(because Chavi asked)
Yes, I do have one. But it is fluid. It changes according to where I am and with whom I am speaking. The kids make fun of me because I still say “trousers” (pants are what one wears under the trousers), and I say “I cahn’t”. When I am on the phone with my mother my British accent comes back very strong. I did live there for 21 years, and learnt how to talk in that environment.
The children always know when I have been on the phone with their grandmother and their uncles. They also know when I have watched my weekly dose of Coronation Street. The accent hangs over me for a while after.
The unusual thing is that I am totally unaware of it. It’s not as if I deliberately switch from a pseudo-Canadian accent to my British one and back again. The only time I am ever conscious of it, is when I need to call up a company to get something done, let’s say they overcharged my credit card – then I will load up the British accent consciously. It works. I can get more out of a North American company with a British accent that I can with a pseudo-Canadian one. North American folk hear the accent and just assume we automatically know better because we talk like we have marbles in our mouths.
I have been in Canada for over 15 years. I have adopted most of their way of speech, (except for their interesting interpretation of French….) it’s inevitable. But when I read to the boys my British accent is front and center. Especially when reading Dr Seuss. No way I could do those tongue twisters in a Canadian accent! It’s Fox in Socks, not Fahx in Sahx!
Generally I will be mid-conversation with someone and suddenly they interject “are you British or something?” – I most likely will have said Can’t or Talk….and then because of their comment my British accent will take over because I will be hyper conscious. Sooo strange….
Accents are a funny thing. We make so many judgments based on how a person talks. And we are not always right.