top of page

You speak de henglish?

I attended anglophone schools almost my entire life. Elementary school, high school and CEGEP. In fact, university was the only francophone institution I ever went to.

For some reason, my French accent decided to stick to me, no matter what I do… Québécois accent, to be precise. For some people, it’s even “worse.” I tried to run away from it, I’ve been ashamed of it, I’ve been bullied for it, but why?

What are accents anyways? Does “no accent” even exist?

The “no accent” statement is just an ethnocentric way of saying that one’s way of talking is superior to another or is the “reference”.

What’s really important is: does my audience understand me? And this is mostly up to my communication skills, not my language skills. We can get a message across mostly due to our nonverbal cues.

I understood this last summer after having a 1h long conversation to a wonderful brasileira friend in Brazilian Portuguese. How’s my Brazilian Portuguese, you may ask? Absolutely horrible 😂 but still it was an amazing conversation about complex topics of life.

People understand me? Good! I have a French accent? Great! And I’m proud of it.

Your accent is just a stamp of your identity, not something you should be ashamed of. Accents are beautiful. They resonate to me like thousands of wonderful melodies that are a reflection of the culturally and ethnically rich society we’re lucky to live in.

And if anyone gives you a hard time because of it, they might just not be worth building a connection with.

Let me hear yours.

Rethink your biases.

-Marie-Elyse Forget


bottom of page