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Why comments on Accents are rude. Blog marathon post 3.

We all have accents when we speak a certain language. Even if you are a native speaker of the language, the way you speak it will depend largely on the area where you spent most of your childhood years (over which you have no control ), when you first learnt to speak the language. This is true not just of English (there are so many English accents, based on which part of UK you are from), but of other languages as well. For example, a person from North Kerala will speak Malayalam in a completely different way from the one from South kerala. I am sure it is same for other languages too.

I find comments about accents rude. Even if the person who comments, did not mean it that way. (In fact, most people do not even consider it rude. They probably think it is an ice-breaker --who knows!). I especially find it rude/irrelevant/tiresome (depending on what state of mind I am in) when people try to guess where I am from, based on my accent.

When we meet a person for the first time, imagine if we made a comment based on their appearance and tried to guess their age..'Oh , I spot a few wrinkles--are you 35?' .  Or if we tried to guess their weight based on their appearance-- 'You have a slight pot-belly. Is your weight 85 kgs?' 

If the above is considered rude, why is it any different for accents? 'You speak with a Bihari accent. Are you from Bihar?' or 'You speak with a south-Indian accent. Are you from Chennai?'
I also dislike 'Accent snobs'. (people who make a judgement or think they are superior because of their accents).

I have had people telling me they find my accent sexy. I have also had people gushing things like   'howwwww  I loooove your accent'. Then I have had people telling me 'I can't quite place that accent. Where it it from?' (If you haven't heard me speak and want to know what I sound like, you can click on this link). If I were to get Rs.100 for each time a person made a comment about my accent, I think I would be a multimillionaire by now.

Frankly, I  am tired of it. My response to that is always 'I speak six languages'. I do. (which usually leaves the person saying 'wow')

If a person wants to tell you where they are from, they will! Please don't ask! (Or rather, don't ask me!) I usually find it very tiresome to answer the question-- 'Where are you from?'. Some time back I had written a post on it.

Making personal comments is rude! Be it on appearance, be it on clothes, on weight or anything personal. (Of course, it is different between close friends.)

And I do think there is so much more to a person than the clothes they wear and the way in which they speak. There is so much more interesting stuff to talk about--like what they read (if they read) and what their hobbies are, and what is the one thing that keeps them going.

Don't you think so?
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Comments

  1. It normal to guess where is a person from based on his accent however, making comments abt it I indeed rude. Liked the way you compared with comments on weight and age.

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    Replies
    1. hmm..'Normal'--I don't know. I have met many many people who never try to guess where one is from, based on the way one speaks.

      Delete
  2. Ahh!! Finally the post came. I have been waiting for it since 2 PM and kept on refreshing the page so that I can read it as soon as it comes.

    Comment on anything is always rude!!! My funda for life is, when people comment on you they are just jealous of you and somehow they want to bully you by asking stupid questions so that they can tell that they are better!! But guess what, they have no idea of their insanity... So just let it be... Keep rocking and keep making them jealous... Cheers!!

    See you... :)

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    Replies
    1. I don't think people who comment on accents mean it badly or are jealous of me!! :) I just think making personal comments when you meet someone for the first time is not done.

      Delete
    2. Yeah absolutely that is a whole different scenario and obviously not done!!

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  3. Ppl usually forget that the person is speaking a language not his mother tongue. Usually the south indians are subject to such bullying.

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  4. Agreed! It indeed IS rude to comment on one's accent though many don't understand why. But there's something much worse than spitting words out -- the unspoken body language -- the way people "assess" your physique. That's way too rude. It's normal to see and admire beauty(be it catchy eyes or a wonderful outfit, accessory or hairstyle), but it's different when we obviously know that we are being assessed like a thing.

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  6. I keep getting comments on my accent too! People are either assuming I studied abroad or that I am faking it but yes, it makes me feel terribly self conscious.

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  7. I keep getting comments on my accent too! People are either assuming I studied abroad or that I am faking it but yes, it makes me feel terribly self conscious.

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  8. Preeti!
    Nice one....


    with love,
    Manikanda Prabhu

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  10. Totally agreed..accent is not what we choose...it is the way we were born n brought up.Judging a personality based on accent is judging a book by its cover.. by the way loved the post of your origin!!:-)

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  11. I can never make out accents. I have really listen hard to even differentiate between US and UK ones. Likewise, I never realised you had an accent either. :| I think people should actually listen to what the person has to say than how he says it, isn't it?

    People do that to me based on my accent + skin colour. Now how rude is that. Racist even? they start with are you Maharashtrian? Then when I say GSB, from south, they go "Oh but you don't look south indian at all... although the way you speak sounds very northie/ southie/ Marathi." Mostly by our people vonly. I never paid attention to it, rather I find it amusing when people try to fit me into one region of origin!

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  12. when we meet any person his appearance comes first then his accents and all.and it's very obvious if we see something different than we comment on that be it is clothes,face,health etc. we can not stop people from commenting...

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  13. i feel that even inquiring about someone else's monthly earnings is downright stupid and rude...

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  14. I really do agree on your points mam !! one should never comment on others rudely..if u can say something...say something good and try to bring a smile on them!!! I always see some of my colleagues who come to me in a sad face telling that "am i so bad today...she said I look weird ".Well the only thing what i can do is to complement them and make him /her happy :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. The other day, I met a friend (not a very close one ) after almost a year. His very first sentence on seeing me was 'OMG, what is this? You're in ponies? Seriously? Don't do that when you're into college!' (I'm comfortable with that hair style, when I'm at home)
    I was pretty taken aback!
    Like you said, "there is so much more to a person than the clothes they wear and the way in which they speak. There is so much more interesting stuff to talk about--like what they read (if they read) and what their hobbies are, and what is the one thing that keeps them going."
    Only if people understood!

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  16. Yeah Ma'am, I truly understand because I am a victim of this kind of assault. The place where I live is full of such people only. I feel pathetic now.

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  17. Really really true.. And they comment on your accent and appearance as if they are experts!!

    ReplyDelete

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