Regional Accent? Foreign Accent…We all have one!
Speaking clear, fluent American English takes practice~ while understanding what others are saying in their regional accent can feel impossible! If English isn’t your first language, then your brain has been working hard to learn a new set of sounds. Maybe you’re still struggling with these new sounds.
A regional accent is when a language group from one area pronounce their sounds, intonation and word usage differently than another group of speakers from a nearby area. For example, in Spain there are at least 10 different Spanish dialects or regional accents. While in the United States, there are 8 major dialects reported. If you are interested in learning more about “regional accents” check out this.
Our Hometown Regional Accent (in Pittsburgh, PA) is called speaking “Pittsburghese”
I was so excited when the Bon Appetite Magazine had written an article about our beloved Pittsburgh restaurant scene AND our Pittsburgh regional accent. Because of our crazy way of pronouncing words here in the ‘burgh- Bon Appetite added an index of Pittsburgh words and how the natives pronounce them. (Check out number 3)
Here are some additional words that you may hear if you come to this wonderful city.
Pittsburghese What we really mean!
“stillers” Steelers Football
“gedaht” get out!
“a yella flahr” a yellow flower
What we call it What you may call it
sweeper vacuum cleaner
tennies tennis shoes/running shoes
Not everyone in Pittsburgh sounds like they’re speaking “Pittsburghese.” There are varying degrees of any dialect. Have you ever been outside of your hometown and people try to guess where you’re from? It happens all the time to people from Pittsburgh!
When you find yourself in an important speaking situation, your dialect is the last thing you want people talking about. Why else do news reporters choose to speak with a midwest regional accent? Because it’s neutral-friendly.
Are people listening to your accent? Are they wondering where you are from instead of listening to your important message? Are you pronouncing words in a way that will be presentable and understandable to your audience? Does the listener understand what you are saying?
We can talk about easy ways to improve your speaking style.