What Causes A Foreign Accent?

Nicholas C. Rossis

As those of you who have watched my interviews know, I have a strange accent. Definitely not Greek, it’s been mistaken for British (by my American friends) and Dutch (by my British ones). Even worse, I seem to unconsciously pick up the accent of the person I’m talking to and mimic that. I blame on the fact I was first taught English at the very early age of two, and on my musical ear: we Corfiots are famous for our love of music and supposed to be good at picking tunes etc.

In any case, I was fascinated by this Mental Floss video by Arika Okrent I came across the other day. The human vocal tract can produce thousands of different sounds but languages use only a tiny subset of them. What happens when you try to speak a language that uses a different subset from your own?

View original post

1 thought on “What Causes A Foreign Accent?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s