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Keeping a specific accent when surrounded by a different one...

Hi, I recently passed a year in Paris where I learnt French to a decent level from nothing. Obviously, I do not speak like a Francophone and still have a noticeable American/Anglophone accent, but the Parisian accent is still the closest identifiable one to mine. After that year, I came to Montreal in Canada where they speak French with an accent that is quite different. In short, I'd like to try and keep and develop my Parisian accent instead of succumbing to my surroundings and having a Québécois one (I obviously have nothing against it, it's I'd like to have a Parisian one). I'd like to know if it's possible to do this if you're exposed to the other accent every day and if it is if anyone has any tips - I try watching French French movies, TV and YouTube videos but I'm wondering if in the end, I'll basically have no control over it. Thanks.

February 2, 2018



I just think about the fact that when we see someone who learned English and seems to have an accent, we don't mind.

That's really all I have to say, since I've always been able to muster a decent accent. J'ai française patrimoine de mon pére. C'est facile pour moi à parle en française. Désolé.


I learned Spanish with the Castilian accent, and for various reasons I want to retain it, although most of the time I use my Spanish I am speaking to people from Latin America. I found no particular problem in avoiding seseo (substituting the 's' sound for the 'th' sound), but my vocabulary is a mongrel from all the different influences I've encountered.

The danger I see is that people might think it snobbish to use the European accent or, worse, think that you are judging their speech to be inferior. If people thought that of me, I didn't perceive it.


I experienced the same thing with my learned/preferred Castillian accent. From the first time I heard a "madrileño" speak, I was hooked. Its qualities are so different from that of Latin America, but aside from noticeable differences in slang, I've never had a Spanish-speaker think I'm a snob for having a European accent, though I've heard that's the perception.


I wouldn't worry about it. Unless your behavior is patronizing, no one is likely to be offended by your accent regardless of where it may have originated. You will probably sound somewhat "foreign" regardless of whether you continue to live in Québec or move elsewhere. if you have the innate ability to mimic sounds easily and quickly (not everyone can) your brain will adapt to hearing local/regional vocabulary, intonation, and voice patterns and the next thing you know those items are rolling right off your tongue.

I went to local schools in France, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. before graduating from high school. Afterwards, I studied Spanish, Italian, and Russian. My father was born and raised in North Carolina, so I'm used to southern accents, also. My siblings and I have been asked, "Where are you from, originally?," our entire lives -- in various languages. Haha!

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