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Vlog: My accent

vlog image

I saw this fun little regional dialect vlog meme over on puglypixel the other day, and I thought I would overcome my fear of being caught on camera and record my own. Basically, in this meme you read out a number of words and answer some questions so that the your online mates can find out what we sound like. I make an unimpressive start by mispronouncing vlog and shaking my head a lot (that is one mannerism I didn’t really need to know about) but then settle into it a bit, and become more and more Scottish sounding.

In case you are wondering what it going on with my accent: I have German parents and speak German at home, but I was born in Luxembourg where I lived until I was 18. I went to a European school, where I was taught English and some other subjects by mainly English and some Irish teachers. I moved to Scotland almost 12 years ago. I have been told on numerous occassions that I have a Geordie (Newcastle) accent.

I’d love to hear more people do this, especially ones with exciting language backgrounds! If you fancy it, these are the words to say, and questions to answer:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:

  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

  • What do you call gym shoes?

  • What do you say to address a group of people?

  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

  • What do you call your grandparents?

  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

And please, someone explain to me what this tipi thing is all about! Toilet paper? House? eh?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Teeny 25 April 2011, 7:15 am

    ohhhh this was sweet. I think i might do this too!

  • Misfitsvintage 25 April 2011, 7:48 am

    Oh this is fantastic! I loved hearing your very-unusual and very-lovely accent Franca! I have no idea what that toilet paper thing is about. and why do you say that a daddy long legs spider is not a spider??

    I think I might do this too… how fun! Thank you!

    Sarah xxx

  • oranges_and_apples 25 April 2011, 7:59 am

    A daddy longlegs in the UK is a fly, it flies about and also has only 6
    legs. A daddy longlegs in the US (and presumably Australia too) is a type of
    spider, or so Wikipedia tells me! So everyone was right.

  • SACRAMENTO 25 April 2011, 8:20 am

    I love your accent Franca. My husband, born in Newcastle, thinks you accent is more geordie than Scotish. did you use a proper video camera to do that???
    I will be trying it eventually, but not yet, hehehehh.

  • oranges_and_apples 25 April 2011, 8:27 am

    Hehe, now Geordies are saying I sound Geordie! Sometimes people think I'm
    from the Western Isles too, i.e. Scottish but kind of Scandinavian/odd.

    The camera was just my normal photo camera. It has HD video options, but
    this is not it, because the HD files are HUGE and take about a day to upload
    to You Tube.

  • Rochelle 25 April 2011, 8:30 am

    Ahh how to explain TPing… To start off with it is called TPing or to TP someone's house based on the initials of Toilet Paper. I'm really not sure why people do it other than to be spiteful. But it creates a huge mess and is a pretty common thing for kids to do in highschool.

  • miss sophie 25 April 2011, 8:43 am

    what a fun idea :D! + loving your accent !!!!

    though i can't really participate, as i'm german (so, yeah, i'm proud owner & user of the most horrible accent… + hey, i also used to live in Luxembourg ;)) and don't know half of the words there asking for, i'm actually considering starting something similar in german – feeling like joining in here, too :D?

    + concerning the first question, the only thing it made me think about was halloween, you know, as some sort of "trick", but that wouldn't make sense, i guess ;)…

  • Absolutely Mrs. K 25 April 2011, 9:36 am

    what a fun idea!!! love a british accent!! sometimes harder to understand than american english. i didn't know you were german, couldn't hear it, to me it was a complete british accent
    love your skirt BTW, the print is phenomenal

  • madam0wl a.k.a Sandra 25 April 2011, 10:22 am

    Fun! I did this earlier in the year after seeing mavenhaven do it, here is the post where my video is embedded (toward the end). Mine likely is not "exciting language background" as you say, but still. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can definitely hear the hint of German in your speech, reminds me of conference calls with former co-workers of mine.

    Also did you do a bit of post-processing on the video, i.e. go black & white with one color left? Fancy, I like it!

  • oranges_and_apples 25 April 2011, 11:04 am

    Nope, no processing of any kind! i don't even know how to chop bits off at
    the beginning and end. The camera has a setting for b&w plus one colour, bit
    I don't even know how to tell it which colour. It just picked green cos
    that's what there was most of I guess. I wanted snazzy effects to distract
    from my awkwardness!

  • Emma at Daily Clothes Fix 25 April 2011, 12:09 pm

    Hi Franca. Love your accent. As someone who lives in Newcastle I can confirm that you don't sound Geordie but I can hear a bit of a Scottish lilt in there.

    PS Not sure if I'll get a chance to do this but I would say the spider is a Harvestman.

  • Stef 25 April 2011, 12:10 pm

    hehe, oh you Northerner – you have a lovely accent ๐Ÿ™‚ I can see where the guys who liken it to the Newcastle area are coming from ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think I'll have to give this a go too but that'll involve hearing my own accent again and I sound like such a hoity toity ponce to myself. Darn accent.

  • Rad 25 April 2011, 12:43 pm

    I adored hearing your accent. I could listen to it all day. I had a weird conversation this weekend about my own accent (at a dinner party where a couple from UK, who originally came from Germany and the American South respectively) which people can't really place (I get California sometimes, but that's just lazy talk).

  • Lyddiegal 25 April 2011, 1:13 pm

    You have a great accent Franca! I wish I sounded more interesting (though, I guess to some people I do).
    I would call rain falling when the sun is shining a Sun Shower, and toilet papering a house is a pretty common occurrence from juvenile delinquents, especially on tv, and especially on mischief night, the evening before halloween.

  • Elly 25 April 2011, 2:20 pm

    Oh my goodness this video is great! I adore your accent! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I'm entertained to see which of those questions seem to be aimed at picking out American regional dialects… the "bubbly carbonated drink" argument of "soda" vs. "pop," and the one about addressing a group of people…I suspect that's there to pick up "you" vs. "y'all." (or, as my friend from Alabama says, "y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.")

    Now I kind of want to do this, though I don't know whether or not I've got an interesting accent/non-accent (at least in the US). I was born and raised in Colorado, which basically doesn't have much dialectical variation, but I was homeschooled and therefore didn't necessarily pick up on the "standard" accent/vocabulary. People used to ask me when I was younger where I came from… so maybe I have some vocal peculiarities of my own? Hmm.

  • mavenhaven 25 April 2011, 3:21 pm

    I did this one awhile back as well: http://mavenhaven.blogspot.com/2011/02/regional-dialects-meme.html.

    To clarify TP-ing a house, which yes is a ridiculous thing to do, it's not so much that you're chucking toilet paper on the house itself–more that you hurl the rolls up into the trees repeatedly, so that the TP gets tangled up in the branches and hangs like streamers all over the yard. Very common in high school, especially among people who are on sports teams, and generally not mean-spirited, at least not in the Midwest US where I'm from. Usually if your house was TPed it shows that you're somewhat popular.

  • Katie 25 April 2011, 3:28 pm

    Bless you for knowing that a Daddy Long Legs isn't a spider (for those who don't know, while it is an arachnid, because the head, thorax and abdomen are fused together, it's not technically a spider. Also, it has too few eyes) ! Well done. Also, a wood louse isn't a bug, but I can let that one slide, question-writers.

    Your accent is lovely. I can hear a little of the German come out, but that's mostly from having listened to The Rocket Scientist for so long. I've been told my accent is a mixture of Boston and Canadian, which would make sense as they're where I've lived, but I don't hear it…

  • Danielle O'B 25 April 2011, 3:43 pm

    Yay! This was so interesting!

  • oranges_and_apples 25 April 2011, 3:46 pm

    Yes, I thought that too. Though I can only think of so many ways you could
    pronounce fire! In general, I don't hear much of the variations in US
    accents that must be there, I can just about tell the difference between a a
    southern US one and a what i think of as standard one, but I don't think I
    could identify east coast vs west coast even. so i would be interested to
    hear US ones where people speak in a regional way to see if I c

    Actaully now I've come to think of it, the scottish word for fizzy drinks is
    juice, but I've never liked that because it implies that fanta and orange
    juice are somehow in the same category, and i'm too much of a snob for that.
    There's also a North of England/Scotland way of saying you as plural, youse.
    I use it sometimes because I like that it identifies it being plural (the
    generic you as opposed to the german du/ihr is missing something, I think),
    but I know that some people with really strong accents use youse all the
    time, including for singular.

  • oranges_and_apples 25 April 2011, 3:52 pm

    How weird! my friend who has a phobia of wet paper would not like that!

  • Alli 25 April 2011, 4:32 pm

    Franca, you're accent is so sweet! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    The words that surprised me when you said them were "data" (I'm from Iowa, and I would have said either "day-tah" or "dah-tah"), and when you explained how you would have spelled pajamas, you said "a" but I heard it like "e." Funny, isn't it, how even the names of letters can sound different in different parts of the world!

  • Alli 25 April 2011, 4:33 pm

    Ack, I meant "your" not "you're."

  • Bad Taste Toast 25 April 2011, 4:35 pm

    Hm komisch wenn ich auf Play klicke sehe ich zwar das Video aber es kommt kein Sound ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    Schade, ich finde sowas immer sehr interessant.
    Werd ich vielleicht mal machen. Allerdings wusste ich bei der Hรคlfte der gefragten Begriffe das Wort gar nicht ๐Ÿ˜‰ Irgendwie hab ich ziemliche Vokabel-Lรผcken obwohl ich Englisch studiere, uups…

  • oranges_and_apples 25 April 2011, 4:37 pm

    Yeah, I did notice that when i was playing it back, actually! My friend who
    is Irish pronounces 'r' 'or' and not 'ar' and that always confuses some

  • oranges_and_apples 25 April 2011, 4:40 pm

    Ich wohne ja jetzt schon seit ewigkeiten hier und lerne trotzdem noch
    staendig neues! Wenn die kinofilme in deutschland untertitelt waeren, waere
    das schon viel einfacher!

    2011/4/25 Disqus <>

  • Marissa 25 April 2011, 6:49 pm

    Ahh- I'm at work right now so I can't watch this, but I'm totally bookmarking it for later! I can't wait to hear this crazy accent of yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • A Certain Vintage 25 April 2011, 7:56 pm

    your accent is cute! I really like this idea, I wonder who chose the words! I am an actress so it's good to hear lots of different accents haha. Beautiful blog, your vignette pictures are really lovely xox

  • Aviewintomyworld 25 April 2011, 8:23 pm

    i love your accent, i'd actually listened to the vlog post you did ages ago reviewing a book, it popped up one day as one of the suggested reading posts at the bottom.
    i don't have exciting language background, just from ireland, but this seemed like fun so i've done it too…
    gosh its quite daunting talking to yourself like that isn't it? i was so nervous!!!

  • Steph C 25 April 2011, 11:00 pm

    You sound adorable! People wrap houses in toilet paper either because they like the person or to humiliate them. It's really, really, really fun. I think I'll do this myself in the next few days, I found you through A View Into My World.

  • Steph C 25 April 2011, 11:01 pm

    I meant I'd do a meme (I grew up in the US South, lived with some Canadians for a while, now live in Australia so….) not I'll go wrap a house in toilet paper.

  • Misfitsvintage 26 April 2011, 12:21 am

    Well! Who knew? According to Wiki:

    # Crane fly (Tipulidae) (in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland and Newfoundland)
    # Harvestman (Opiliones) (in North American English and British English), an arachnid, but not a spider
    # Cellar spider (Pholcidae) (especially in Australian/New Zealand English, but also North American English and British English), a true spider

    The most interesting thing about this is that I didn't know that arachnids are not necessarily spiders. You live and learn!

    Thanks Franca – this post has turned out to be interesting in so many ways.

    Sarah xxx

  • Katrina 26 April 2011, 2:10 am

    for all this time i've visited your blog, your writing voice spoke to me with a british accent. i ADORE your german accent, Franca. you're lovely and charming and i'm so glad you did this. from now on, i'm going to call sodas by "fuzzy pop"!

  • Yo Ladies Mag 26 April 2011, 2:28 am

    What a great idea! Your voice/accent are lovely. Tipi? I've never heard of that but always heard throwing toilet paper at a house referred to as "papering." ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Terri 26 April 2011, 3:19 am

    What a fun idea for a vlog! Your accent if very curious to my ear, but I doubt I would have picked up all the influences you've had. My own voice is melodious and low, but very midwestern American. I am always impressed by linguists who can detect one's major language influence by the way they speak.

  • Citizen Rosebud 26 April 2011, 4:53 am

    omg! love your vlog! you do have a very intriguing accent- I never would have been able to place it (only not from Cali, lol) Here are my answers to your questions 1) tee-pee. you t.p. or tee-pee a house with toilet paper. did it as a teenager back in the stone age. 2) pill-bug 3)soda (they call it pop in the south) 4) tennies 5) Hello. ? 6) daddy long-legs 8) gran'ma, gran'pa 9) cart 10) normal 11) the remote

  • Tracey 26 April 2011, 6:01 am

    How lovely … your accent is wonderful.

  • oranges_and_apples 26 April 2011, 6:12 am

    It is a weird thing to do! Will listen to yours later!

  • oranges_and_apples 26 April 2011, 6:13 am

    I was wondering ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • oranges_and_apples 26 April 2011, 6:16 am

    Fizzy pop! Actually I just said that because Dave calls it that, I probably
    just call it fizzy drinks. I'll have to watch myself next time it comes up!

  • Ceri 27 April 2011, 5:26 am

    Love your vlog. I love the way people say things differently. I moved to the Westcountry from the southend about 15 years ago and often can hear the West country accent when I talk now. It still makes me laugh when I hear people say chukkie pigs (woodlice), daps (gym shoes) and gurt (big).

  • madam0wl a.k.a Sandra 27 April 2011, 7:10 pm

    I'm replying to this reply of yours to see if it shows up as a reply of a
    reply on your blog. Hope you don't mind me testing.

    That is cool the movie feature will record using a color setting like that.
    It looked great I thought. Might have to try that myself.

  • madam0wl a.k.a Sandra 27 April 2011, 7:13 pm

    Great explanation of TP-ing! One might TP a teacher's house too. Don't ask how I know that.

  • Fabienne Jach 27 April 2011, 7:44 pm

    Francaaaa! That was so adorable! I love hearing people and adding their voice to their writing. That's fantastic, I want to do it now. I probably sound pretty Americanized, even more so like Northern California, but I know I pronounce certain words slightly differently.

    Oh, by the way, to "TP" a house is to throw toilet paper rolls so that they unroll all over your house and yard, making a horrible mess in the process. It's a nasty prank kids play on each other.

  • Fashnlvr 27 April 2011, 7:56 pm

    You are so cute! I loved listening to you speak. I think you are adorable and I love your accent. Makes me wonder what I sound like……..
    Thank you for sharing this!!

  • LORENA 3 May 2011, 4:07 pm

    You have a lovely accent Franca !
    To me you sound British.
    This was so interesting. I have to say I have no clue what throwing toilet paper on the house means…..

  • Rhianne 4 May 2011, 3:22 pm

    ohhh, I've thought about doing this but I can't find our stupid webcam :/ disaster! oh, just saw that you used your camera, good idea! I'll do that then.

    I've heard of TP'ing but I didn't know what it was called before I watched some of these.

    Its so interesting hearing how people sound, I love your accent and that you said woodlouse, trolley and trainers ๐Ÿ™‚ haha!

  • veronicadarling 5 May 2011, 12:07 pm

    OMFG I love you so much! (I loved you before, but have just jumped up and down with how cute you are!)

    I might try and do this on the weekend! xoxoxo

  • Carolyn 10 May 2011, 11:09 am

    Your accent is gorgeous! It just sounds Scottish to my ears and I can't pick up any German there. I came here via a view into my world, and I'm going to try to do my own too, such a great idea! (I'm an Aussie…)

  • Carolyn 11 May 2011, 12:51 pm

    Hi Franca, I made one too! I have an Australian accent… it's on my blog