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If you live overseas, do your children have different accents to your own?

(50 Posts)
booklooker Sat 10-Dec-16 13:42:14

We have lived overseas for all of our DD1 and DD2 lives.

I have west London accent, not as pronounced as it used to be, but it is still there. DP has a more neutral accent (to my ear).

DD2 speaks like us, but DD1 (15) has a distinctly American sounding accent, maybe people would describe it as 'mid-Atlantic'

She's had it for years, but has not had a N. American teacher for ages.

I confess I do occasionally tease her about it, but it is of no serious concern of mine.

I just wondered if any other children also have picked up accents

ShanghaiDiva Sun 11-Dec-16 03:49:14

My dcs have also lived overseas their whole life.
When we lived in Austria, ds spoke with a really strong local accent, whereas I only speak 'Hochdeutsch'. Other parents from his class thought it was funny that we sounded so different.
Ds speaks English with a neutral accent - just like me, but dd has a slight American accent and uses some US vocabulary (movie, etc) that we never use at home. Not sure why as all her class teachers at her international school have had English/Scottish accents.

isthistoonosy Sun 11-Dec-16 05:56:49

Mine are only toddlers but both speak with the local (midlands) / northern accent where I'm told I speak the local language with a very southern accent, not sure why.

English is pretty neutral atm.

Isthiscorrect Sun 11-Dec-16 06:20:35

We are in the Middle East. Ds now at uni, has a northern accent (our previous home) crossed with the mid Atlantic twang and a bit of RP thrown in.
The school I work in has 58 nationalities, the majority from the UK however most of them sound like the Disney channel or Nickoloden with an occasional throwback to wherever they were in their formative years.

kansasmum Sun 11-Dec-16 06:21:33

My kids were 6&8 when we moved to the US and they picked up American accents fast! Funnily enough when moved back to the Uk 5 years later they lost them within 6 months although still use a lot of American phrases/words like closet, sidewalk, trash etc!!

talkshowhost97 Sun 11-Dec-16 06:23:24

Yes. I have a very distinctive uk regional accent whilst my DD (5) has, to my ear, a much more proper English accent, accented with odd pronunciations and Americanisms although not an American accent.

However, others hear my local accent in her where I can't. Family only hear the posh accent! She just sounds like herself to me though, I don't really think about it that often any more.

MaitlandGirl Sun 11-Dec-16 07:06:29

Myself and my oldest both speak with fairly strong English accents (mine is a mix of southern/midlands, but my sons is very Home Counties) whereas my middle child has a fairly neutral English accent.

The youngest used to have a real Potteries accent, very strong Stoke accent but now she's sounds like a complete Aussie bogan. Seriously, if you've seen the video clip going around of the Aussie man who chased a ram raider away from his neighbours shop in just his undies you'll know what she sounds like!

The kids were 9, 7 and 5 when we relocated from Berkshire to Stoke and then 13, 11 and 9 when we emigrated.

BankWadger Sun 11-Dec-16 07:15:21

My son has a more English accent (from his dad), my daughter is very Scottish, both have a definite kiwi thing going on on certain words/phrases, though it's different in each. My own Kiwi accent is quite mild now though I still haven't picked up a Scottish one.

ChilliMum Sun 11-Dec-16 16:29:22

Dd lived in England until she was 6 so has a southern accent. Ds has a northern accent like mine and they both use Americanisms and have a slight American accent on some words (no TV just Netflix and YouTube and a couple of American families nearby).
We live in France and the kids learn german at school so they speak german with a strong french accent.

toffeeboffin Sun 11-Dec-16 16:31:24


I'm from Lancashire but we live in Québec.

DS (nearly 3) swings between French and broadest Lancashire. He's just starting to separate the two languages. I'm sure once he starts school he'll have a more generic Canadian accent.

elQuintoConyo Sun 11-Dec-16 16:35:13

DS has a fairly neutral accent but will say 'filum' like Dubliner DH.

His Spanish and Catalan are flawless.

However, he does at times say 'ess-pee-der-man' for Spiderman!

papooshka Sun 11-Dec-16 19:07:07

both my kids were born in Singapore and my dd spoke with an american accent whilst my ds spoke more locally called Singlish!
Now we are back in the UK they both sound completely English.

SofiaAmes Sun 11-Dec-16 19:16:04

My dc's were born in London and were almost 3 and almost 5 when we moved back to the USA. Dd counted in an english accent to 15 and an american accent for the higher was quite cute and definitely a marker. Children take on the accent of the place they live, not their parents. Although sometimes certain words get pronounced funny. My mother is Italian with a thick accent. I grew up in California and have an American accent although I am frequently told that my accent is New York and not California...I think it's because a large chunk of the New York accent is derived from Italian Americans.

dontevenblink Sun 11-Dec-16 20:54:18

This is really interesting, I was just talking about this yesterday. My 2 eldest dc were 3 and 1 when we emigrated to NZ and we've been here for 5 years. They definitely pronounce their vowels the kiwi way (so bear sounds the same as beer etc). Dc1 has a bit of a mixed accent, some words sound English, others strongly kiwi. Dc2 sounds very kiwi. According to my Dsis via Skype they both have strong accents, so I'm not sure if I've stopped noticing as much or she just notices the differences more as she's not surrounded by it?

My youngest 2 dc were both born here. Not sure about dc4 as she's not talking much yet, but dc3 has developed quite a strong English accent, but bizarrely sounds a bit northern despite me and dh being from near London and he's never visited the UK . He has resisted the kiwi vowels for some reason, despite all his friends being kiwi and attending kindy every morning for the last 2 years where the teachers are all kiwis! I find the language acquisition fascinating. I wonder how much his accent will change when he starts school next year.

Jabuticaba Sun 11-Dec-16 21:06:59

We live in Brazil and the children have similar accents to mine which is south east. The little one rolls his r's and sometimes has an American twang from words he picks up from the American cable tv and from dh who learnt english in the US . When they speak to friends they say English words in a Brazilian way but only because no one would understand them otherwise.

Okkitokkiunga Sun 11-Dec-16 21:27:31

DH is french, I'm South African. Both DCs speak with a Home Counties accent where we used to live, until the get to school and then speak broad Derbyshire.

OlennasWimple Sun 11-Dec-16 21:37:04

My eldest DC (11) has retained his English accent, but my youngest (6) can switch between English and American without blinking. As a pp said, it's also about vocab - they both say "math", "sidewalk", "trash" now

sunbunnydownunder Sun 11-Dec-16 22:37:27

My eldest 2 have lived in Ireland for a year when they were 3 and a baby now at 6 and 9 they have an Irish accent when with us and are inclined to go Aussie with their friends. The eldest had a cute little kiwi accent when we moved home from NZ. The younger one has more of a aussie accent then the older one.

KickAssAngel Sun 11-Dec-16 23:21:39

DD has an American accent, but it fades when we go back to the UK. She was 5 when we moved here.

mmgirish Mon 12-Dec-16 04:23:58

We live in SE Asia. Our kids were born in two different countries but within the region.

My eldest son speaks with a British accent with some occasional Australian sounding words (from Australian teachers).

My youngest mostly speaks the local language with his nanny and the TAs at school but when he talks to us then speaks like an Asian person who is learning English - so a strong accent and he often doesn't say the ends of his words properly like the locals do here.

I have an Irish accent so am completely different sounding.

trotzdem Mon 12-Dec-16 12:28:38

My children have exactly my accent because I am the only person who speaks English to them (except DH, who swaps between English and German but has pretty much adopted my English accent too shock grin )

In German they have a bit of a Bavarian accent but speak mainly high German, making them posh in Bavaria but bumpkins elsewhere in Germany I suspect shockgrin ). DH is also only half German (born and brought up in Bavaria with a foreign mum and German dad, just like our kids although she is not an English speaker) and has pretty much the same German accent as the kids.

5moreminutes Mon 12-Dec-16 12:33:48

My eldest is 11 and we moved here when she was 18 months - younger ones are 9 and 5 and were born here.

Older 2 learn English at school but it has no impact on their pronunciation luckily. I have a strong language force field blush (even though I speak German my whole family switch to English when I enter a room even if they were speaking German before grin One of DC3s Bavarian/ German friends has a language delay and only uses about 10 words in German and even he tries to speak English, his mum was a bit flummoxed when he shouted "No!" at her when she tried to take him home grin )

HingleMcCringleberry Mon 12-Dec-16 12:34:39

I grew up abroad until I was 10. My parents have strong Scottish (Glasgow and Edinburgh) accents. I came back to the south east of England with an horrendous transatlantic accent. Really grim. I had it beaten out of me at school and have a fairly characterless posh accent now. I wish I had a Scottish accent.

allegretto Mon 12-Dec-16 12:38:34

DS (12) has my British accent. His younger brother and sister have an Italian accent (when speaking English!)

HerRoyalNotness Mon 12-Dec-16 12:51:20

My two sounded like me before they went to school. Then DS1 took on a Canadian accent. After we moved to Texas, one syllable words are now drawn out into 2 or 3. DS1 can turn his on/off, but DS2 who started school here will definitely have the influence in is.

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