A Basque in Boise

I have an accent?

As a foreigner living in the US, you end up telling people where you’re from at least every other day. After fifteen years, however, the question sometimes takes me by surprise. Is it my clothes? The way I look? Oh crap, that’s right, I do have an accent. I don’t hear it when I talk, so I forget I got one until someone mentions it. Like the idiot wanting to be transferred to someone that spoke English. I was like, no chance, “Coolio”.

Tonight, I was having dinner with my friend Victoria – who is also from the Basque Country and like me, has an accent – and we started talking about how we’ve had our feelings hurt before when people comment on our “thick accent”. Honestly, I stopped caring long time ago, but it’s still a sensitive area for her.

On the other hand, Victoria’s husband is an American man (as in born in the US) whose face, first name and last name, however, are completely Japanese. People complement him all the time on his good English.

Once, when I worked as a hostess at the Old Chicago downtown, this group of guys came in. One of them asked me where I was from, so I told him I was from the Basque Country, in Northern Spain, to which he replied: “Oh, cool, I’ve never been to South America!”

Then, we have those who swear by political correctness and instead of asking where I’m from, they’ll ask if I grew up here. Sure, dude, right in downtown Nampa.

 

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8 thoughts on “I have an accent?

  1. Ysabel Bilbao

    First of all…your accent is darling…and you have no problem making fun of the rest of our accents when we speak in Spanish!!!!
    Second…people think those who have accents are so neat, special, and exotic!!!
    Third…what is wrong with growing up in Nampa?!?!?!
    Musu!!!

  2. Ysabel Bilbao

    First of all…your accent is darling…and you have no problem making fun of the rest of our accents when we speak in Spanish!!!!
    Second…people think those who have accents are so neat, special, and exotic!!!
    Third…what is wrong with growing up in Nampa?!?!?!
    Musu!!!

  3. Diana

    Next time someone tells you something about your accent, say what I say: “I may have an accent when I speak, but you seem to have an accent when you think.” (You can replace “think” for “fart” and it has a similar effect; it depends on who’s your audience, though).

  4. Diana

    Next time someone tells you something about your accent, say what I say: “I may have an accent when I speak, but you seem to have an accent when you think.” (You can replace “think” for “fart” and it has a similar effect; it depends on who’s your audience, though).

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