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Long term HK expats who are not English did your accent change?

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  1. #1

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    Long term HK expats who are not English did your accent change?

    Having lived in Hong Kong for close to 50% of my adult life and having returned to my birth country, my friends here say that I have an English accent as opposed to a native Aussie one. This got me thinking that over my time as an expat living abroad for so long, over time I tended to not use slang and be more neutral in how I conversed with other expats which in majority were British, plus over time via association started to adopt English mannerisms, which diluted my previously Melbourne Aussie drawl.

    Just wondering if other folks who have moved back, have noticed that their previousky coloqial English spoken accent altered/changed.


  2. #2

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    I have been told countless times that I have no Scottish accent anymore.

    Only comes out when I have a few drinks.

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyhook:
    Having lived in Hong Kong for close to 50% of my adult life and having returned to my birth country, my friends here say that I have an English accent as opposed to a native Aussie one. This got me thinking that over my time as an expat living abroad for so long, over time I tended to not use slang and be more neutral in how I conversed with other expats which in majority were British, plus over time via association started to adopt English mannerisms, which diluted my previously Melbourne Aussie drawl.

    Just wondering if other folks who have moved back, have noticed that their previousky coloqial English spoken accent altered/changed.
    I am French and had some people will not believe I am when I go back home. I just say I am Canadian now and they're all super nice since they appreciate the effort I made to learn their language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plutark:
    I am French and had some people will not believe I am when I go back home. I just say I am Canadian now and they're all super nice since they appreciate the effort I made to learn their language.
    Haha that's cool, so it isn't that unusual, irregardless what our native tongue's are. Just one of those things that long term expats experience.
    Last edited by Skyhook; 11-10-2021 at 08:23 AM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyhook:
    Haha that's cool, so it isn't that unusual, irregardless what our native tongue's are.
    I used to have a Geordie accent after living there and then moved to London, people struggled to understand me so I had to change it. I found that in HK you have to dumb down the level of English otherwise they do not understand. Usually you know you have learned a language so much that you start dreaming in that language.It's weird, especially when you are tired you tend to switch languages without noticing.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plutark:
    I am French and had some people will not believe I am when I go back home. I just say I am Canadian now and they're all super nice since they appreciate the effort I made to learn their language.
    As an Indian I often get dumb fucks with regional English accents, who ask me where I learnt to speak such good English (usually after a few drinks).

    If they are Scottish or Irish, I inform them that I learnt English in the colonies just like them. Does not go down well about 50% of the time.

    If they are from elsewhere my comment is.. Probably at a better school than you went to.
    Last edited by shri; 11-10-2021 at 02:04 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    As an Indian I often get dumb fucks with regional English accents ask me where I learnt to speak such good English (usually after a few drinks).

    If they are Scottish or Irish, I inform them that I learnt English in the colonies just like them. Does not go down well about 50% of the time.

    If they are from elsewhere my comment is.. Probably at a better school than you went to.
    In France the bar is low if you want to become an English teacher. I think you have to spend like a couple months in England, or something stupid like that. I only had one decent teacher. Also the French community is very clicky and only hang with each other, so their English rarely improve.

    And there is the rivalry with the Brits so people would rather learn Spanish or German.

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    I'm still living in HK, but am from New Zealand. Often when I'm visiting home (well at least before COVID!) I'll be asked questions like "where in the UK are you from?" despite me having grown up just down the road My accent has definitely become more neutral over the years and I tend to avoid any regional slang.

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  9. #9

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    Met a friend recently from 20 years back and she said I had the accent of a celebrity chef.

    No idea what she meant but it didn't sound good.


  10. #10

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    My speech seems to be quite chameleon-like. While in Asia (and specially when teaching) my pronunciation is pretty much RP British English. I have however reduced housemates to fits of giggles when I'm phoning my sister and I immediately switch to broad Orstryan. If I spend extended periods of time with people ith other "non-standard" accents I find that my accent switches without any conscious thought on my part, whether to Singaporean, South African or (heaven help me!) even Glaswegian.


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