To say that I have a bad French accent doesn’t even come close to how horrible it is. I have found that when I try to speak in French, as in a shop for instance, and the person isn’t looking at me, they don’t even hear me. For some reason my language isn’t processed by their brain as something to pay attention to. I have to get them to look at me and repeat what I said so they realize that this strange sound that didn’t enter their consciousness is, indeed, a form of French.
Â I was reading a blog the other day-I read so many that I can’t remember which one-in which someone commented that it is easier for a foreigner to understand a foreign language when it isn’t being spoken by a native. I’ve started to listen more carefully to English speakers speaking French and I think they might be right. I’m not sure why this is. Do they speak slower, separate words more, speak more clearly? I don’t know.
Â I had an example of this when Maurice and I were in Thailand. We were on some sort of little tour and the guide was speaking in English. I, by the way, had trouble understanding the guide’s English. Maurice asked a question in English and the guide told him that he had a great English accent. I said, “Wait a minute. I have a good accent. I’m American. He’s French.” It mystified me at the time but I think it was an example of a foreigner speaking another language not his own.