Why do some people have an accent?

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The word accent refers to the way you sound when you speak and how you pronounce words. There are many different types of accents all over the world since there are many different ways of sounding! 

Most people get their accent from the place they grew up in. For example, people who grew up in England have a different accent than people who grew up in America. There can even be differences between two people who grew up in different parts of the same country, like an American from Texas and an American from Minnesota. A person’s accent can also sometimes change if they move to a new place that has a different accent!

But remember: Accents and different ways of speaking are part of what make people unique! Even though some people might pronounce the same word differently, there is no “right way” or “wrong way,” there’s just more than one way!

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Would you like a chocolate biscuit?

    In addition to pronouncing words differently, sometimes two people from different places have separate meanings for the same word.

    For example, in England and some other European countries, a biscuit is kind of like a cookie, while in most parts of America, a biscuit is either a type of bread roll, or a treat you give to your dog! Also, if you ever find yourself in the dark while you’re in England, be sure to ask someone for a torch instead of a flashlight!

    In the United States, a robot is usually a machine that resembles a person and can perform tasks on command, while for English-speaking South Africans, a robot is a traffic light! And while Americans usually refer to a globe as a miniature representation of the Earth, in South Africa a globe might be a round ball-shaped map, or else it might mean a light bulb!

    And in Australia, a barbie is a place where you grill food like chicken and hamburgers (think “barbeque”), while in America, the same word refers to a toy doll! Don’t forget that if you’re at a barbie in Australia and decide you’d rather eat PB&J, watch out -- asking for jelly will get you something less like jam and more like Jell-o!

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