Breaking the (TS) silence

Recently I’ve been running dungeons with the wonderful @weiward and her friends Dark and Imimi (or was that Imime?). Low level dungeons, latest dungeons… anything. It’s been a lot of fun doing stuff I hadn’t done in ages, and what is most fun is doing it with people that I actually chat with instead of a random stranger that just wants to speed run the place.

This group also has a TeamSpeak server and always invite me to join them, which I do. Problem is I don’t talk much… in stark contrast with how I usually am with RL friends – I’ve been often been cataloged as a troll by @caleric. In part, it’s the natural shyness of being in a new place (chat server), which is normal – I think. The other? I was once referred to as an “ESL” person: English Second Language person. My native language is Spanish, but I use English for my gaming interactions every day – written English, for the moment I open my mouth to talk is the moment my tongue decides to rebel against me. My accent is also a funny hodgepodge of pronunciations coming from a mix of teachers I had during my high school years.

I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons and sitcoms on cable. TMNT, Saved by the Bell, Family Matters, Ducktales and whatever cartoon came up on the assortment of channels we had at the time. I was being raised on american english, but since I didn’t really have a chance to practice (no one in my family understood much) I ended up getting quite a bit of English, but not speaking much of it. When I was around 15 (give or take a few years) I was enrolled in an English Academy to practice. And that’s when the mix came into play.

My first 3 years the teachers were locals who spoke English. Very good English. But as good as it was, they could never emulate the 100% american pronunciation of things. My 4th year teacher was American, and his accent was flawless. I was catching up to the proper american pronunciation of things when for my 5th year I got an Irish teacher. BOOM. That put a funny spin on my accent, though it never really stuck with me. For my 6th and final year, however, I got a teacher who was a local but spoke in perfect British English. BOOM TWO. Suddenly “December” was “Decem-BEH” and “damned” became “bloody” and so on. It was only a year but the accent was very cool, and that stuck more with me.

Alas, after years of zero conversational practice and lots of television I’ve completely lost all sense of proper accent. When on TS, hearing american accent prompts my brain to “go with it” but my tongue gets mixed up and I start speaking coherent but very sloppy English. It’s embarrassing!

Fortunately @weiward has been very kind:

I should talk more. At the very worst I’d be doing English practice, which I sorely need. When I overcome the shyness they may eventually tell me to shut up! Jokes aside, I feel good to be a part of a fun linkshell and TS with fun activities… and one that enjoys my (mostly silent) company!

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