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Jonsi
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09 Feb 2011, 5:47 pm

Over the past couple of years my accent has changed on it's own into a British-Icelandic mix. It's gotten to the point now where I have to fake my old Canadian accent or slip into the wierd one. I found it kind of cool at first but now it is really pissing me off. I don't like using it in public because it makes people ask whether I'm foreign or speak a different language. I'm given strange looks when I tell them I'm purely Canadian.

I think it may have to do with my old obsession with accents, I used to copy them a lot, but that's long since gone away. I listen to a lot of British and Icelandic music too, which I think also has something to do with it. As far as I can tell it's probably some subconscious thing, but I have really no idea. Which is why I'm discussing it, to see if any one knows what this is.

Didn't know where to post this, so I put it here.



Bonafan
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09 Feb 2011, 6:03 pm

Hi Jonsi,

I copy accents all the time and went to America a couple of years ago. Now, I seem to have kind of taken on a Uk/American accent which I didnt realise until someone told me!

Did you get the accent from somewhere in the first place?



Yensid
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09 Feb 2011, 6:04 pm

Google for "foreign language syndrome".


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Yensid
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09 Feb 2011, 6:40 pm

Sorry, I meant "foreign accent syndrome".


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one-A-N
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09 Feb 2011, 7:28 pm

My psychologist pointed out that he found it hard to pick my accent, although he had no trouble picking my wife's accent. This is funny as my wife is an immigrant, although she does sound like a local because she has lived in this country since she was a toddler. And I am a local, although I can sound more like an immigrant.

I think Aspies are more likely than other people to have an unusual accent because we mix less with our peers and we are more likely to be obsessed with (say) other nations. Possibly our concern with detail also makes us particular about our manner of speech. Anyway, it is one of the unusual features of verbal communication that can be a mark of AS. If I remember correctly, Tony Attwood mentions unusual accent in his book, "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome".



Jonsi
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09 Feb 2011, 7:58 pm

I was thinking Yensid hit the nail on the head with FAS, but now I wouldn't be surprised if it was just my AS. Though I do sometimes slip into either British or Icelandic accents, which is a symptom of FAS. I think it may be a mix of the two.

To Bonafan, I have not had any experience with either accent in person, however I have had exposure to them via TV and Youtube. I may have picked it up from there.

Any other Aspies experience this?



Daina
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09 Feb 2011, 9:07 pm

I don't know if I'm an aspie or not, but if I listen to a book on tape, I always pick up the accent of the person there and have a hard time not speaking in it.



Xeno
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09 Feb 2011, 10:24 pm

I've had a few people tell me I sound vaguely English. I don't try to. I guess I've tried so hard to get rid of my Southern accent that sometimes I end up not even sounding American.



Kiseki
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09 Feb 2011, 10:33 pm

I've been living in Japan for 5 yrs now and, whenever I go back to the US, my Korean dentist tells me I have a Japanese accent. When I used to visit my mom's family in deep Virginia, I would pick up their accents too.

I think it is subconscious, but I'm unsure why it happens. Maybe it is a way of trying to fit in?


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lightening020
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10 Feb 2011, 2:06 am

Maybe it has something to do with our monotone voices? We don't acquire the local dialect because we don't feel as integrated into society?

I dunno for me California English sucks. Its a crap dialect. So are most dialects of USA English. UK English is wack too. Irish and Scottish English are wack too. Too much dynamics to the pitch. Welsh English sounds kinda cool though.

I think the best dialects of English are from the Scandinavian/ northern Europe Countries where its their 2nd language.



Xeno
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10 Feb 2011, 2:30 am

lightening020 wrote:
I think the best dialects of English are from the Scandinavian/ northern Europe Countries where its their 2nd language.


I love the English of people from Norway and Denmark. They tend to phrase things very specifically.



pensieve
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10 Feb 2011, 2:31 am

I'm a British speaking Australian. I'm really good at picking up accents and taking on personas of my favourite characters. Even though my current one is from an American it's still a bit British. I think I picked up the British accent when I got into Harry Potter. I can sometimes speak Welsh too.

It's definitely not foreign accent syndrome. I think I'd know if I had some brain trauma but I've always been good at mimicking accents and picking up accents. I have a strong auditory memory and I take on these accents to actually help me with social skills and at times they help me write. If it is anything it is my own way of empathising (or relating) with these characters.


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CockneyRebel
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10 Feb 2011, 5:51 am

I have an unusual accent for my part of the world. I was raised as a Canadian, and I have a Cockney accent. It doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is that my hyper Canadian parents don't like anybody who speaks with an accent, and they let that be known to me, the summer that I was 12 going on 13. They hated my accent, so they told me not to talk through my nose, every time that I spoke. I still spend the night once a week. It's just that I don't get into too many conversations with them. The memory's still there. I'm having a nice break from them right now, because I'm very, very sick with the virus that I've got. I don't need to ramble on about them at a time like this.


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ToughDiamond
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10 Feb 2011, 6:24 am

My accent isn't quite what it should be. There are elements of Liverpudlian in there, even though I've only been there twice and was just passing through on the way to the Isle of Man. By rights I should have a Yorkshire accent, diluted with RP (from the grammar school) and with a smattering of Midlands. I'm sure the scouse element comes from my childhood preoccupation with Merseybeat bands. I've been told I sound like John Peel the radio DJ (RIP).....I used to listen to his shows a lot. He was Liverpudlian too.

I don't know why. I think one-A-N may be right about it being down to spending more time listening to my heroes than my peers. Also like Pensieve I often find it easy (and fun) to mimic accents, though I can't do 'em all. I picked up a temporary Westcountry accent while on holiday in Cornwall as a child, which I used to great effect when I acted in the youth club pantomine........I think I did that because I was very self-conscious about my mumbly "normal" voice, and noticed that I could project my voice better when using an accent. And it got me my first girlfriend, because my performance charmed her. I'm pretty sure that my usual voice wouldn't have impressed her at all.

To this day, when I'm working up a new song, I'll try to mimic either a real singer who I admire, or a vocal style that's used by singers typical of the song's genre. I remember trying a cockney accent on "Lazy Sunday" back in 1969, and I was amazed at how much better it sounded on the recording than everything else I was doing at the time. I never really sing anything in my "own" voice, though the shortfalls in my ability to copy a voice perfectly make my voice recognisable as me.



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10 Feb 2011, 6:51 am

Actually I remember a time in college where I hated my accent. A flat drawl of an Australian accent. And now I don't have it. I first picked up Frankie Muniz's accent who plays Malcolm in Malcolm in the Middle. Then it was Daniel Radcliffe and a whole lot of English actors. Now I switch between Colonel Sheppard and prof. Jackson from Stargate. I really have to stop myself from sounding like Teal'c. He has a very deep but well spoken accent.


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