On my accent(s)

Some people have an accent, I have a lot of accents.


I have a very strong Venezuelan accent in Spanish. Most people can tell within 5 minutes of speaking to me in Spanish that I am from Caracas. Some people think I’m maybe Puerto Rican or Colombian, which is fine too. My Venezuelan accent is good enough to get me through immigration and customs when I get into Venezuela and that’s all I need.

When I speak Spanish, I also have a very strong American accent when I try to mix in words that are in English. My sister makes fun of me for how I say “Obama” and “Clinton”. I try to avoid saying English words in Spanish so she doesn’t make fun of me.

I thought I had a really good American accent in English because people (the “where are you really from?”) people were always complimenting me on my English. This summer I learned that I was wrong. I have a pretty strong Venezuelan accent in English too, though to be fair I don’t have it all the time. If I am very serious I can have a good American accent. I was made fun of for my American accent too, and told that it was very unconvincing. It made me feel like Raj in “Big Bang Theory.”

When I speak English, I have a real Spanish accent for Spanish words, which makes it so that nobody can ever understand what my name is. It also makes it so that people permanently think that I am from Minnesota (thus making me believe that my American accent is good.) The Venezuela/Minnesota thing is apparently pretty common, though.

Before my time away from DC, I thought I spoke perfect Venezuelan Spanish and perfect American English. In these two months I have learned that people know I’m from two places, no matter what language I am speaking. I also learned that I will probably never learn French.

(With some of the people that made fun of my English accent)


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