Living in Rome changed the way I speak

I’ve been watching quite a fair amount of videos by Mark Weins, a vlogger that I enjoy watching. He travels a lot to Asia, and I like seeing him experiencing places that I’ve been to. In a way, I can rekindle my memories somewhat.

Like when he went to Langkawi, PenangKuala Lumpur, Singapore … all of them places that I’ve been to, and I’ve even already blogged about. I find Mark amusing when he tastes food that he likes by closing his eyes, and tilting his head and saying, “mmm…”

Anyway, out of curiosity I decided to watch one of his older videos.

7 years, ago his voice was deeper, he spoke slower and his accent was distinctly American. Two years later, living in South East Asia, his voice started to change.

In a way, it doesn’t really surprise me. Voices and accents change depending on where you live. Sometimes you don’t even need to live overseas for a long time for your accent to change. I’m sure you find yourself talking differently when you’re talking to different people.

For example, if you were to meet a person of a different nationality – let’s say a French person, you find yourself talking differently to make yourself understood more easily.

Living in Rome, I have to force myself to speak a little louder and enunciate to make myself understood by the locals here. I guess I’m influenced by the environment here because when I go back to Singapore, my friends and family sometimes comment, “Marina! You have an Italian accent now!

Without realising it, I now tend to intonate certain words like their Italian counterpart when I speak in English like “Really?” (Davvero?)  and sometimes I find myself doing direct translations when having to switch from English to Italian and vice versa. Something like, “How many years does he have?” Then I realised what I said and correct myself.

I wouldn’t say that I’m great at speaking Italian, I still have a long way to go to being fluent. Nevertheless, I find the changes interesting.

Looking through my facebook feed, many of my friends have now emigrated (or going to) to different parts of the world. It’ll be interesting to hear them talk again in person!