Print

Print


Andreas Johansson scripsit:

> I've been taken for a foreigner before, but that's always involved
> me speaking in a foreign language. Possibly, my recent one-year stay
> in Germany has left some mark on my Swedish, but the whole incident
> nonetheless seems somewhat extraordinary to me.

The only vague analogue I can think of is George Borrow's experiences in
Wales, where his book-learned Welsh caused him to be taken for a
Northerner in the South and a Southerner in the North (this was when
most of Wales still spoke Welsh).  What a curious creature he was!
A mixture of the most striking cosmopolitanism for his time (the
early 19th century) and his nation (English), and the most dreadful
bigotry about religion.

I once read about (but haven't read) a book called _The Queen_, about
things that the author takes to be the most excellent examples of their
kind:  under "the queen of affectations" he lists pretending to have
forgotten one's native language, so that one must use foreign words
instead.

> Anyone else here experienced something similar?

I was once told by an RP-speaking woman from India that I had a
"light American accent", which I suspect means I was partly mimicking
her, as I tend to do when I speak to someone with a different dialect.

--
The experiences of the past show                        John Cowan
that there has always been a discrepancy        [log in to unmask]
between plans and performance.                  http://www.reutershealth.com
        --Emperor Hirohito, August 1945         http://www.ccil.org/~cowan