Lip reading and local accents--big deal?

Maybe a stupid question, but (assuming a lip-reader from the midwest) would a person from Southern Boston, for example, be more difficult to lip-read from than someone from the midwest? Or is it really that all people talk a little bit differently anyway, and even regional quirks don’t make a big difference?

It would be nice to get a speech therapist’s viewpoint but from a half-deaf lipreader, my biggest problem is getting to know the individual’s speech patterns before I can reliably read their lips. Accents never seem to be an issue for me since I’m concentrating more on the shapes their lips form and that varies between folks no matter what region they’re from. It doesn’t matter to me if someone talks fast, like from NJ or the usual half-southern drawl I get around here. I don’t notice much difficulty in reading various actors’ lips and their accents vary a bit but singers are impossible for me. I really appreciate close captioning, everyone should do it. :slight_smile:

I never see accents when I read lips. Just as well, lip reading is only about 30% accurate.

Hmm, that’s interesting.

I know its a problem for my mom. She has a very hard time understanding folks with thick accents.

I used to work for a deaf woman.

I had standing orders to hire a sign interpreter if any prospective job candidates/appointments had a heavy other-than-American-Midwest accent.

Over time, she could learn to understand an individual with a heavy accent (necessary, with her Italian in-laws - she was also learning to lip-read that language, too) but it was more difficult than dealing with famillar accents.

Non-American accents for me can be tricky, and it took me a long time to figure out a possible explanation for why it is so.

As someone who is severely-to-profoundly deaf, I have a strong preference for lip-reading in face-to-face communication. I suspect that what I have always done is match what I lip-read with the sounds I hear with the assistance of hearing aids…more accurately, I match what I see with what I would expect to hear. When the sounds that I hear don’t quite jibe with what I’m lip-reading, it throws me for a curve.

I spent the first ten years of my life in the South, and have lots of relatives who speak with very pronounced Southern accents, so that particular accent has never posed any difficulty for me. Scottish, and Irish accents have frequently given me problems, especially the Scottish and Irish. Australian accents, for some reason, give me less problems than the Scottish or Irish accents, but still seem more difficult than the British accent. Accents of speakers whose native language is a non-English language give me the most trouble of all.