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Hong Kong English accent?

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    My son is 3-years-old and sometimes I find the way he pronounces words as well as his vocabulary quite amusing. I am American and my husband is HK Chinese but some of the things he says--well, we just don't know where it comes from. Sometimes we've thought it comes from our helper but she also doesn't speak this way. For example, instead of using the more commonly used "too" (very American) our son will use "also." So, instead of saying "I want to go there too!" he will say "I want to go there also." As far as pronunciation goes, he pronounces the word "can't" with a very long 'a' so it's the British "caaan't" as in "I caaan't do it." He also uses really long words that I don't think I would have been using as a 3-year-old. Last fall when he was younger than 3 he told me one day, "I have to do my assignments for school." Yeah,, that's a 5-dollar-word. :)

    Having been in HK for awhile my accent has started to morph too. Most people who meet me here guess that I'm Canadian by my accent. :)

    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #10
    fingerscrossed is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Tin Hau

    Speaking of morphing accents... I actually find it hard to keep your original accent after being here for too long. I'm from Australia and had a rather heavy accent when I first got here, so I was tol. But in order for people to understand me and, being an English teacher, for local students to understand what I say, I've had to sand it down a bit. I still sound Australian in HK but back home, I get asked whether I'm from the UK. As for my 3yr old, he's a real melting pot of accents at the moment and it's fun to listen to him talk. He goes to a mandarin speaking kindy, I speak English with him at home and the grandparents and neighbours speak Cantonese but it's interesting to see him distinguish the three languages and there really isn't a problem with mixing them up. I'm totally for bi/tri-lingualism at a young age.

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