Monday, 12 January 2009

Divided by a Common Tongue

I've been a bit lax in updated this one of my blogs. However, with my new toy I'm now able to get online easier and will be trying to update this blog at least twice a week for the foreseeable future whilst still maintaining my main blog.

Growing up in Bangor and being educated at Regent House in Newtownards when I moved here to Scotland I found my ear adapting incredibly easily to the natives. But that wasn't always the case.

When I first lest home to attend University I found myself in London and surrounded almost entirely by the English. My landlady in that first year spoke in rhyming slang and my housemates were from the midlands and Lancashire. So I was learning to cope with quite a few different sounds, words and ways of speaking.

However, one barrier remained in my way. My Norn Irs accent. Indeed in my first week at Kingston in one freshers week event on girl on finding where I came from and on having difficulty understanding what I was saying grabbed another newbie called Peter from Belfast and we were able to communicate. We eventually learnt to tone down the accent and indeed slow down to be understood. But in those first few weeks we grew frustrated in constantly having to repeat ourselves over and over.

As time went by and me and Peter were more understood my the others of course we did have one way to talk in private even in a crowded room. We'd just get faster and faster and more and more Northern Irish and watch the expressions around us go blank or people lose interest in what we had to say.

I however am also as natural mimic. I'm constantly having to hold myself back from copying other people, which seeing as most of my working life has been in people facing roles or at least communication has always been an issue. So I slowly managed to acquire the hotch potch of an accent often leaving London with an Irish accent only to land back home and be told off for my London accent. Someone on the one hour flight I apparently changed somewhere over Birmingham or somewhere. Indeed when I returned to live in Bangor, the town

So when it came to me working in call centre after many years of living elsewhere. I used to enjoy the Northern Irish callers basically because I could and would go back more towards my natural speaking voice. I'd even learnt by then how to adjust straight back into my more tamed professional self.

So NIPPLEs abroad can tend to have to repeat themselves. But people love the accent so mellow it never lose it entirely. And always, always maintain the way you say fil-um.