London is a multicultural city. Over thirty percent of the population is of an ethnic minority and it’s people speak more than 300 languages; you might say it’s the melting pot of Europe. Anyone who speaks an ounce of English could easily fit in here. Aside from the Euro invasion it’s also chock-a-block with Antipodeans (London lingo for Kiwis, Aussies and Safas). With all these different nationalities comes loads of different accents but for some reason mine is always the topic of conversation.
“I’m sorry, but can you speak slower please?” or “oh you’re Australian, my friend is Australian too,” and my personal favourite, “can you say fish and chips?”. Now I expect this kind of thing from certain nationalities (AKA Americans, bless them) but British people, really?! You only colonised us a couple of hundred years ago (170 years) and now you want to poke fun at MY accent, shame on you!
Perhaps it’s some kind of class system throwback, maybe it’s something to do with a repressed prejudice towards immigrants or maybe it’s because it’s OK to mock every other English accent so why not mine?
Or maybe it’s actually some form of commadery… a welcome to the barracks kind of deal? Or maybe I’m just making something out of nothing?
I’d be interested to hear other peoples thoughts on this. Has your accent been issue in London? Have you ever been asked to change your accent?
On a side note. Today is quite a big day for the country at the bottom of the world with the funny accented population so I’m posting this in an effort to help the throngs of tourists (the majority who are British) understand the locals a bit more.
See above for the A-Z of How To Speak New Zillund.