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KT67
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07 May 2019, 2:46 am

Is accent mimicry an autistic thing?

I don't mean doing it on purpose which generally comes off as mean. I hope it doesn't come off as mean when I do it.

Basically when I hear someone with a strong accent talk for long enough, my accent becomes their accent. So when I was growing up, I had a Skye accent because my best friend came from Skye. I was talking to a guy for a few hours on Saturday and he came from Dublin and - Irish accent. Specifically, North Dublin accent! Same accent as his.

Will people think I'm making fun of them? Why do I do this? It really isn't an on purpose thing and I stop myself as soon as I find myself at it.


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auntblabby
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07 May 2019, 3:22 am

^^^you may be one of those on the spectrum who could become marvelous actors. :idea: :star: i've never been able to do accents very well. one must have a specific talent set/genes for this task. it can't really be taught that well, evidence of this being the many many hollywood movies featuring actors who couldn't repeat an accent to save their lives.



firemonkey
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07 May 2019, 4:58 am

My mother used to do this when we were in Chinese or Indian restaurants. It used to embarrass us kids. I'm quite certain she wasn't autistic.



KT67
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07 May 2019, 6:57 am

firemonkey wrote:
My mother used to do this when we were in Chinese or Indian restaurants. It used to embarrass us kids. I'm quite certain she wasn't autistic.


I think when people do that it tends to be on purpose though. And a bad thing. I'm scared it's even offensive the way I'm doing it which is why I'm trying really hard to stop.

It's basically when someone else has been monologuing for an hour or so or when I've just watched a TV show from somewhere. Usually not American or London though because I'm used to listening to those on the media.


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Twilightprincess
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07 May 2019, 7:23 am

I can’t imitate accents at all.

I also have a hard time understanding people who have strong accents.


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07 May 2019, 8:25 am

Yes, I have always done this without meaning to. I don't have to talk to someone for very long before I pick up their speech patterns a bit. It has been noticed a few times, and once or twice people have accused me of mocking the way they speak; though thankfully never with any serious consequences. I've even found that if I'm talking to autistic people who have speech difficulties at meet-ups, I will start to pick up on things like stuttering and echolalia.

In a sense, nearly everyone does this; for example, most people have a more formal way of talking if it's someone in authority that they're speaking to rather than a friend - what linguists call "code switching". It's very noticeable here in the UK, where we have a huge variety of accents in a small country. I guess that because autistic people have more trouble "fitting in" than other people, our brains sometimes over-compensate by code-switching more than other people do and being over-sensitive to different "codes".

If I try to do it on purpose? I'm hopeless at it - it just doesn't work unless I've heard the accent very recently and let my sub-conscious deal with it!


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07 May 2019, 8:04 pm

I used to do that when I was a kid.

When I was 14 our whole family packed into the car and took a cross USA trip from our home on the east coast, and we visited relatives in the west and Midwest and finally got to the Pacific coast of Calfornia.

Somewhere in the desert southwest a cute curvy girl my own jr high age struck up a conversation with me by the swimming pool of the motel we were staying at. She had an extreeem Texas drawl. When I opened my mouth to respond to her- the exact same drawl started come out of my mouth...and I franically had to stifle it, and force myself to talk in my normal bland combination of Midwest US and md atlantic seaboard dialect- because I didn't want the girl to think I was making fun of her. A really odd experience. I had to stifle something that adult actors have to hire dialect coaches to teach them to do -which is to imitate a dialect. And it was instaneous. Didn't hafta study her speech patterns. I just automatically started to mimic it involuntarily.

Havent experienced anything quite like that since. I always put it down to being the same phenom that enables young children to learn foreign languages easier than can adults. There is some part of your kid brain that picks up language before your brain linguistically ossifies at adult hood. And maybe, at 14, I was still just at the threshold of that adult ossification, and it hadn't yet set in, so it was still automatic for me to parrot dialects within my own language.



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08 May 2019, 4:14 am

my mother had a somewhat thick japanese accent and sometimes i had to strain to comprehend what she was saying especially when she was angry.



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08 May 2019, 3:39 pm

Happens to me, more often unintentionally. :oops:

If I watched or heard certain accents for too long or too often -- I'd unconsciously start mimicking it as if that's how I'd usually talk and took a more conscious effort to stop. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it isn't.


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auntblabby
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08 May 2019, 8:02 pm

wish i had that talent.



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08 May 2019, 8:30 pm

I do that and it drives my parents nuts.
When I used to watch shows as a child, after a 1 hour episode my speech patterns would copy that of the main character. I was banned from watching Nickelodeon because it made me sound like a brat lol
But yeah I get reallllly southern when Im around people with a strong southern accent, and I sometimes catch myself accidentally speaking in a British or Australian accent after hearing it. And its not just the accent, its how they structure sentences and their unique words and such. Like I'll totally mimic someones entire style of talking.
It'll be really interesting because Im traveling to Ireland at the end of the summer. We'll see what happens :mrgreen:


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auntblabby
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08 May 2019, 8:46 pm

graceksjp wrote:
I do that and it drives my parents nuts.
When I used to watch shows as a child, after a 1 hour episode my speech patterns would copy that of the main character. I was banned from watching Nickelodeon because it made me sound like a brat lol
But yeah I get reallllly southern when Im around people with a strong southern accent, and I sometimes catch myself accidentally speaking in a British or Australian accent after hearing it. And its not just the accent, its how they structure sentences and their unique words and such. Like I'll totally mimic someones entire style of talking.
It'll be really interesting because Im traveling to Ireland at the end of the summer. We'll see what happens :mrgreen:

you could be a fine actress with that talent. :star:



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14 Oct 2022, 11:02 am

i remember, when i was watching ozark and hyperfixated on ruth, i got super drunk and started voice-calling this guy from australia i hadn't voice-called before and he thought i was from the south because i just couldn't stop talking in ruth's accent LOL
i also remember around that same time period whenever i got mad my ruth accent would slip out
i'm born and raised in oregon by the way :P



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24 Oct 2022, 2:26 pm

KT67 wrote:
Is accent mimicry an autistic thing?

I don't mean doing it on purpose which generally comes off as mean. I hope it doesn't come off as mean when I do it.

Basically when I hear someone with a strong accent talk for long enough, my accent becomes their accent. So when I was growing up, I had a Skye accent because my best friend came from Skye. I was talking to a guy for a few hours on Saturday and he came from Dublin and - Irish accent. Specifically, North Dublin accent! Same accent as his.

Will people think I'm making fun of them? Why do I do this? It really isn't an on purpose thing and I stop myself as soon as I find myself at it.


:lol:

When I was growing up, I lived in the upper Midwest and traveled down to the South East on vacation. Being that I felt out of place at the time, I used a southern accent because at that time, I thought that southerners held a grudge against northerners.

One time I went up to a front counter and asked for butter and the lady thought I asked for water.



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24 Oct 2022, 2:33 pm

I can imitate certain accents if I want to, but not usually in front of people because I get really embarrassed and cringed out.



firemonkey
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24 Oct 2022, 10:21 pm

My mum used to do that when we went to a Chinese or Indian restaurant. My brother, sister, and I could get embarrassed about her doing it.