Flight Path

6 Accents Outside of the U.S. Americans Find Difficult To Understand

When I lived in New Mexico, being English, some people struggled to understand my accent. It went so far that when I ordered at the drive-thru, I resorted to putting on an American accent to complete the order.

A recent online post asks Americans to name non-American accents they find problematic — like mine.

“I met a guy in Glasgow who, after drinking before a football match, said something and even the other Scots there looked at each other and me, then shrugged as if to say, ‘Yeah, we don’t know either,'” jokes the commenter.

1. Scottish

The next observer talks about a coworker from the Virgin Islands whose strong Caribbean accent is sometimes tricky for him. “I’ve heard him talk to other island people, and I can’t understand anything except picking out a word here and there,” notes the writer.

2. U.S. Virgin Islands

“Cuban Spanish is like Australian English,” a thread member notes. “Between the slang and shortcuts, it is measurably different from its ‘root’ language,” I speak Spanish and live in Andalucia, which is famous for its lightspeed velocity.

3. Cuban Spanish

“Punjab, Hindi, and other subcontinental languages tend to speak fast and have odd pronunciations when they learn English,” warns a poster, “so Americans generally have to be seriously concentrating on making sense of what is said.”

4. Indian English

“I have to pay extra attention when talking to a Jamaican,” says an honest New Yorker. Jamaican English is known as Patois and includes some curious treatment of traditional English words.

5. Jamaican

“Irish people sometimes have that really deep voice that makes it hard to understand what they’re saying,” comments a Wyoming resident, “and when they’re drunk, it’s next to impossible, in my experience.”

6. Irish

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