Language, accents and tourism

Arrr! Avast me hearties! Authentic pirate gibberish spoken here

I came across an interesting article today about ways to attract tourists with regional accents and languages. It discuses moves to encourage the use of French in parts of Canada and Louisiana, and Irish in Ireland, as well as regional accents in Newfoundland and in Skane in southern Sweden. People from the regions are promoting their languages and accents to attract visitors looking for ‘authentic’ experiences.

I certainly like to hear different accents and languages in parts of the UK and other countries I visit. When I meet people in such places who come from elsewhere and don’t have a local accent or speak the local language, I am somewhat disappointed. Although their way of speaking will probably be interesting to me anyway, even if it isn’t local to that region.

My own accent could not be defined as ‘authentic’ to the area where I grew up – the north of Lancashire. Instead it’s a kind of non-region specific British accent with influences from various places I’ve lived.

Do you enjoy hearing different accents, dialects or languages when you travel? Are you disappointed if people don’t speak in the way you expected?

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