The story behind an accent

IMG_1677

This morning I turned on the radio and the first comment I heard was about the speech Melania Trump gave last night… Before we get started,  I want to make it very clear this is not about politics…

The hosts of the morning show were talking about the similarities between Mrs. Trump’s speech last night and the speech that Mrs. Obama gave when her husband was running for president 8 years ago… When discussing the points, one of the hosts commented “the only difference between the 2 speeches was that just one was given in English”…

For those who have never had the opportunity to express themselves in a foreign language it can be hard to fully appreciate and understand the level of difficulty this entails. I can definitely share my perspective since I was born and raised in Venezuela and came to this amazing country 9 years ago with practically no knowledge of the English language. I took 2 courses of intensive English at Florida Atlantic University and that was the extent of my formal coursework.

I can’t explain how hard it is for an immigrant to been able to communicate and overcome the embarrassment and fear of expressing ideas in a public setting… It is not just about being brave enough to talk, it is about achieving the goal of getting people to understand what you want to say.

It is on all of us to encourage everyone, especially those who have the important role to work in media to truly be an instrument for teaching values, respecting diversity, and being a platform to encourage people to speak their minds freely without fear.

Again, this is not about political speeches –  it is about life! We need to be aware that everything we hear and say will shape future generations way to thinking and their perspectives. Let’s teach respect and tolerance to our kids and create a solid foundation for them to all lead successful lives.

Making fun of someone because of an accent doesn’t make us a better person, don’t let politics shape who we are as human beings… Instead, when you listen to a person with an accent be RESPECTFUL and recognize the time and effort that person has made to become BILINGUAL.

Interesting Facts: (source http://www.gallup.com)

  • About twenty-six percent of adult Americans speak a language other than English well enough to hold a conversation.
  • The ability to speak a second language:
    • Decreases with advanced age
    • Increases with advanced education
    • Varies by region
    • Varies by ideology