The Real Reason People Mimic Accents When you Talk to Them

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If you’ve ever spoken to anyone who has any hint of an accent, you’ve no doubt noticed that you’ll invariably begin to mimic their accent, usually annoying the living hell out of the person you’re talking to when they eventually realize that you’re taking the piss. However, in your mind you know that you’re not trying to intentionally trying to antagonize these people, but at the same time you don’t know why you feel compelled to put on an Australian accent so bad it causes DVDs of Crocodile Dundee II to go on sale. Well, we have an answer for you.

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We love you, Mike Hogan, please don’t stab that lady.

Well the reason, according to researchers at University of Manchester and Holland’s Radboud University, is that our minds will naturally tend to emulate the accents, verbal mannerisms and speech patterns of others. Why? Well they suggest that it’s because, regardless of how stupid you’ll sound or look, it really does help when communicating with someone from a foreign country.

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Of course this doesn’t mean you should communicate with the guy from India giving you technical support by putting on a massively racist Indian accent that would make Apu from the Simpsons blush. Because then it wouldn’t be natural and people have a tendency to notice things that aren’t natural. Just ask Pamela Anderson.


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