Anyone ever get asked whether they're foreigners?

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Sir_Beefy
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31 Dec 2008, 9:12 pm

One time I was at a job interview and they said my accent was funny and they asked me if I spoke any foreign languages. I'm like, excuse me??? I'm from the same place you are, and I have an accent? Another time I was at work (actually this was three different times) and I was asked if I was jewish.

Them: Hey are you Jewish?
Me: No, why?
Them: You have a big nose.
Me: You have a big zit on your face

Them: Hey, are you Jewish?
Me: No, why?
Them: You have a Jewfro
Me: You will too if you don't shut up. I have a taser

Them: Hey, are you Jewish?
Me: No, why?
Them: You have a Jewish face
Me: You have an ugly face


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MizLiz
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31 Dec 2008, 10:39 pm

My accent doesn't match the very particular way that people from my area have of speaking (I call it "super redneck") because I've trained myself out of it, so I usually get incredulous looks when someone asks where I'm from and I say "here", but I haven't been accused of being a foreigner to my face.

I DID used to work tech support and got accused, but I think that's more of an issue of so much outsourcing than due to the way I talk.

Me: Thank you for calling tech support, my name's Liz may I please prattle on with the script I have for the next ten minutes and follow protocol when I could abandon it and solve your problem in about thirty seconds?
Customer: *gives me information and we continue this for maybe fifteen minutes* And by the way, your English is very good.
Me: ... 8O *realizing too much time has passed for me to get quality controlled on this call* Gracias.



pensieve
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31 Dec 2008, 11:35 pm

frequently wrote:
im from australia and people always ask whether i am from england

I can unintentionally put on an english accent.

People do ask me if I'm foreign or even speak english. I'm sometimes too quiet so they think I don't know any english. My skin is also dark, so that's probably why people think I'm foreign.

I remember once in school I was about five and my sister was one year older. This boy was calling us Aboriginal and my sister got so upset she cried. I didn't understand at the time why she was so upset. Now I think maybe the boy was teasing us.



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01 Jan 2009, 1:21 am

i am australian and someone once asked me if i was from poland (no idea why)



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01 Jan 2009, 1:32 am

Sora wrote:
In your country, maybe even in the town you lived longest so far, did people ever ask you whether you're a foreigner? Maybe because of the way you talked or the they you behaved?


country: United States
state: Florida
locality: Tampa

Yes, I routinely get comments about my "accent", which I hardly perceive, but others hear as being European, or specifically something like English. This everything to do with my psychology and nothing to do with where I was raised or where I've lived. One trait of AS that I've come to understand is my habit of incorrectly or inappropriately imitating other people. I was raised almost totally here in west-central Florida, which is a region characterized by its immigrants. Very few people are originally from around here. Most are northeastern or midwestern transplants, or from any number of Hispanic backgrounds.. So habits of speaking vary everywhere you go.

I think that over time, I have synthesized the sum total of verbal habits that I've experienced, and I pick and choose how I speak. Depending on whom I am speaking to, or what I am talking about, I sound different. Others pick up on this and ask me about it. And I'm always embarrassed and defensive when they call me out on the genuineness of my speech. Because its not genuine. My speech is a creation. An improvisation. Not fully myself. This is unfortunate, but a cold, hard reality for a lot of people with AS.


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Keith
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01 Jan 2009, 3:31 am

I am always asked where I am from. Now, deciding what that meant was a tricky issue. It could mean, "Where were you born and raised?" or "Where do you live?" I always presume it to be first and reply with a response that can not raise a question.
"I was born and bred in Brighton"

I am always asked, "Have you ever lived anywhere for some time, you have an Australian or South African accent?"
Or if the above questions are not asked then it's the standard, "Where you from?" I always put this down to the fact I spent so much time around my Australian friends. Reading the thread has made more curious now. But South African?

The strange part is, if I have a slight Australian accent, my friends never tell me. I can imitate the accent, I can copy the Irish accent well. Scottish can be difficult, I would have to spend some time around them to perfect it



JoJerome
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01 Jan 2009, 10:44 am

Living in Denver for a few years, twice I had Americans on the street try and talk to me in Spanish, thinking I was Mexican.

I'm Detroit-born and raised, I don't think I look at all Hispanic, I don't think I 'dress' Hispanic (whatever that may be), neither time was I in anything close to a Hispanic neighborhood (by Denver standards).

To this day, no idea what made these people assume at a glance that I am from Mexico. :?


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01 Jan 2009, 10:48 am

I got asked at a New Year's Eve party if I was a Londoner, last night.


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01 Jan 2009, 4:06 pm

For some unknown reason this happens to me at least a few times a year, actually. Granted, I have studied a number of foreign languages and have an unusual name, so that might have something to do with why people get that impression. Still though, I've been told, "Wow, your English is really great!" enough times that I have a set response for it - "Thank you, my parents will be pleased to hear that".

It happened again just two weeks ago, actually. I was at a computer training session for the new job I just started. At the end of the course the instructor came over to me and said, "So I detect a bit of an accent, where are you from?". I responded, "Um, ___ state" (which is two states away from where I now live). He paused for a moment, and then said, "Oh, I meant what country. Wait, are you from another country originally?". To avoid further awkwardness I threw out that my grandparents were from another country and that perhaps I'd picked up some of their accent through my father. Kind of lame sounding, but he was willing to accept that as a plausible explanation.

I think what it really is is that I sound like I learned English from a book, which to be honest is more or less true. I should probably also mention that I am white and fair-featured, as I know that at least in the US darker skinned people (white or not) are much more likely to be perceived as "foreign". Unfortunate and stupid, but unavoidably true.



Amicitia
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01 Jan 2009, 5:08 pm

When I was in Australia, one of my hallmates forgot I was a foreigner. Several people ventured amusingly incorrect guesses as to where I was from, and someone informed me that I could not possibly be American. Other than that, no one has ever doubted my location of origin.



Firegirl531
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01 Jan 2009, 7:13 pm

A lot of people think that I'm [half] Indian, Canadian, or British :?:



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02 Jan 2009, 2:03 am

I was once asked if I was French...though I can't imagine how they might have thought that.
I have also been asked whether or not I was from Canada. Once, a person pegged me as Viennese 8O..odd since I really don;t think I have any sort of European accent...I just ennunciate

Um, whenever I have had a service job I have gotten asked where my accent was from, when I worked at a busy ice cream parlor, it would sometimes happen several times a night...so I had to explain to people over and over again that I am from Houston...and then sometimes they wouldn't believe me.
I even had one man say, "Well if you are from Houston, then why do you have an accent?"..and then I have been accused of speaking with an accent on purpose... :roll:

Even taking phone orders from the upper East coast, (I run an internet business and take alot of phone orders)..People will ask me where I am from and say that I don't sound like I was Texas.

The stock explanation I give them is that my mom is from New York, and while my dad was born in Texas, his family is Czech.



Last edited by poopylungstuffing on 02 Jan 2009, 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Saerain
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02 Jan 2009, 2:58 am

Everyone thinks I'm either English or Irish. So certain are they, in fact, that they tend to not ask if I am, and instead go straight to, 'So, how long are you staying?'

When I correct them (which I've grown so tired of doing that sometimes I just let them continue thinking I'm foreign), they then ask, 'Well, where's your accent from?'

When I explain that I'm utterly American, they ask if I went to school in the UK. Some never accept that I'm American and insist I'm lying.

It's my assumption that because they can actually hear me enunciating sounds that Americans usually drop (like the T in 'cat'), I speak too clearly to be American. Anyone have some Novocaine to get my tongue limp?


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02 Jan 2009, 11:38 am

That must be it ... proper diction, grammar, and pronunciation may seem like a foreign accent to most Americans, especially in the Deep South or in urban areas.

Urban: "Yo! Supp, yo?"
Southern: "Ha yawl?"
Proper: "Hello. How are you?" <-- Obviously a clueless foreigner!


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krista
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02 Jan 2009, 11:47 am

yes, but i am. i'm originally from scotland, spent a few years in eastbourne and now i live in california. people always ask if i'm english, irish or australian. i put it down to my accent not being really strong, i've seen other scottish people living in england and still talking with a really strong accent and noone really knows what they are saying, they just nod and smile, i'd hate that.