Why a good accent is important!

Today I was in the supermarket, and a genteel middle-aged lady was looking for cans of crab meat. Unable to find them, she asked one of the clerks, “Do you have any [k?nd kr?p]?”

The clerk stared at her with huge, perplexed eyes. Why would a supermarket carry fecal matter in tins, and why would such a nice lady be asking for such a thing? He asked her to repeat her request, but twice more she asked for [k?nd kr?p].

There was a long silence, and the man finally realized she wanted canned crab.

A Brazilian I know hates Guinness beer, but he likes Killian’s. He doesn’t aspirate his K sound, so the American bartender in a loud nightclub usually thinks his [k] is a [g]. He asks for Killian’s, and they give him Guinness. This happens a lot.

Have you ever heard an English-speaking person make a funny pronunciation mistake in your own language? If so, what was it?

We have an American in our team, she used to run a branch of our parent company in the US and then she got a contract with our Swiss subsidiary. She is very knowledgeable and a real expert in her field. However, when she first came to Europe she didn’t speak any German. Sometimes she would speak English and we would respond in German. Once we went out with her to a pub and she said she finally wanted to start learning some basic German. She asked ‘what my name is’ would be in English. We told her and she tried to repeat the phrase but she had great trouble pronouncing the ch sound in ich and it sounded like ischeisse which of course is something completely different :wink:

That’s a good one, Nicole, I’ve heard people make that mistake.

I don’t understand why she hadn’t bothered to learn any German before she arrived, though. Companies in my area spend big money getting their employees prepared to speak German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, etc., before they transfer them.

A black guy from Africa repeated a complete sentence after a friend of mine when he was calling after us to wach up for a forklift which was up to run over us, so he was yelling in a perfect sounding Hungarian accent,but with his much deeper voice.
It was so funny that we were laughing for minutes.
I have noticed that Africans and Spanish people can pronounce Hungarian better. Canadians have problem with our “c” letter, they say “t” instead.
I call my wife “cica” (means cat) and this friend of mine was mocking me always when I talked to her on phone, but he only could say tita,tita.

And does “tita” mean anything?

Not much!
Funny though

Hi, again Alan & Jamie (K) :slight_smile:

I read in your posts you mentioned the word ‘tita’ and wondered what it really means. It might mean nothing to you but I would like to share what it means here in the Philippines :slight_smile: The word ‘tita’ actually means ‘aunt’ here in our country. We use this to call the sister or cousin of our parents but in some ways, we just call somebody elder than us, ‘tita’, that is if, she is somebody close to us. We, Filipinos are not really particular and specific with the meaning of some of the terms that we use in conversational language.

More power to english-test.net! :smiley:

Hey Spence and jamie…
It also happen with my friend here in Indonesia…
The local accent heavily influenced her so she utter every English words with her accent… kinda like singlish hehehe…
I saw some people tease her every now and then about her accent… she said ‘the girl’ as ‘deh ghal’. Listening to her when she spoke can always arouse a smile