I was at a nice 4 star hotel here in Sorrento with some guests who wanted to book some excursions.
Your accent...where is it from? Are you American?
No I am not American. I say looking down at the table...they were drinking so maybe they were a bit drunk as I do not sound at all American. I am actually Australian.
Oh, compliments to you. You speak very good Enlgish.
Hah! That's a good one. On two occasions I have gotten compliments on my English from Italians. I just smile and say "thank you," because really the only other option is, "Um, gee thanks, I've only been speaking it all my life!" Now if I could just make some progress on the Italian! :-)
...And you are right...you don't sound American at all. But I love your accent! :-)
Hysterical. *shakes head* What else is there to say...
I'm an Indian and speak English fluently and get similar reactions from everyone all the time. People just can't believe I grew up in India because they think only Americans have the right to speak English. And this is despite my very brown skin.
A friend of mine, who's English, was complimented on his English by an American....
hmmm.. it's something, not American exactly, but I do detect a distinct hint of something familiar in your stories, use of boldface type, and punitive eye contact management.
Are you from the Asshole region? Yes, that's it!
he he funny just stumpled on your blog very nice
Funny story. I'm Canadian and have just started a year long trip in Europe, I'm in Barcelona right now. I get the "are you American" question quite frequently, but as yet no one has commented on my English ;-)
I look forward to reading your blog.
Dear me Leanne, it's seems that you have hit a raw nerve judging by Vaughn's tasteless comment!
Same thing happened when I was in Italy, only he didn't stop with "Are you American?" When I said yes, he went on to say, "From California?" Me: Yes. "Los Angeles?" Me: (Wondering what gave me away) Why yes. "Oh, hey, my wife's brother-in-law's cousin lives in Los Angeles. Maybe you know her?"
Wow, what a comment. I've been pleasantly surprised that quite often people guess correctly that I am an Aussie. And then quite a few then ask why I am in Italy, not in Australia...
Oh I really wish I had kept notes of all the things people have asked me when i say Im from New Zealand. Normally its a complete conversation killer and goes silent as they obviously have no idea what or where New Zealand is.
I did get asked in a party in LA last weekend where Tasmania was in New Zealand. Hmmmmmmm.
P.S. I think us kiwis, aussies, american and british all seem the same to non-english speakers! I mostly get mistaken for british not american though. Youve got to laugh. :-)
A fellow Aussie asked me if I was English yesterday, I'm not even recognised by my own kind. I can understand being confused between English and Australian and New Zealand accents but Americans sound completely different? That'd be like accusing a Japanese person of sounding Chinese.
I do like getting complimented on my English by Italians...it makes me smile but I am with you on one thing - I cannot wait to be complemented on my italian one day...but that day is still a LONG way off!
Yes there is not much you can say. I didn't actually respond when they said I spoke good english as I thought surely they must have been joking!
I can imagine you would get some reactions when you open your mouth.
So it seems a lot of native tongue English speakers compliment other native tongue English speakers!
I don't really know what you are talking about...we are just being light hearted and funny.
Hi Chow and Chatter,
Thanks! Glad you like my blog :)
Give it time! You'll be compliments on your english soon enough :)
Hi Iain-Down under
Yes, seems I have hit a raw nerve! Oh well...can't please them all;)
Hi Mary K,
HA! This is so common. I've had it before "Oh so you are from Melbourne? Do you know my cousin X" just too funnny.
Italians it seems love Australia and I too always get asked why I am here and not there!
HA! You made me laugh. So many people sort of leave New Zealand out don't they. Normall they think someone is British or American since these are the most 'common' English accents abroad, then they guess Australian and Candian, but seems to leave out the others...
Did someone really think you were British! Gosh, that happened to me too in St Kilda when I was back in OZ 3 years ago. I was buying a coffee and the guy asked me where I was from!
That's one thing I like about living here - my accent in Italian is kind of just an anglophone accent so if someone asks me where I'm from I can say either Australia or the US and they don't question me.
When I speak English all the questions about where I'm from (due to weird hybrid American-Australian accent) drive me nuts. I've had everything from South African, to Irish, to English to Canadian. And people always want to put me in a box so if they decide taht my accent sounds "American" they just can't understand how my mum and sister are Australian and live in Sydney - or that I went to high school and uni there. Ah well...I'm a 'third culture kid' I guess. :)
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