spanish, and non-English speakers speaking rather poor English, and quite illogically it does take them down a few notches in one's esteem concerning their expert field.

A lot depends on how much credibility the person listening to you is willing to give you in the first place. So if you have a heavy accent and you're talking to Donald Trump, don't expect much of a break. Especially a Mexican or Chinese accent.
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expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:47
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Foreseeable answer (link) ... Sep 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
... and I'm pretty sure the Germans make fun of an English speaker speaking German too. Actually, now I think about it, if anyone has an example of that, an English speaker speaking heavily-accented German on YouTube or whatever, I'd like to see it.


... even without a crystal bowl very foreseeable, that somebody ( in this case me) will take the link below to politely satisfy the expressed need:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTLeBybJhSo&list=PLIRkl6t6mMd8MIajfRD-v9gBvHQ2wDUYf&index=5

An English speaker speaking heavily-accented German, who tries to speak English, and with Portuguese subtitles (best scenes in that respect at min. 4:48 onwards).

[Bearbeitet am 2020-09-21 14:19 GMT]


expressisverbis
Mervyn Henderson
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:47
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
"Mind your English" Sep 21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z-mY3luR0Q

Amazing!

PS: Subtitles aren't the best ones... "monkey" instead of "money", "seora", instead of "señora"...

[Edited at 2020-09-21 14:33 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks Matthias and expressisverbis Sep 21

I'd forgotten both of those! With another famous Monty Python sketch in mind, for the record I'd like to point out that I didn't mention the war. Except just at the end of that last sentence.

expressisverbis
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:47
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
And many more... Sep 21

In recent cinema movies:
The Pink Panther (2009) and Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia (2012).


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
A thread from a bygone age Sep 21

These days it is only acceptable to mimic or mock people who are exactly the same as you.

 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:47
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Nobody did ... Sep 22

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

With another famous Monty Python sketch in mind, for the record I'd like to point out that I didn't mention the war.

... and I´m sure Jack, who started this post, would have liked these late contributions.


P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jack Sep 22

I now see that Jack died last year. Again, I realised it had been a while since he'd posted. He was always eager and entertaining - another loss for the site.

P.L.F.Persio
Matthias Brombach
expressisverbis
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:47
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Oh... Sep 22

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

I now see that Jack died last year. Again, I realised it had been a while since he'd posted. He was always eager and entertaining - another loss for the site.


I'm really sorry to hear that! My deepest condolences!
I have raised this topic because I found it very interesting.
I'm speechless!

I could see now "In memoriam" below his name... I should be more careful and pay more attention!

[Edited at 2020-09-22 10:58 GMT]


 
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Mimicking a foreign accent

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