Has your accent or English become messed up since you've been in Taiwan?

I used to speak English. Now, after years of teaching American phonics and junior high grammar patterns I never used to use [e.g.I am not only a student, I am also a brother.], my accent has become really weird, and I speak some kind of mutant ex-pat English creole. Other Brits I know seem to be immune to this - they sound just as English as they did when they got here. How do they manage that?

When I talk to people back in England they look at me like i’m taking the piss or I’m some weirdo. Maybe it’s just ME, not the words that i’m saying! :blush:
I think years of speaking to non-native speakers has kind of dumbed down the range of words and expressions that I use too. Without consciously thinking about it I speak in simple sentences to accomodate to the English level of whoever I’m speaking to. Great for in class, but I can’t switch off when I’m talking to the big noses.

I also do a lot of editing, so when I write, a kind of pendantic correctness creeps in. I just can’t seem to write freely and naturally anymore.

I spent two months in england over the summer. Thought I might be cured by the end of it. No such luck.
Has your spoken or written English changed at all since you’ve been here? I’m not just talking about the British-American English thing. I can’t believe I’m the only one. We should have a support group or something! :laughing:

Just a moment ago I had an involuntary attack of Chinglish and told my wife I was going to “close” the light. :blush:

Ah ha ha ha aha ha hah :laughing:
I thought I was the only one.

Excuse me, I just “opened” the computer. No, I don’t do that, but I have spoken to other big noses in Chinese when I should have used English.

Oh yeah, and if you’ve ever spoken to me, I’m from New Zealand, although you’d never guess it.

Almost 5 years and I find it difficult to speak Kiwi style for certain words or phrases. When I go home people in the stores want to serve me, I thought it was strange until one girl asked me where I was from in America. I just about hit the floor.

Oh well, at least the students can understand me now, maybe that’s a bad thing, yeah, in many cases that is a bad thing.

I also find myself thinking in Chinese. No one else is there and I’m still thinking in Chinese.

It’s got to stop … I need help.

lots of problems with mixed metaphors…

counting all the chickens in one basket??
don’t count your eggs before they’ve hatched??

easy as cake? piece of pie???

Oh yeah. And I couldn’t remember the word “dumpster” for the longest time. Probably because they don’t really exist so much here.

Then there was answering the phone “wei?” outside of Taiwan. Bad knee-jerk reaction.

But, like the runs, it goes after you stay for a while (I think).

I’ve never had a problem with my English slipping. Maybe you people can get help from a doctor. I’ll bet there’s some medicine you can eat for this. :laughing:

I’ve taken to grunting “uh” to ackowledge things.

[quote=“scooter”]Then there was answering the phone “wei?” outside of Taiwan. Bad knee-jerk reaction.[/quote]Well, now, that’s just plain silly. You’re supposed to answer the phone with “Hoy hoy?”
story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s … psons_dc_1

I take to speak in present tense like fish off watery duck back. No problem mum and dad no know differen say I talking stupid all time.

gets on the bandwagon :?

i’ve had Americans ask me “what part of the states are you from?”
they usually have quite a chuckle after i tell them i’m from Aus!

and yes, I can’t stop using simple English either…guess i should read more books and less internet forums :blush:

innet form good learning english forigneir speak good and writing good for practiss.

Yeah… tried your medicine and began talking jive. :laughing:

Since I am not a native English speaker my accent probably doesn’t matter (it’s bad enough) but I find my humble English to become heavily corrupted, speaking in a ‘no-grammar’-way to locals and others initially.

I called someone in the US yesterday. She asked me a yes/no question. I replied “Dui.”

Then I realized I have been here too long, and I have a problem and need to seek professional help.

I quickly mumbled a quick “that’s correct” to cover up my weakening sanity. I took a swig of some Whisbie, and now I feel much better about myself.

Yes, me english bad, me no good in english and me very bad.

Anywayz, enough of nonsense. But I was also talking to my friends in the states and one of them said that I have been 2nd guess when I talked to her. I speaks pretty fast english and never used my brain when I do so (ha, nothing new to you guys, right?) and she said that I am getting slower each time I talked to her and I’ve offically become a grandma in speaking English??!! :shock: Imagine if I do decided to head back to the states and find a job there, who would want to hire a granny?

I even got nervous from time to time when I have to speak to foreigners at work, I mean how bad is that??!!

But one thing my parent are very proud of is that I’ve been re-learning my Taiwanese and Mandarin and am doing well in that department. :wink:

Whenever I go back to the States and ask my mates to go with me and get pissed, those wankers don’t know what the shite I’m saying.

Strangely my Australian accent, albeit never particularly broad, has become more English. Could be the volume of English mates. I think too when I’m trying to speak clearly I tend to adopt the accent of a 60s era BBC news reader.

Cost me highly in my first ever English job interview. I saw the “meiyu” signs outside and didn’t get it. Some twat with the ugliest nasally north American accent you could imagine asked “are you speaking English? We prefer American accents.” I got a bit stroppy at this and fired back with, “which American accent do you want?” Then proceeded to run through the full list of Hollywood standard southern baptist, black southerner, black rapper, John Wayne, hillbilly etc.

Sadly I don’t think she understood what I was up to.


yep, i’m in the same boat as everyone else it seems… my english has been getting progressively worse for years now… problem is the wife and i speak a bizarre combination of inconsistently mixed english and chinese to each other, even though both of us have the english and chinese skills to speak accurate, clear, fluent and unadulterated versions of either… this bad habit causes me to at least once a week ask something along the lines of "hey, how do you say

Having just returned from Vietnam, I am shocked at the difference in the general level of English language ability between Taipei and Hanoi. In Hanoi I became (“had gotten”) accustomed again to speaking normal English, er no what am I trying to say, I mean… oh no it’s no good, me English just got badder again… help… I’ve gone all monosyllabic… goo goo ga ga uh heh -----------------

I can hardly imagine what I must sound like now after so many years in Taiwan, where I hardly ever have any chance to converse with fellow Brits. Even a few years ago, my accent had become so puzzling to some of my countrymen that they queried where I was from and could hardly believe that I really was a born-and-bred Englishman rather than hailing from Russia, France, or elsewhere in continental Europe (though I can’t recall ever being mistaken for an American, Canadian, Aussie or Kiwi). After a few days of conversing with my own kind, the old RP tends to reassert itself. But I sometimes fear that if I stay here too long, I might end up losing it for good.