Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Renae Reads in Spanish

Renae is reading a book about counting cheerios. She's saying: "Here there are 2, "Here there are 3, etc etc." Each page has a different number of cheerios on it. And then she just wanders away from the book and starts counting to 10. My personal favorite is her 4, "quackta"

And speaking of languages . . . .

Most countries have a place where their language is spoken "without accent," or where it's spoken clearly. Here in Spain, it's in a place called Valladolid. My university used to send Spanish students there so they could learn clear and correct Spanish. Here in Madrid, I think the Spanish is also pretty clear and easy to understand (especially compared to the south of Spain!!) so I'm glad Renae is learning her Spanish here.

So where is English spoken without accent in the United States? A long time ago, I had heard that Nebraska and Iowa were accentless. I believed it because as I listened to national news anchors they all sounded like people from my state. Then I noticed that people in the movies and in television also spoke like me (unless playing a character that specifically needed to have an accent from another part of the US).

Now you can imagine what some of the southerners I've met along the way have had to say about this tidbit I'd heard awhile ago. :) I'm the one with the accent according to them. Well a few days ago I was using good old Wikipedia ("If it's on Wikipedia, you know it's true."-Michael Scott) to see how English in the US changed from the British accent, to what's now called the American accent. It was really interesting to read about and I found that there is something called "General American" English. It's the accent people in the national media are taught to speak in. It's accentless. It's clearly spoken.

And guess where this General American is spoken?

That's right! So some crazy tidbit I'd heard forever ago turned out to be pretty true. Therefore:

  • Kari, be glad you are married to an Iowan because sometimes you may need to be reminded how to speak correct English since you grew up speaking French and Georgian English.
  • Valerie and Kristi, I told you us Iowans are good for something.
  • Bea, you get to practice English with someone who speaks clearly. (And you speak clear Spanish for me too!)
  • My family who grew up in Wisconsin . . . we TOLD you, you had an accent. :)
  • All of you ex-Iowans who emigrated to Minnesota-beware . . . that Northern Midwest accent will be in your bones before you know it, don't you know.
  • To all of my Southern friends . . . when we went back to Iowa after being around a bunch of you in Virginia, my family said I was speaking with a southern accent. So I guess the General American accent can be changed into the "true" accent. Bless your heart . . .

Let the verbal jabs begin . . . P.S this General American has nothing to do with written English, just spoken. So, ignore all of the poor gramar in this post . . . did I even spell gramar write?


J. et K. said...

Darlin', you crack me up. Fo' real, honeychile.

I would say Iowans are fairly accentless, but they do have some mighty funny grammar at times. (The car 'needs washed' for example.)

Don't worry. Our kids will be bi-Englishal. :)

Mandi said...

Oh My Goodness, there is nothing cuter than a little Renae reading in Spanish!! How adorable!

Hehe, I remember having those conversations with people/cousins - about how we DON'T have an accent and they do! How funny!!

Keely said...

I spoke General English until I was 14 yrs old. I now speak a slightly (SLIGHTLY, I TELL YOU!) southernized version of General English. I fight every day to teach my kids correct pronunciation. I've often wondered how southern children learn to spell/read at all! (Pin and Pen sound identical, for example.)

Anonymous said...

Love it!!
Do Idahoans have an accent? Mainly I've noticed people say
"oNry" for "oRnry" (did I spell that right? My gramMar is not that good (well?) either! ;)
-Britt :)

P_31Girl said...

I, too, have always argued that Iowans are void of an accent! Glad to know I'm right!

Renae is SO stinking cute! I'm SO excited to have her as my neice in 137 days!!

Beatriz said...

Mi niña!....Way to go, Renae!, I love the way she speaks, it´s just as any other 2 year old Spanish child!. Julie you will have to continue with the good work in the States, she just can´t lose this, and maybe she could help you with Sammy...

By the way, I knew we were learning from the best!. Iowa rocks!

Scott & Julie said...

I noticed that W'loo isn't in the highlighted area. This would explain why Scott thought I had an accent when he met me. Yes, it is a bowat.

Andy and Kaye said...

Oh how precious to hear her speaking Spanish, and without that accent that you chose to write so much about!