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Thread: The women who woke up with foreign accents

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    The women who woke up with foreign accents


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    Super Moderator Norway Elen's Avatar
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    Interesting...sounds like something between a "Walk-in" and a slight stroke. Never heard of it before.
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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    Another interesting 60 minutes documentary, about a family who never learnt to walk upright and get around on all fours. It is thought that this is a genetic regression to an earlier stage in human evolution.


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    Quote Originally posted by Elen View Post
    Interesting...sounds like something between a "Walk-in" and a slight stroke. Never heard of it before.
    I had never heard of this phenomenon before either, and although I now accept that it may be a medical condition after having watched the entire video, during the first half of the video I was thinking that it must have been something other than a mere medical condition, because the accents of those women are truly so identifiable as indeed being specific to a foreign locale. The Australian woman does indeed sound East-European, and the English woman does indeed sound very, very French. The woman with the Asian accent does have a few traits in her accent that aren't necessarily Asian, though, although for most part, yes, it does sound like she was born in China somewhere.

    What's interesting in this regard is also how it may — emphasis on "may" — point at an actual difference in brain structure between people from different linguistic (and thus cultural) groups. After all, there really is a difference in pronunciation, and perhaps even in the way sentences are formed in the brain. Even here in Belgium, if you hear a natively francophone person trying to speak Flemish, they cannot hide the fact that they grew up speaking French.

    For instance, the "w" is a letter of the alphabet that is never used in French — or at the least, not in any indigenous French words, because even the francophone Belgians and the French proper do borrow some words from other languages. So when a francophone person is trying to say the English word "we", they will instead say "ooee", and they cannot bring themselves to truly pronouncing a "w" the way it should.

    Likewise, the Germans have a problem with the "w" as well, and they will pronounce it as a "v" instead. The Dutch have adopted this, although in the Netherlands, it does also depend upon the region they're from. Not all Dutch people do it, but those who do will then also substitute the sound of a "v" proper with the sound of an "f". Most (but not all) Dutch people also use an Irish "r" in certain places of the word, while at the same time using a more German-sounding "r" in other places of the word. And there's also a great number of Dutch people — albeit not the majority — who have a tendency to pronounce an "s" as "sh".

    Myself, I'm at the other end of the spectrum, and this ties in with being an empath. I can easily adopt different accents, and under certain conditions, I even do it entirely subconsciously.

    I started teaching myself English from when I was about 6 or 7 years old, and I could already hold up a decent conversation in English by the time I was 11, even though we only started having English classes at school from 8th grade onward. And I had an Oxford accent, because I loved (and still love) that pronunciation. But then, under the influence of American movies and music, my accent gradually started shifting toward North American around my mid twenties, and that's the pronunciation I have now when I speak English naturally.

    I can however fairly easily speak English with a whole slew of different accents, although some work better than others. For instance, it is now more difficult for me to speak Oxford English without concentrating on it, because before I realize it I'll be speaking Australian. I can do Irish, but then I'll quickly start slipping into one of the Scottish accents. And just for fun, I like speaking English with an African, German, Italian, French or Russian accent.

    And there is an additional peculiarity attached to that, which is that when I'm speaking to a person who has a particular accent, then I myself tend to subconsciously adopt that same accent while speaking to them. Here in the Flanders concretely, whenever I'm talking to someone from another region (and thus with another dialect), I tend to subconsciously adopt their dialect for the duration of the conversation. It's weird.

    My brother has that same oddity. He does it too, and for him it is also an automatic thing. It's beyond our control.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    I had never heard of this phenomenon before either, and although I now accept that it may be a medical condition after having watched the entire video, during the first half of the video I was thinking that it must have been something other than a mere medical condition, because the accents of those women are truly so identifiable as indeed being specific to a foreign locale. The Australian woman does indeed sound East-European, and the English woman does indeed sound very, very French. The woman with the Asian accent does have a few traits in her accent that aren't necessarily Asian, though, although for most part, yes, it does sound like she was born in China somewhere.

    What's interesting in this regard is also how it may — emphasis on "may" — point at an actual difference in brain structure between people from different linguistic (and thus cultural) groups. After all, there really is a difference in pronunciation, and perhaps even in the way sentences are formed in the brain. Even here in Belgium, if you hear a natively francophone person trying to speak Flemish, they cannot hide the fact that they grew up speaking French.

    For instance, the "w" is a letter of the alphabet that is never used in French — or at the least, not in any indigenous French words, because even the francophone Belgians and the French proper do borrow some words from other languages. So when a francophone person is trying to say the English word "we", they will instead say "ooee", and they cannot bring themselves to truly pronouncing a "w" the way it should.

    Likewise, the Germans have a problem with the "w" as well, and they will pronounce it as a "v" instead. The Dutch have adopted this, although in the Netherlands, it does also depend upon the region they're from. Not all Dutch people do it, but those who do will then also substitute the sound of a "v" proper with the sound of an "f". Most (but not all) Dutch people also use an Irish "r" in certain places of the word, while at the same time using a more German-sounding "r" in other places of the word. And there's also a great number of Dutch people — albeit not the majority — who have a tendency to pronounce an "s" as "sh".

    Myself, I'm at the other end of the spectrum, and this ties in with being an empath. I can easily adopt different accents, and under certain conditions, I even do it entirely subconsciously.

    I started teaching myself English from when I was about 6 or 7 years old, and I could already hold up a decent conversation in English by the time I was 11, even though we only started having English classes at school from 8th grade onward. And I had an Oxford accent, because I loved (and still love) that pronunciation. But then, under the influence of American movies and music, my accent gradually started shifting toward North American around my mid twenties, and that's the pronunciation I have now when I speak English naturally.

    I can however fairly easily speak English with a whole slew of different accents, although some work better than others. For instance, it is now more difficult for me to speak Oxford English without concentrating on it, because before I realize it I'll be speaking Australian. I can do Irish, but then I'll quickly start slipping into one of the Scottish accents. And just for fun, I like speaking English with an African, German, Italian, French or Russian accent.

    And there is an additional peculiarity attached to that, which is that when I'm speaking to a person who has a particular accent, then I myself tend to subconsciously adopt that same accent while speaking to them. Here in the Flanders concretely, whenever I'm talking to someone from another region (and thus with another dialect), I tend to subconsciously adopt their dialect for the duration of the conversation. It's weird.

    My brother has that same oddity. He does it too, and for him it is also an automatic thing. It's beyond our control.
    How interesting, I've had a very similar journey in terms of learning English. I started just before my 7th birthday, when my family moved to India and I had to learn English to be able to attend school there. I was pretty fluent after a few months. I can now speak English in a number of different accents as well, though according to the accent-o-meter (there are apps for that), my current spoken English is a mixture between Irish and English accents, whilst my written English is closest to the Singaporean variety. It makes sense, since these are the countries I spent the most time in.

    Funnily enough, I speak German with a distinct English accent (Germans always assume I'm from England from the way I speak), Russian with a German accent (at least that's what my Russian friends say) and a very slight English/Irish lilt does creep into my Native Hungarian. I believe my Polish accent has influences from all the other languages I speak.

    This is all very interesting to me as I took several linguistics courses at Uni and I do believe that language learning ability is innate and probably even genetic. From this phenomenon of Foreign Accent Syndrome one can easily assume that there is some sort of innate phonetic structure already built into the brain from birth.

    Changing accents is not the most bizarre linguistic phenomenon though. In some rare cases, people will even switch languages entirely and forget their own native language at the same time. This happened a few years ago to a Croatian boy, after a traumatic head injury. He completely forgot Croatian and could now only speak German, a language he barely spoke before the accident, but was now fluent in. His whole family had to learn German to be able to communicate with him.

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    That woman with the stereotypical Chinese accent really reminded me of this Family Guy scene


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    I'd heard of the phenomenon of people having a brain injury and then speaking in another accent or even language. The second aspect really amazes me. How another language?

    What 'database' are they tapping into?

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    Abandoned toddler rescued and raised by feral dogs | 60 Minutes Australia


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    An amazing story!
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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    Quote Originally posted by Elen View Post
    An amazing story!
    All these videos make you think deeply about language, family, emotional bonds and how they relate to each other. It would appear that nurture may be more important in developing a healthy human than is commonly believed. I read an article yesterday about how even just a few weeks of social isolation can cause permanent neurological damage to a person. That is why solitary confinement is such a cruel punishment.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    All these videos make you think deeply about language, family, emotional bonds and how they relate to each other. It would appear that nurture may be more important in developing a healthy human than is commonly believed. I read an article yesterday about how even just a few weeks of social isolation can cause permanent neurological damage to a person. That is why solitary confinement is such a cruel punishment.
    Exactly, shows you how connected we all are. There is indeed a connection that has NO words.
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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    Quote Originally posted by Elen View Post
    Exactly, shows you how connected we all are. There is indeed a connection that has NO words.
    As they say, No man is an Island

    I think us men are especially guilty of trying to pretend that we can go it alone and we don't need anyone else in our lives. It's a sort of macho mentality that is especially prevalent in Western countries, nowhere more so than in the US, where people value individuality over social cohesion to quite an extreme degree.


    That is not only a dangerous illusion, but highly unhealthy as well. I often wonder whether the rapidly declining health and increasing death rates of white American men has a lot to do with this sort of mentality. It would be unthinkable in most of Asia, where people are packed so tightly together that excessive individualism would lead to social friction and perhaps even a breakdown of the social order. I wonder if that is in fact what we are seeing in the US with current events.


    I am personally guilty of this, always trying to go against the grain and forge my own way, sometimes just to spite others or for the sake of maintaining my contrarian leanings.

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    I'm also quite independent. But I recognize that I have to rely on others. It's not easy. I watch people make other people do things for them all the time. I have to make an effort to ask for help. When someone asks what they can do for me my first reaction is that I don't know.

    Something to work on.

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