by
on May 1, 2019 on 5/1/19 from

entry5: on fears of losing my accent p2

// continued from previous post ~
//as promised, all of my feelings about this topic.

# # # #
In any case, my own, and very personal fears about having to learn a new accent, I’m now realizing, were due to my own lack of confidence in Vietnamese. After all, when I first got to Vietnam for this semester, all I could do was listen, reply in broken sentences, and read out words I saw on the street that looked the way I thought they’d sound. I was scared that learning a different way to read words and letters and having that be enforced would cause me to lose the roots of what I knew growing up. The accent my family has and the way we talk is something I strongly identify with, and while I honestly only have a small piece of it, it’s something I don’t want to give up. In fact, my current measly grasp of it is probably what caused such frantic fears about losing what little I had to begin with.

On another note, I’m realizing (wow i’m realizing a lot of things as i write this lol) that this intense want to ‘get the accent right’ probably has to do with some kind of imposter syndrome. And some kind of internalized prejudice for the standard accent. //although that’s something i’m kind of scared to write down. eeee\\

Anyways // with the accent being something I was striving to identify with and acheive, it felt uneasy for me to be speaking to my mom and using new words I learned in class, only for her to be confused about what I’d just said. The accent I used to say that word was not hers. and so I didn’t want it to be mine.

(// also, honestly, i don’t know to what degree this is true or not or if it’s just in my head, but i feel like there’s a definite politics with accents. it’s a lot to get into right now and also has to do with the vn war, i feel, but. for another time.)

So I spent the next couple of weeks worrying about my non-country-hometown accent whenever an instance like that came up. Of course, something as fickle as pronouncing a letter differently doesn’t matter in any context, something that my mom assured me of as well, but it worried me nonetheless. It was a strange thing because despite the worry, I can’t and couldn’t done anything to really change it. I don’t know enough to modify my speech meaningfully in that way, and I’m just learning a loot of things, so I feel the need to catch onto whatever I can as quickly as I can.

Although, it’s been some time since I felt these initial fears, and it’s toned down a lot. I think I’m realizing whatever I learn will come and I’ll use it (the new words aaaand the accent!) as I need to, but no matter what, it would be difficult to shake off the accent and way of talking I’d been surrounded by my entire life. I’m not sooooo so worried anymore.

anyhow. that’s all the thought spilling i have for you now.

// til next time!!
// hope you enjoyed the read, and thanks for spending time with me!! c: