You're from 'somewhere else'

In this thread a poster wrote he was often accused of being from ‘somewhere else’.

Does this happen to anyone else? I get it a lot.

I was born and bred in a small town in Western Victoria in Australia. I should probably have the broad nasally Australian accent that often serves as the stereotype aussie accent in overseas minds as that’s what I grew up with all around me. Most of my relatives speak that way and I suppose I should too. But I dont.

I’ve never consciously chosen to speak or not speak in a certain manner. I was a voracious reader as a child, and possessed an extensive vocabulary of words that I was quite familiar with from books but had never actually heard spoken in my daily environment. It took me years to iron out how some of these were actually pronounced if indeed I have. I greatly amused a friend one day by mentioning hyperbole which to my surprise apparently does not have a ‘bowl’ in it like the Superbowl.

While travelling in England on several occasions I was asked where I was from, and was disbelieved when I replied Australia. “No, seriously, where are you really from?”, one girl asked. A man informed me quite confidently that he knew Australians and I wasnt one. Several people assumed I was English but it was always from some vague ‘other’ part of England and not from wherever I currently was. I even get this here from my own countrymen.

Any other linguistic oddballs around?

People are always thrown when I tell them I’m from Korea, but that’s because my accent is very American. It’s rather non-descript though - I’ve had people tell me I sound like I’m from Canada. :dubious:

I was born and bred in a small town in North Georgia, in the South, USA. My parents and all my relatives all sound very Southern, but I don’t and never did. Like you, I am a voracious reader, and I also had a rich vocabulary of mispronounced words. I also had people constantly accusing me of being from somewhere else. I didn’t make an conscious decision either, but I admit that I was fairly prejudiced against the thick drawl, and even used to give my parents a hard time about talking like hicks when I was an insufferable teenager.

So you’re not the only one.

Oh, and ditto on the mispronounced words thing. It was even worse for me because I attended middle/high school in Korea, so had very little opportunity to hear them pronounced at all.

I get “you’re not from around here, are you?” a lot.

or people think I’m from Chicago or Europe (just “Europe”… not any specific country.)

My family moved a lot when I was really really little, and I don’t have the St. Louis accent that a lot of older born-and-bred St. Louisans have.

But kids my age are a lot less likely to do the “warsh” “highway farty” thing. Aside from that, I always thought I had just a regular newscaster nondescript midwest accent. I guess not.

I think we must have been neighbours at some stage. I’m in the exact location you have mentioned - and have been asked where I’m from as well when overseas, but simply also a voracious reader who enunciates. However, a Mallee girl through and through.

I was asked this very question today funnily enough. Not the first time it’s happened though: I’ve been accused of being a member of the English aristocracy many times with my clipped and proper way of speaking, especially when addressing those lowly classes of course!! :smiley:

I’m Victorian, bred in the country from very working class genes, but migrated to the city in my early youth. However, despite my genetic handicap/s, I learned at an early age that the way one speaks and the words one uses in general conversation can aid inter-class mobility to a great extent.

What shocks the folks more is when I punctuate my sentences full of ‘big thesaurus words’ with the liberal addition of lots and LOTS of fucks and shits and bastards and stuff.



Born and bred Kiwi, and born and bred Aucklander, but there are a lot of times when I sound like neither. Londoner, Canadian, slightly American, South Islander …

Can still remember the perplexed Wellingtonian chap in a museum gift shop, serving me. Couldn’t quite reconcile my accent (whatever the heck it is) with being from Auckland. Being dead serious about it, an’ all, he was. I must have sounded a bit different that day. Probably tired after travelling.

Touristy places like Rotorua and central Christchurch – I blend in with the other tourists as far as shopkeepers are concerned. But over in Melbourne, visiting the Immigration Museum last year, when the lady on duty asked whereabouts I came from (noting the local visitors) and I replied, “New Zealand”, she smiled and said, “Ah, of course, I should have known from the accent!”

That’s me. Ice Wolf of the changing voice pattern. :slight_smile:

I don’t have pronunciation problems in Spanish except when I’m overdoing one of my local accents… but, well, I begin by having more than one accent I can call local.

Mom’s Catalan, from Barcelona City. While she never taught us kids Catalan, I grew up hearing it at least once a week, when she was on the phone with Grandma. Add my perma-clogged nose to that, and I can pass for Barcelonina easily. Plus I did learn Catalan when I was in college there.

I was born in Pamplona, where people have a pretty distinctive accent (just not as widely-known as others, but if you’ve been there you can tell). But raised down at the Ebro Valley, whose accent is the Spanish equivalent of “country bumpkin”.

Usually, people from Navarra think I’m Catalan; people from Catalonia think I’m Aragonese (Ebro Valley accent, but they call everybody maño and I don’t); Basque think I’m from Pamplona. I’m considering a tat of the Navarrese flag in some easy-to-display spot…

Based just on how I speak, most people never guess that I was born and raised in Boston. I don’t even remotely have the accent. Nor do they guess that my parents were from Texas and France. A combination of watching a lot of TV, listening to a lot of Monty Python, and trying to be easily understood by my college friends who were still getting the hang of English have made my speaking voice relatively nondescript.

I’m a Wimmera boy, but close!

I could’ve confused our wonderful Doper mates by suggesting the following towns with unpronouncable names to the uninitiated: Patchewollock, Boinka, Ouyen, Irymple, Merbein, Meringur, Underbool, Walpeup or Werrimull - but I get your drift! I think you’re the ‘closest’ Doper I’ve met! Nice. :slight_smile:

I could’ve confused our wonderful Doper mates by suggesting the following towns with unpronouncable names to the uninitiated: Patchewollock, Boinka, Ouyen, Irymple, Merbein, Meringur, Underbool, Walpeup or Werrimull - but I get your drift! I think you’re the ‘closest’ Doper I’ve posted! Nice. :slight_smile:

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA, and lived there for 20 years before I joined the Navy. My sister, who is 10 months younger than me, has the distinct regional accent, as do my dad, my aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. I don’t, and in fact swear that I never used the words “yinz” and “n’at” except to point out to non-Pittburghers what they mean.

When I was growing up, whenever I met people who weren’t from Pittsburgh, I wass almost always asked where I was from originally. I don’t know why I don’t have that accent.

I’ve lived in Western Canada for nearly my entire life.

People sometimes ask me if I’m originally from the UK, or from Atlantic Canada.

I guess I’ve always spent a bit too much time sucking at the teat of the BBC - a little bit of an accent creeps in certain contexts. (Entirely accidentally. Embarrassing.)

I’ve lived in Canada my entire life. I’ve lost track of how many times people have insisted that I must be from the United States because of my accent. I don’t exactly get why, except that the regional accent from the part of rural southern Ontario I come from seems to resemble working class Boston more than the steretypical “Canadjun” accent. I’m alway suspicious when people on these boards start slagging some actor for not having an “authentic” accent – in my experience, people who claim to have an ear for accents are just making it up.

Nobody wonders where I’m from. I answered a long distance call to my office one time, and the caller asked to speak to someone who wasn’t me. When I explained politely that he must have the wrong number, the caller laughed and said that he knew he had the right state, anyway.

Whenever I consciously try to lose the southern accent, it sounds like I’m trying (badly) for an English accent.

I sound nothing like the rest of my family, or anyone else with my cultural accent - I don’t sound “Capie” at all, much more English than that. I get asked about the accent a lot.

All of my siblings and I have weird accents for the area. My father had a heavy southern Ohio accent (where tire, tar, and tower all sound the same), and my mother has a bit of one as well, but she corrected all of her kids whenever we’d use that accent.

I do a lot of recordings and people are always perplexed by my accent.