Turns Out I’m Thinking in “English”

22 Feb

Um, so, something weird has happened in the last week. My thoughts have begun to be in an English accent.

Seriously, though. I am thinking in an English accent. Do you have any idea how weird that is?! No, not to you – of course it’s weird to you, your thoughts sound American – I mean to me! Think about this: You have a thought before you speak (I mean, generally, you should.). What happens when your thought doesn’t sound the way you are supposed to speak?! What happens when you have to edit your thoughts because they are trying to play tricks on you? What happens when your thoughts are trying to make you sound like you’re from London?

Honestly, though. Jesus, even as I type this, I’m mouthing the words with an English accent! What in the name of God is wrong with me?! I can’t escape this. This is like when I studied abroad in France and I started dreaming and thinking in French…only then, THEN, the entire POINT was to learn the language. So it was a good thing. Now, I already know the language! The language isn’t the issue! It’s the accent!

Also, it doesn’t help that I’m hopelessly conscious of how sharp and loud my American voice sounds here. Brits are soft-spoken and polite and woohds awre rownded ahnd not shahply puhnctwated. (That’s me trying to spell out the accent…work with me here.) So I find myself speaking quieter, less often. I don’t have a loud voice by most standards, so this has had a counter-effect in the sense that no one can hear me now! Right – so then I have to speak twice as much as I meant to. Frankly, it’s a speaking disaster. Or disahsteh. Which is how I’m imagining it.

What I’m most nervous about is that I will go home to the states in another five or so weeks and inadvertently insert my English-accented thoughts into spoken conversation. I imagine this to manifest itself in a small word or phrase like, “What are you talking about?” but when I say it I’ll accidentally say,

“Waht awre you tawking abowt?”

And everything will go silent and everyone will turn to look at me and think, “Has this girl lost her mind?”

And they’ll be right, since clearly I already have. But I’d really prefer to keep that inside my head instead of spoken aloud.

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One Response to “Turns Out I’m Thinking in “English””

  1. Jake February 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    I think you’ll be just fine when you return to the states. Your American accent will come right back. It happens to me a lot. I have white friends, Mexican friends, and some Canadian friends. When I talk to some of my Mexican friends I’ll start to talk with a Mexican accent and use words like “fool”. It’s automatic and people make fun of me when they hear me change.

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