There's No Such Thing As A Strong Accent
Voice Science TV
Both video & transcript will be published at 8pm AEST on the 7th of June, so if you get to this page earlier than then, don’t forget to turn on the YouTube Premiere reminder button.
There is no one way to speak English
Our worldview over the past 100 years has expanded astronomically.
But old fashioned ideas still linger, among some of us (not me!).
Ideas about the “right” or “proper” way to speak English.
What this is really referring to is the notion that one set of “English sounds” is better than another.
But if you stop and think for a second and consider the variation of native English accents, let alone non-native accents in English, who is right?
We have Scouse and Scottish, Cockney and Texan, Indian English (and YES that is just as official as Australian English) and South African pronunciation?
Hopefully by now you get the gist.
No one is “right.”
But do all speakers have a right to speak and be respected?
So how much respect are you showing someone when you make reference to their “strong accent” #nosuchthingaasthat
Not a lot, if you ask me.
And not a lot if you ask researchers in the field too.
This week has been a big chance for me to re-evaluate the language we use at Voice Science. I’ve always seen us as forward and modern in our inclusive mindset but I promise to challenge our team even further to advocate for you. On Monday morning I wrote our Position Statement on Racism. But I’m not stopping there.
We are in the process of moving our terminology across our whole site & services to better affirm you.
Remember, no accent is superior to another.
If people make reference to your “strong accent” see it as a chance to educate someone who is not as linguistically enlightened as you.
Take care & remember, your voice and message matter immensely. So speak.
Make a difference.
Fight for your rights at the table.
But more importantly, fight for anyone being sidelined.
Ciao for now,
P.S.I encourage you to add something in the comments below. I’ve opened comments, because I think our little space on the internet is starting to feel more like a community, so it would delight me to see you engage in the conversation continuing below.
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