« Of Crêpes, Cats, and Calmness | Main | Obscurity and Struggle »

July 21, 2008


(Eager student at the back of the classroom, waving hand, indicating, "me! me!)....The answer to the riddle is that the Quebecois say the French "e" as we Americans say the English "ee". But in order to sound genuinely Quebecois, one must find an "in-bewteen" sound. It took me quite a while to "get it". It has something to do with nasal languages. It also has something to do with politics. God bless 'em, the Quebecois will never forget the fundamental message of that lovely novel, "Two Solitudes" by Hugh McClennan. (Btw, "moi" is not quite "moy" in Quebecois. It is also somewhere in-between.) rofl

That looks painful. And I hope it doesn't work him out of too many good habits. Typical of Americans, I believe, I see the English accent as charming and as endangered as koalas.

What I find so interesting is that a person from an English-speaking country (American, Australian, South African, etc etc) no matter how 'good' their accent can always be pegged as foreign because maybe ONE word is identifiably 'American-English' or Australian-English', etc. I was listening to the radio the other day to a person I assumed was English until she said just one word - and I knew instantly she was Australian. Even my mother who spent fifty years in England and sounded English could be identified as South African just by a couple of words, or the intonation of a few syllables. Accents are so hard to do. There is always an outcry when English actors are used to play Americans or Canadians - it inevitably sounds so lame to us as I'm sure it does to Americans. Are there any English actors who do impeccable American accents? Gwyneth Paltrow does a superb English accent - very hard to detect her American accent. My American friend and I were laughing about her inability to distinguish verbally (as we English do) between: MARY, MERRY, MARRY! I love accents.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.