Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My English

An American friend thought I sounded South African this week.
I spoke with simple words to a Hungarian woman.
Slowed down and repeated words as I start a new year with third graders, most of whom speak English as a second or third language.
Mississippi husband and in-laws.
Kenyan English for 3 years.
British school.
My English is confused!
Am I American?
Am I Southern?
Do I call it a rubbish bin or a trash can?

Every day I hear 20 different English accents at a school with 60 countries represented.  Sometimes I feel good when people ask if I'm British or ask where I'm from.  America is only their guess half the time.  My girlfriends back home in America have teased me for saying things like "collected" instead of "picked up" or the higher pitch in the middle of my sentence that doesn't sound American at all.  American co-workers think I sound Southern sometimes.  Truth be told, I think my English is a mess!  On the good side, I can understand a lot of accents after my experience abroad and have even translated English to English for people.  I can spell color and colour.  And I know that loo, toilet, WC, restroom, bathroom, and lavatory are all English words that mean the same thing.  Important to know when you live overseas!

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