3 Comments

  1. Lanita Boyd

    Judy Briley Henry wrote:
    Can you see me … I’m throwing confetti and doing the happy dance … over your coverage of this subject?

    This challenge confronts us when we are likely to be agitated over a broken “this or that”, only to have the situation compounded by a language barrier. I hadn’t thought about one of your points, that people in these positions are probably screened and hired by other ESL people. This topic is so relevant. Your suggestion, watching American television, seems so simple.

    As a child I always enjoyed my visits to Sumner Co.,TN, for many reasons. One was that I enjoyed listening to my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents speak. In particular, Lola Mae seemed to have the most pronounced accent. It was lovely, not “country”, just a pure, Southern accent.

    I never thought I had a pronounced Southern accent — until I began consulting and traveling to many states in all directions. Frequently, my clients would say, “talk! — we just love to hear your accent”. In particular, while in Chicago in the early ’90s, I was invited to some sort of awards banquet. This event allowed me to get to know the spouses of some of the department heads that I worked with. Again, I heard the request that was becoming familiar, “talk! — we just love to hear your accent”. The wife of one of the men asked me, very slowly, “do you have any problem understanding what is being said on news programs and national TV?” Bless her heart!

  2. Brenda

    Lanita,
    I have a friend (native of Newport) who talks kinda funny. I remark at her going to Mars (Meijer’s), getting a tray of flours (flowers), on the way home getting a flat tar (tire), and when she gets home she is so tard (tired)!!
    Then I read the book, The Grapes Of Wrath. My friend must be a distant relative of Ma Joad. lol

    But on the subject of helplines, I find that usually, if I try very hard to really listen to the person, I can understand them. Good story!

Comments are closed.