Do you understand other people's english accent?

April 8, 2008 1:00am CST
When you travel to another English speaking such as British, America, Singapore and other countries that consider English as the main stream of communication language, will you be able to understand due to their accents?
5 responses
• Southend-On-Sea, England
1 Jun 08
I'm English, and though I've never travelled to those countries (the furthest I've travelled to are European mainland countries where the first language isn't English), I do find that here in the UK I can find it very difficult to understand the English accents of people who originate from places such as the Far East and other parts of Asia. I'm not sure what the reason for my lack of understanding is. I don't have any problems understanding people from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa....maybe it's because their mother tongue is English, rather than English just being the main language spoken (such as in countries like Singapore) yet the root mother tongue is another language? Hope I've explained that properly lol. :-)
• Singapore
11 Jun 08
Hi CelticSoulSister, I agree with your response, it is a fact that the mother tongue in Europe and America countries is English while the mother tongue in Asia countries are not English, However, for Singapore is different due to different races living in Singapore from 1819 onwards. Well, here is a bit of history, so you can check it out at for history of Singapore. I am fortunate that English is being the mainstream language in Singapore.
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
8 Jun 08
I have a very hard time understanding some people when they speak. We have some neighbors who are from overseas. Some of them speak very plain English and some of them don't. I can easily understand a few of them but I never can understand what the others are saying. The words do not come out right for me to understand them. Some of them talk to quick also and their words go together.
• Singapore
11 Jun 08
I think it is due to the frequent communicating accent which results in sometimes, you do not understand what others are saying though speaking the same language. For example, you are used to America accent and after you traveled to Asia countries, the accent is different so you may not get what they are trying to say. Asia countries have their own accents when their accents mixed with English language, it becomes English in their countries' accent. Another example, Japanese speaks English very fast even I can't grab what they are talking about, it is the same to their own language. They speak very fast and if you are novice in Japanese, you may face difficulties in understanding Japanese language.
11 Jun 08
I struggle with the Irish and the British accent from manchester.Sometimes the Scottish accent gets me too. Coming from Zimbabwe,it is sometimes dificult to catch on to what people are saying.Understanding is gradual the more i speak to them but it is very hard over the phone when I am talking to a bank or something,I usually tell them that I do not get their accent and they speak slower and clearer
@mrtimharry (1180)
8 Apr 08
As I a m from England it is normally pretty easy to understand Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, South Africa and American accents. This isn't to say I may not need to ask people to speak slower sometimes. More than accents though it is the odd word here and there which has a specific meaning to a nationality which doesn't make sense in England's English
@plumwish07 (4059)
• Indonesia
8 Apr 08
i don't think that i understand each accent of english speaking of each nation. as like new zealand accent and autralian accent, is little bit hard for me to understand it. it might cause my english class when i studied using english based on US or UK accent so it would be hard to understand another accent but i am getting optimized although its different accent as long as we have english skill, i think we still able to communicate with person who use different english accent