Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?*

Yup, that's me! I looove British accents. And Spanish accents. And Australian accents. And Scottish Accents. And French accents. And Irish Accents. get my point.

I noticed this most recently when I read Take A Chance on Me by Jill Mansell, which takes place in England. A couple of times something would come up that would remind me they were in England, and I realized I wasn't "hearing" the character's accents. And I realized, once I came around to liking the hero, that although I imagined him as good looking, he had a British accent,which raised him a few notches on the "sexy meter"....but I couldn't imagine the accent!!!

When I'm reading a book that takes place in another country,or that has foreign characters, I read them with American accents. I can't imagine the accent when I'm reading unless the accent is written in (which, ironically, drives me nuts!). What's up with that? I'm pretty sure it has to do with the fact that I can't do accents at all - it doesn't matter what country I try to imitate, the accent sounds exactly the same (and not at all like the accent of any known country on this earth!).

Does anyone else do this? Imagine the characters in a story speaking with an incorrect accent? Is it important in enjoying the story to imagine it right?

*Chris Rock - line from the movie Rush Hour 2


  1. Hihi I do it too :D And I keep thinking in the accent too afterwards, and using for example very British words ;)

    Of course this never happens when I read a book set in the US...I guess I am more at home with the US accent and words then

  2. seriously i love men with accents..along with you add scottish, english, austrailian too.

    Swoon over that voice

  3. I do that too...sometimes (like with Cole) I can read with the Scottish accent...or with Bones..the british..but mostly it is good ole' redneck accent.

  4. I do that too, mostly because my 'fake foreign' accents sound ridiculous and it would take me forever to read the book if I tried to incorporate them in my reading! lol

  5. This is one of those things I really like about audiobooks. If they do or don't get the accents right. Some readers are amazing! Some are crap. I just listened to Faithful Place by Tana French and it takes place in Dublin. The reader is Irish I guess, he reads the entire book in an Irish accent and he gets all those long Irish place names right and he does all the slang right. It was one of the best audiobooks I've listened to lately.

  6. Funny you should ask. The Lisa Kleypas book I just reviewed 'Then Came You' is set in London, and there's a big deal made about one of the characters (Derek) being a hackney guttersnipe when he was a child. So Lisa Kleypas writes phonetically for him - 'I can 'elp you' instead of 'I can help you' etc. It was really good, and worked for him as a secondary character in that book... but by 'Dreaming Of You' he had conveniently taken elocution lessons. And to be honest, it was a good thing too - because while the phonetic worked for a minor character, it would have grated during a WHOLE book.

    P.S. - you *like* the Aussie accent? Really? Whenever I'm overseas and hear one of 'my people' I'm always amazed that we sound so nasaly, high-pitched and whiney... lol. It is not an attractive accent at all.

  7. I love accents! I "hear" them when I'm reading, but I never try to replicate them outloud. This southern girl can't escape her accent. My college French teacher despaired of curing me of my accent.

  8. Dutch accents are the worst I think. We suck at pronouncing English as it should be pronounced.
    And I must say I do not 'hear' accents when reading.

  9. Blodeuedd: LOL, I'm glad I'm not alone :)

    Julie: I do love accents - tey're so sexy!

    Mandi: True, Cole does it well.

    Julie: LOL, my fake accents are awful.

    Autumn: Now I want to go listen to an audiobook with a reader with an accent!

    Danielle: Yeah, writing in the accent tends to break the "flow" for me...and yes, I love Aussie accents - they sound "fun" if that makes any sense.

    Eyre: I wish I could hear them when I'm reading - I think it would enhance the story so much!

    Sullivan: LOL, I actually googled a Dutch accent while working on this post...some athlete. I can only imagine how badly American's accents come through in your language :)

  10. I do that too! I love hearing the accents, but it has to be written the right way. Sometimes reading them drives me bonkers. I'm glad I'm not the only one with this quirk!