there is no shame in having a ‘fake’ accent

I studied in Australia, and stayed there for 2.5 years (before covid at least). During my time there, I quickly realised that I needed a semblance of a ‘white’ accent for anybody to take me even remotely seriously.

It wasn’t all nice. Born and bred in Singapore, though I have a solid education in English with a pretty vast vocabulary and alright grammar, I sound like an auntie at the Kopitiam when I speak. The first time I code switched and tried my hand at a ‘white’, or at least neutral accent, I sounded like I had never spoke English in my life before. It wasn’t that great for the first year before I moved to uni. There were even periods where I gave up and proudly spoke in Singlish.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Singlish. Speaking with an American or British accent doesn’t make a person superior, or give them more substance. There were times where I felt so ridiculous faking an accent that I started to mock those with an accent, and I’m not proud of that. No accent is better than another. It just tells you more about a person and the kind of environment in which they learned English. That’s all. The argument that Singaporeans with these accents are pretentious is valid though. Some of them use the accent as a way to forget their roots, maybe even fabricate an entirely new backstory for themselves. To create distance between their childhood in Yishun and their new and improved selves after university overseas.

Honestly though? Pretentious or not, you gotta admit faking an accent is so damn difficult. Imagine if they’re surprised. The. accent. must. stay. A difficult way to live but I do think faking an accent improves your command of English too. You can’t very well say this sentence with a ‘white’ accent hor.

i have too much time :’(