Study Abroad Series: 15 Accent

For me, in English language, reading is much easier than listening. For reading, if I do not know the meaning, I could find it in dictionary. But for listening, there are many times that I do not understand what foreigners are saying.

I practiced English language by regular watching American series. There were many series that I could not stop watching, so I automatically practiced my listening skill.

But in real life, people did not speak English with American accent. People from each country had their own accents. As I told you, Free university of Bolzano was an international university. Students came from several countries. Everyone had their own mother languages, and we all used English language to communicate with each other. So, it was normal hearing the mix of different accents and sometimes I could not understand them.

First semester, I was stressful because for some courses I could not understand what the teacher said. And, how could I understand the subjects? I was new to English with Italian accent. There was one course that I tried so hard to understand what the teacher said. And one day my friend made me surprised because she told me that she could not understand him too. I knew on that day that it was not just me who could not understand the teacher.


Second semester, my listening skill improved a lot. I was familiar with Italian accent. Listening was not a big problem anymore, but for some subjects, I still could not understand them. Well, I knew that it was about the content, not about the language (you would understand me if you have ever studied in your first language and you still do not understand it).

The more I talked to friends, the more I knew that for others it also took some time to familiar with the new accents.

And when we knew each other better, my friends started making fun of my accents when I pronounced some words incorrectly. So, I tried to find fault in their accents back. I did not feel humiliated and I thought it was fun.

From worrying with listening, I started to have fun hearing English with different accents and guessing where they came from. It was charming communicate by using the same language, but not really the same.


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