Fantastic benefits of a positive accent in the New World but be aware
Where does your accent come from? It’s a question that’s frequently asked during new meetings. I have experienced this Q & A situation often in my 13 years of immigration to Australia, but not as often now. Does it sound familiar to you?
As a result of emerging technologies, travel opportunities, and migration, we are used to different English accents, or even different Australian accents. You may know that someone from Queensland will use different slang than someone from Tasmania?
Anyway, the idea of this write up is to showcase my experience and to stop people worrying about your accent too much, rather focus on your “positive” accent instead. Taking advantage of career opportunities in Australia is important for those who wish to fit in and feel comfortable within the Australian society. Even though I have been a teacher of English and practised, I am always looking for ways to improve. There were some challenges and tears in the “accent” department.
And, here’s my review on the “accents” topics!
How do I personally understand “language”?
As stated by Lewis Carroll in his epic novel Alice in Wonderland, “Speak English!” said the Eaglet. “I don’t know the meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!”. Sound familiar? During a dialogue, you must understand the content. A language is not only a collection of learned words but also a special “code” for your demographic, origin, education. Once you start talking, a recipient should recognise your message and feel like “home” next to you. The language reflects on familiarity of both parties. At times, language brings people together and at other times, it can tear them apart. In this current new world, we are conditioned to have conversations in multiple languages. However, you need to strive for a flawless and clear conversation, especially when attempting to get employed or talking to a customer!
Just put yourself into a customer shoes. If your message is unclear and you experience a vast language barrier- your client might face confusion and misunderstanding. How comfortable you and your audience will be?
What is the best way to make a conversation flawless and clear to a native speaker?
Developing an understanding of the content comes from becoming immersed in a particular culture. The language we speak reflects the demographics, environment, and culture of a particular group of people. You can barely hear the sound of a dialect or language when you are not integrating yourself into your group. The sound of a language is the same as the sound of music! If your ears are regularly exposed to that sound, your mind will follow. You will gain more knowledge and a true reflection of the specific language group by getting closer to a group and taking initiative. If you hang out with Australians and socialise within the Australian community network, sooner or later you will begin to feel at ease and comfortable speaking respectfully about various topics. It’s as simple as making an effort and you will see positive results.
Taking a brave step and up for a challenge
I took a brave step by moving to Australia! My first full-time role came within three months of arriving, and I also took on a management role, which wasn’t intimidating at all, ironically speaking. Even though I had an advanced level of English and I was able to express myself clearly. However, Australia’s English dialect was quite unique, and to be honest, I experienced situations of isolation, love me not, and even passive aggression. Did I let go? As a result, I decided to study harder and smarter to improve my English skills in order to become more successful in Australia. Education is the key to success! Local degree always wins- go with Swinburne University!
By meeting students, peers and teachers, you keep working harder on your writing skills, serious projects, presentations. The most important part- you keep picking up that sound as I mentioned before. It’s like a snowball- new skills, new conversations, new Aussie friends and also open doors to a new comfort zone! Comfort brings confidence when you are invited to job interviews or presentations. What’s more? Practice leads to speaking English fluently. You become brave enough to approach professionals, run interviews, blogging and presenting!
The learning process never stops- I still have an accent but as they say now “lovely”. Finally, let’s talk about a “positive accent”, show time!
What does a “positive” accent mean?
As a new expression, a “positive” accent means you can articulate well within the community, be understood clearly and also add a “fun and competitive” edge to your personality. The “positive” accent is about becoming a “celebrity” at work or in society, being a superstar! “Your lovely” accent will only encourage new friendships and opportunities rather than making you feel “isolated” and unaccepted. Although I still may encounter “looks” of “you are a foreigner” at times, I have a positive attitude and believe in what have been accomplished!
Benefits of a positive accent in a new world
- Accents increase opportunities to develop conversations and new friendships
- Accents assist on extending your career opportunities. By being bilingual — your co-workers might need someone in office to translate professional documents and presentations!
- You worked so hard to become fluent in English, so you might consider opportunities to learn more languages and become even more competitive!
- Feeling comfortable and confident within professional events and even invited to give a speech
- Users might subscribe to your YouTube channel because not only you are clearly understood and provide a valuable content but also, have a “sexy” tune. Some people simply enjoy various new melodic tunes!
- You feel free…
To wrap, you might never be able to get rid of your accent and it’s not a deal breaker! Yet, you probably need to build confidence when talking to Australians, your future employer, a colleague. Stop focusing too much on your accent, rather pay attention to your vocabulary, grammar, utilise some of the Aussie slang. Improve your skills by making regular meetings with your native speaker’s peers, watch Australian news, hang out with Aussie friends and listen carefully that “sound”. Be you because you are a superstar! Yet, as per a well-known proverb “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.
Would you like to read more about my personal experiences in Australia?