When English speakers order a burrito at a local restaurant, should they pronounce Burrito as “Burrrrrrito” and roll their R like Speedy Gonzales or should they pronounce it “Berido” like all other non-Spanish speakers of the world? Perhaps it’s prudent for people to pass on pronouncing properly. Possibly? There are a number of reasons why I don’t use foreign accents for single words unless I’m in that country, and I can roll my R’s.
But I’m not just talking about the word burrito. Without further adieu (adju or ado), let me tell you my reasons for me not pronouncing foreign words with a foreign accent. For instance, the Italian company named Moleskine. Do you say mol-ei-skee-nei or mole skin? How about the Austrian food weiner schnitzel. Is it veene schnitzel or weener schnitzl?
Here are the reasons I rarely use a foreign accent for single words unless I’m in that country. It actually works very well with some people. It fits who they are. Not me. Not often.
- I feel I sound fake because I don’t speak those other languages, but I make it seem that I do.
- I feel I sound prideful like I’m trying to impress with my culture.
- I feel I sound unnatural because that’s what it is.
- It’s just plain weird to my ears when someone is speaking with no accent and then they break out in a foreign accent.
- I don’t feel I would be consistent because I would only pronounce a few words with an accent and not all of them.
- Since I only speak Spanish and English with a good accent, I would probably mispronounce and butcher the word and sound like a fool to those who are fluent in that language.
But to each his own. If you like using an accent because it’s fun and it breaks up the monotony, then use it. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Be your own person. But if you’re just trying to sound intelligent, don’t. But if you have to, then only use the French accent. Why? Well, my 15 year old niece came down to Mexico to visit us last summer and left me with this gem. “French sounds intelligenter than Spanish”.