Are there American (US) accents in languages other than English?

In other words, are there speakers of a non-English language in the US that have developed an accent that is distinctly American? So, do the second-generation Polish speakers in Chicago speak noticeably different than their counterparts in Warsaw? Or have the mix of Spanish speakers from all over Central and South America formed an indigenous US accent?

Cajun French is, I know, different from standard French, and the German spoken by the Amish is also unique. Any others?

Second generation Korean Americans speak Korean with a strong American accent, and usually their Korean contains a lot of “Konglish” - for example, they’ll add the -ing ending to Korean verbs. You can usually identify a Korean American right away by their Korean - I’ve met very, very few Korean Americans past the 1st generation who can pass as a native Korean speaker.

i studied castillian spanish in college and i’m wondering why north americans pronounce ‘ll’ as ‘y.’

Henry Kissinger has said that he speaks English with a German accent and German with an American accent and there’s nowhere where he sounds like a native.

Yes. It greatly depends on the age you acquired your second language.

Japanese-Americans usually don’t sound like Japanese who were raised in Japan. Some of their parents were from the countryside with strong regional dialects. Mix that with interference from English and a lack of opportunity to speak Japanese with other people who speak different dialects and you get some weird speech patterns. I haven’t heard candid interviews with Masi Oka (the guy who plays Hiro Nakamura in Heroes) but Hiro’s character at least sounds a bit off. He’s obviously native-level fluent, but some of his word choices are odd. I’m not sure how much is the actor and how much is the character, though. Nothing wrong, just a bit too bookish, as if he’d learned a lot of his vocabulary from reading rather than conversation.

There’s barrio Spanish in California that is utterly unlike Mexican Spanish. Different cadence, sprinkled with English expressions and some grammar elements, unique slang. I’ll bet that various regions in the American Southwest have similar accent pockets despite regular contact with Mexicans and other Central American Spanish-speakers.

In the extras for Fargo, Peter Stormare said that was a bit surprised at some of the rural Swedish dialects he came across that had been strongly preserved by immigrant families. The regional accents in the upper midwest are influenced by Norwegian and Swedish immigrants.

I’m not North American but North Spaniard yet I’ve always pronounced ll as y, it’s quite common. About 75% my 9th grade class didn’t differentiate, nor hear the difference (that’s the year we had to study Spanish phonetics).

To the OP: there are many different USA-Spanish dialects, same as there are many USA-English dialects. I get lost in the descriptions of USAnian dialects, but I do know and can hear that people from different areas have different accents and use different words: same for people speaking Spanish or Spanglish.

but you do know that peninsulares pronounce it half-l and y. ‘villanueva’ is vil-yah-nuweh-vah.

In my limited impression Americans speaking German do sound different to British speaking German but the two groups I got the impression from (Americans in the town I live now vs. British guest teachers at my school, decades ago) are different in background so I can’t be confident of it.

I thought that Cajun French was from the same source as Acadian French (Maritime Provinces) in Canada - have they diverged?

I saw an online video a few months ago by an American living in Paris, narrated in French. She was clearly speaking in an American accent – the words were correct, but the pronunciation missed the vowels and the nasal “n” and “m” were totally missing.


Not just that, but all of my Spanish dictionaries have “USA” as a distinct subtype. You know, words/phrases that are only used in Spain or Argentina or Mexico, or the USA. “Parquiar” (or is that “parkiar”?) and “mopiar” come to mind.

I guess users of other languages are impacted by the surrounding speech patterns in which they grew up.

Recently, my wife was watching a TV interview with a man in Israel. He was speaking in Hebrew, with sub-titles. I was in the next room and only heard the voice speaking Hebrew.

I do not speak Hebrew, but I said to my wife, “He must be from Northern Ireland.” I could tell by the way he spoke and how he voiced his vowels, even though he was talking a language I do not know. She confirmed that he had indeed emigrated from Northern Ireland to Israel.

Any American who learns a non-English language after a certain age is likely to have an “American” accent in that language. That’s the way it works.

What about the Pennsylvania Dutch? I can’t imagine that their German sounds like the German spoken in the areas where they are from (I think mostly Switzerland), since they’ve been in this country for what-- about 150 years?

But isn’t that a different accent than the “American” accent of people who grew up in the language?

Not necessarily. The children of immigrants who use that second language only with close family members are likely to have strong American accents. It’s only if that other language has a large, geographically compact, ongoing community that regularly uses that language socially that it’s going to develop a separate accent of its own. Even then, it’s going to have a lot of the same characteristics that any other American accent has, unless that community is relatively isolated from the broader American society.

My family has been in the US for over a hundred years, mostly in the Brownsville area of Texas. They often claim the brand of Spanish they speak amongst themselves is so different than most Mexican immigrants (who usually are first or second generation in this area) that they have real difficulty understanding them. Is this accurate? And if so, what would that Southern Texas dialect be called?