The mystery accent.

One of the more amusing perks of being deaf is sometimes being confused for a foreigner. All deaf people speak with a an accent; a slight (or pronounced, depending on degree of deafness and oral training) lilt in how vowels are pronounced and how constanants are stressed, and the occasional mispronunciation of uncommon words.

I get the “where are you from?” question quite frequently. I always answer with the explanation that I’m deaf and I’m an American, and what they’re hearing is just a deaf way of talking. Sometimes the question is a little more specific: “Are you (insert random european nationality here)”.

The most common mistaken identity I get confused for is British.  I guess theres something about the way I speak that strikes people as being british. either that, or they just guess that based on how I look.  I AM mostly british in descent, after all.

I’ve also gotten the following: greek, french, spanish, swedish, german, and once, to my surprise, TURK.

This weekend, while buying sushi for lunch, the guy at the register asked me if I was british. I gave my standard answer, but in my mind I really wanted to say, “Indeed I am, my dear chap. I do miss me mum across the pond quite dearly! Cherrio, pip pip, and good day!”

I think one of these days, I actually will say it.  The question is starting to get boring.


12 thoughts on “The mystery accent.

  1. I am frequently confused with Persians, Jews and Greeks. Went so far as to have been told by a stranger “Oh, I know you, you’re Mohammed’s little brother right?” And that’s based solely on my appearance. I don’t think I sound like a Persian.

  2. My response would be ‘Oy, wotcher, y’pillock?’ But that’s just me. Perhaps you might enquire if foreigners get a discount and see what they say.

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