Wah, Why Do I Sound Like Eso?

I studied French in middle school, high school, and a semester of college. Somewhere along the way, I noticed my accent sounded different from those of my classmates.

Instead of sounding like an American speaking French, I sounded like a Chinese speaker. I had a Cantonese French accent.

Last week in Spanish class, we took turns reading a conversation. I properly “j”ed my “ll”s (I’ve decided to go west with my Spanish) and rolled my “rr”s, but I realized upon finishing one of my lines that something was off.

Aside from my work in progress “o”s and “e”s I didn’t sound much like my classmates, but I didn’t sound like my instructor either.

I sounded like a Chinese speaker. I had a Cantonese Spanish accent.

It’s not always there, but when it shows up it sounds really, really odd.


  1. Oooh, so much I wish we could discuss on this, but so little time. The best thing I can think of illustrate my thought process is the quote I’ve often heard that says “Your Mother tongue is the one you curse in when you hit your thumb with a hammer.” (mine is apparently blasphemous redneck) and since your brain was “wired” in Cantonese as a child, those are the circuits it falls back on to work out the new language, and you get the tinge of Cantonese in your Spanish. Brains fascinate me.

    Obviously, you have to open a fusion restaurant now.

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