One of the great joys of living with my husband N has been consistent access to hearing his voice… and what I mean by that is not just the incredible wisdom he puts out into the world with the words he shares, but also the actual sound of the human voice itself. You see, N is one of those rare people with the stunner of a spoken accent that comes from having been born and raised in the northwest of England.
Over the time we have been together, one of the only challenging things about sharing life with my husband is that slowly over time I have begun to arrive at the place where it is getting really difficult for me to hear his accent anymore. 😦 My ear has just become so used to his voice that I have begun stopping hearing of the accent (although, his mom can still stump me with her pronunciation of a few words from time to time. This can add to much fun to be had on Skype).
When N first arrived in America, it was a bit of puzzlement to him as to the myriad of difficulties he experienced at being understood when he spoke. Usually face to face, this was not a problem as with his eloquence and command of language, N eventually can get his point across. The challenge of his accent is usually really amplified however, when transmitted through the middle man of technology. We have had many humorous moments when ordering through speakers at a drive thru (or should that be through? -see Eddie Izzard clip in comments below). Yes, N has ordered a mocha frappe and ended up with a yogurt parfait… and his saying of the word “tuna” naturally comes out sounding like “chuna” so there has been chicken delivered which originally was intended to be received as fish. 🙂 There also was a humorous moment in NYC when N, inquiring about the queue at a post office of a person already in the line, received the response asking what his question had to do with the game of pool!?! lol In return N is a patient man with a sense of humor, who usually can quite gracefully roll with any American flow.
I think N finally understood how hard it was for some Americans to understand his particular accent when once on an airplane, he caught a bit of a MTV program interviewing different bands from all over England… and the only band for which they listed the musician’s responses with subtitles to help aid the American audience in the understanding what was being said? The band Oasis. Their lead singer and his brother were born in the same hospital as N. 🙂 (Notation: N is not really a fan of their music though, so to speak).
I adore the spoken word and the trouble and triumphs it can get us human beings into here on this crazy planet. From Utah to the man from Manchester with much love and not one little bit lost in translation. 🙂
(N reports that this Mancunian accent leans more toward one living in Manchester on the side of the city that shares a boarder with Lancashire. It is amazing to this American that the whole of the British of Isles can fit into a space that is about the size of the State of Oregon, yet how just 20 miles down the road there, the accent can be radically different!)
And just for fun after the all stop shop post yesterday: