My Irregularly Reccuring Speech Impediment

Before migrating over to Australia from the Philippines, I prided myself of being fluent in English, in both its written and spoken forms.

But now, whenever I’m talking to an Australian, there’s always this off chance that I will start stuttering or just simply find it difficult to string together a coherent sentence in English. I always find that very embarassing. I absolutely hate it when that happens.

I could go on as to why I think it’s happening but I’ll try to keep this short. I have never had this problem when I’m talking to Americans, only Australians. Maybe I’m just intimidated by their fast talking ways coupled with their Australian accent.

Maybe my occasional speech impediment comes out from my subconsciously trying to adopt an Aussie accent (and failing, if may add) as well as the speed of how they speak. I don’t do it intentionally. I just couldn’t help it.

The end result, I usually attempt to speak faster than I could string words together in my head. And so, I start to stutter mid-sentence as I wait for my head to come up with the next word.

I should stop doing that, I know. I kept on telling myself that I should just stick to speaking English the way I always knew how but when I start speaking to an Aussie, this compulsion in me to imitate the way they speak becomes difficult to keep in check. When I talk to my non-Aussie friends in English, I have no trouble talking to them at all.

Anyway, you may ask what’s the point of this post? Well, it’s basically just me venting. I had to call up a lot of electricians to get a quote for some work we wanted for the house. On most of the calls, I stuttered my way through the conversation. That was, until I wrote down what I wanted to say on paper, in advance.

Ashamedly, the later calls I made were essentially scripted but at least I didn’t make a complete fool of myself talking to the person on the other end of the line. After the first two scripted sentences, I was able to keep up my confidence and talk to the electrician for the duration of the phone call relatively stutter-free.

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Published in: on March 17, 2006 at 10:26 pm  Comments (2)