Although one might think that American English is the only English that exists one would be very wrong to say that. We find English in all kind of different forms and accents. We have several different accents within the core areas, for example Californian English, Texas English as well as Welsh English & Scottish English – those are only a fraction of the English varieties that is well-known.
In this post I will write about some of the other English accents that are used in other countries than Anglo-American core areas. I will also reflect on their distinctive character – point out what makes them different from the accents spoken in the Anglo-American part of the world.
I’ve chosen three countries: China, India & Iran.
Chinese English can be referred to as Chinglish, Manglish, Engarin. It’s a English accent widely spread throughout China. It’s a language that’s influenced by Chinese. Therefore, they use several Chinese words in the “day-to-day” speech. They do also have a different pronunciation of several letters and words. Maybe most importantly they never pronounce “-th”. They also have a different way of saying their alphabet.
Check out this video to find out more about the pronunciation:
I also found this clip, from the standup comedian Russell Peters where he asks a Chinese man about his name. It’s rather funny. Take a look:
If I ask you to think about the Indian accent what do you think about, customer service? When I think about the Indian accent, I think about the persons who find themselves answering the phones for big corporations.
The clip below hits the accent just right, he doesn’t take it all the way like a lot of people do. When he talks it’s not with the usual stereotype, it’s how I imagine an Indian person would actually talk. Take a look:
He fooled you a little, didn’t he?
From what I could gather, he’s doing an East Indian accent impression.
Another great example is Raj from The Big Bang Theory:
The word I find most interesting is the word “ok” which, when Raj says it sounds like /okee/.
Lastly I found this clip, Howard mocking the indian accent – he hit’s the stereotype spot on:
Good becomes /goot/ – all the “t”-s are said in a similar fashion. Wearing becomes /weling/.
Maz Jobrani is a iranien standup comedian, and in this clip below he explains that no persian can say a word with two consonants back-to-back. Drink becomes /dringk/ traffic becomes /terafiik/. He also points out that if you want to test if a person is iranian have them say the word gangster – it become /gangesteer/.
The accents mentioned above are not directly related to the Anglo-American speaking part of the word. All the areas have different first languages – English is simply a foreign or second language for them.
What do you think? Are the impressions from the clips above true? Do you agree on them?