Listening to someone's accent can distract me from the business of hearing what they're saying. It comes down to the way someone is speaking being more important than the content. Despite that, I always listen intently to every word from my friend from Belfast, who despite having lived in England for some twenty years, has not, to my ears anyway, lost her accent. Everything she says, brightens my day.
Hearing her say 'darling' or 'film' in her Northern Irish accent still make me smile. I was especially pleased to have her tell me one of her latest tales involving her midwife's appointment weeks ahead of her baby's arrival in March.
"There was a bit of a communication issue regarding accents," she told me.
"Oh," I said, "where was the midwife from?"
"She was English," my friend replied. "It was my accent that caused the problem."
I promise that I have her permission to tell you the misunderstanding that followed.
"I asked her if it was normal for there to be so much pain when I'm walking for more than a couple of minutes?" she told me.
As soon as I heard my friend say this, I started to laugh. If you don't have the good fortune to have a Northern Irish friend, try saying 'pain' but emphasizing the a and doubling the vowel sound.
The midwife's response was to tell her to practice her pelvic floor exercises and marked her notes up as 'stress incontinent.'
Good luck to you both next month. xx