As you know, I love different accents: in this country, we have so many amazing accents in this country. Add all of the accents from those overseas: either people speaking English as a Second Language or those who speak English with another accent – such as American or Australian, then we have an astonishing array of speech styles.
I should point out that we ALL have accents – yes, even readers from Surrey. We all struggle to listen to/understand specific accents, and I’m afraid to say that unconscious bias does kick in where everyone (me included) makes judgements about someone based on their accent.
George Bernard Shaw famously commented on this, in “Pygmalion”:
“It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.” George Bernard Shaw
However, I came across this interview on the BBC website, about a lady who has lived in the United Kingdom for 27 years, who is now having accent calming lessons, to speak more clearly and because she feels other people are rude about her accent.
Watch the video interview here.
Honestly, this is a difficult one: as I mentioned before, not everyone is tolerant about different speakers’ accents. And speaking English as a second language is to be commended, however, there are individuals who are busy, impatient, or, well rude, about the way other people speak.