Filipino accent according to Bridget Saunders

I didn’t react so negatively about Chip Tsao’s article in HK Magazine before. I understood it differently in that I thought he was actually defending the Filipinos while hitting at the hypocrisy of his own countrymen.
I wonder how Pinoys would react at the statement below:

Filipinos learn American English and their accents are diabolically hard to understand. They are so heavy!
Source: What? What? Can you repeat that PLEASE!

I don’t have a thick Filipino accent when I speak English. However, I do agree that some Filipinos speak English and pronounce words a little differently. They’re not the ones who work at call centers though. Is American accent difficult to understand?
I lived in Angeles City for more than a quarter of a century and I’ve met a number of Kiwis living in the city. In fact, one of my neighbors is from Wellington. He always call on me to fix his computer everytime they need fixing. And everytime I visit them, I always have a hard time understanding his accent. I’d ask him to repeat or rephrase several times. LOL
I also met an English teacher from New Zealand here in Korea. He bought our Graco carseat, Fisher Price chair and a playmat. I told him that he has a charming accent. He said thanks but he told me that he reverts to using American accent when he teaches.


  1. aww… sad that she’s an idiot. good thing she’s kinda cute… because she’s an imbecile.
    apparently, she’s waaay smarter than these investors, employers, business analysts, and (huh? could it be??) THE REST OF THE WORLD. Now i have one more person to bash online. =)
    thanks for sharing.
    reijenes last blog post..JOBHUNTING’S SUCH A BITCH!

  2. I have friends who live in NZ. And they told me that the recession has hit NZ hard too. This columnist has another agenda. She wants her government to keep the jobs in NZ and for the telecom company to employ Kiwis. Too bad she has to discriminate against Pinoys in the process. Not smart Bridget, not smart at all….

  3. i’ve read about this comment of bridget saunders somewhere. i vividly remember how she described our accent. if our accent is diabolically hard to understand then how do you think the rest of the world will describe the Indian accent..ha!ha!
    peace to the indians^^

  4. I believe Filipinos do. And it’s something we shouldn’t be ashamed of. At least we can speak English with competetive fluency.
    There’s no wrong accent. A person can have a different accent with a person in the same race. Just as I speak Filipino faster (with very obvious pauses) than the rest.
    Aarons last blog post..The World Games 2009 Kaohsiung

  5. Chip Tsao’s article was different; I understood it as a sarcastic way of looking down on his fellowmen, so I never really gave it much thought. Bridget Saunders’ article, well…it’s a whole different story. The article started off as a comment on the call center relocation, and then she continue on a whole different topic, criticizing Filipinos just because she couldn’t understand the person talking on the other line. It’s sad that she doesn’t take into account her own shortcomings and instead just bashes another race. Tsk.
    Kats last blog post..On Having A Website

  6. IMHO this is true, but then so what? As nicely pointed somewhere above, there is nothing to be ashamed of. We cant deny this fact since we are not native speakers. And not all Filipinos are fluent in this language anyway. Some are competitive more than enough (speaking, writing and listening), while many if not most are not.
    We have our own regional accent, but its a fact that sometimes us Filipinos find it very hard to understand the English accent of fellow Filipinos especially those that came from from a different region as compared to ours. So what can we expect from other nationals then? Its perfectly normal.

  7. Who honestly cares about the accent? It’s only when we came here in the US that I’ve realized that only Asians are so anal about the accent. People here don’t really care. People get along well together not because they speak the same slang but because they communicate or express their thoughts no matter what. It’s a give and take rel. If the person you are talking to is on short end, then you, who knows it well, should try to understand and reach out.
    edens last blog post..“Executed in Error”

  8. My Filipina-American friend doesn’t like Asian accents. (Filipino Vietnamese Thai…..) She simply finds it hard to understnad.
    I’ve been raised in a sea of non-standard accents so I have never really found it troublesome.

  9. i don’t mind at all because Filipino accent is alright…Look at Singaporeans, they have thick singaporean accent but they don’t mind at all…my singaprorean called it singlish…asian have their own accent so no biggie…it is just that Philippines are becoming popular than India when it comes to call centered

  10. Who is that Bridget Saunders? Never heard of her…and I’m not interested to know her. Well,at least a lot of foreigners are coming here in the Philippines to learn English! And I think Filipinos are really competitive when it comes to English. Too bad, other Non-English speaking countries have discrimination when it comes to Teaching English. They didn’t realize that there are other foreigners who are non native speakers that are even better than native speakers in teaching English!

  11. oh! I checked on Bridget Saunders. I pity her. Her face is worse than Madam Auring! (Peace Madam Auring!)

  12. i’m proud of my accent, and i look down at people who try hard to get rid of their accents
    because an accent is part of who you are
    one of our IELTS review instructors shared this anecdote:
    ‘one day, i told my sons “don’t make fun of people who speak with an accent, that means that they are better than you since they speak another language other than english”‘

  13. well for me, to have a good grammar is more preferable than having a good accent. what is a good accent if your grammar is terribly wrong.

    1. but good grammar doesnt sound good on a bad accent also..and lot of people say this cliche that its better to have good grammar than a good accent..but if you really know english well, you would know that grammar has different levels..and lets say you have advance grammar knowledge but you deliver it with bad pronunciation, its just going to sound very disturbing..for me, good basic grammar & excellent pronunciation is the way to go…

  14. Well, That article is pretty interesting. It’s clear that Chip Tsao sees us only on the outside. I mean, did Chip Tsao knows about our multiple dialects? If she did, then she won’t look down Filipinos. She is not a good researcher anyway.
    Aside from that, the rest of Asian countries were insecured to Filipinos. Why? You already know the answer for that! (^^)

  15. c’mon as pointed out above she has a hidden agenda. picking on Filipinos. anyway, I teach English on -line and we tell our students that we are Filipinos and not native English speakers but they really don’t mind. I’m proud to be a Filipino and letting the rest of the world know that we are able to speak and teach English to those who want to learn the language. Siya kaya? inggit lang siya dito napupunta yung mga BPOs sa Pinas. galing ata ng Pinoy.

  16. I am a Filipina and an online teacher for Koreans, my students would always say that I have a clear accent. They would sometimes make me repeat what I’m saying, but not because of the accent but because of the poor phone line connection.hehe

  17. what about the Korean accent?… Teacha!… Finishy… it sounds like a trying hard british english-speaking korean… hahaha…

  18. i’m quite behind this article re accent on fil. but i agree w/one of the comments, at least pinoys can speak english very well…i won’t name names of another country but there’s a few in asian countries who’s got a heavier accent than fil.

  19. ahaha. atleast we can speak ANOTHER LANGUAGE other than english. I speak and understand little spanish as well. I work for IELTS and they use Australaian and British Accents in their listening exams. oh, and one good thing about Filipinos, they can adopt to any accents.

  20. Check the Korean Actress named LEE DA HAE. Ginaya nya ang iba’t ibang accent sa english like AMERICAN ACCENT, BRITISH ACCENT and lastly FILIPINO accent. Nakakainis at nakakainsulto ang ginawa nya sa accent ng mga pinoy sa salitang english..bakit magaling ba ang mga teacher na koreans maturo ng english? Hahahahaha the Korean government hired native english speaker to teach english in public school but they don’t know if the native english speaker is really a teacher. Guess what, isang public school dito sa amin ganun ang nangyari the native speaker is so lucky kasi nagkataon ang kanyang kasama ay Pinay na active at idealistic…ang nangyari malaki ang sahod ng native speaker among other english teacher na wala namang ginawa at kahit anong idea walang makukuha..tamad pa gumawa ng teaching materials….At itong Korean actress na ‘to subukan kaya n’yang magsalita ng fluent ENGLISH in front of the public. ‘Yong isang korean teacher nga nakilala ko sa States nag-aral ng English pero hindi nya alam ano ang EQUATOR at HUMID..hehehehehe

    1. you’re right.
      Im glad you’ve also seen the video.
      I posted the website so that everybody could see it.
      Not all Koreans are bad though.
      In fact, my boyfriend is Korean.
      I just hope they dont step down on us.

      1. Oo hindi naman lahat ng Korean ay mapanghusga, I have several students whom I shared conversation with about the video of Lee DaHae, I tried to speak English in the manner she delivered it on TV, repeating the same lines several times and comparing how I speak when I’m teaching them, sabi nila, ibang iba nman daw…I told my students na even we may not have that american accents sound, still we are clearly understood yet many of them (Koreans) still discriminate Pinoys, though we speak good english, sasabihin nila they prefer american accent daw, pero kahit ano pang pag imitate gawin nila hindi rin nila maperfect ang English kasi dala dala nila ang Konglish accent nila…like change-gi(change) church-i (church)
        Marami talaga ang makikitid ang utak na humahanap ng khit anong bagay to turn down and discriminate us, but then kahit saang battle field, umaangat ang PINOY~

  21. hello everyone..
    I am a teacher.Currently, I am teaching English online for Koreans.
    I just felt bad when I saw this video.
    they were comparing Filipino teachers to other native speakers.
    And the worst is, they were laughing about it.
    Do they think it’s funny?
    If you’re concern about our teacher and our country, make a stand.
    I hope they listen to themselves first before they say against others.
    this is the website.

    1. Isa sa mga parents ng student ko tinanong ako about sa video and I said maybe she encountered an ordinary Filipino ..’yong tipong hindi mataas ang pinag-aralan o ‘yong tipong hindi aware sa tamang pagbigkas kasi hindi naman pinapansin nating pinoy pagdating sa conversation ‘yong ganung bagay. Ang importante we can write, read, speak and understand the English language. Hindi naman ito naging barriers sa atin na makipagcommunicate sa mga native english speakers.

  22. uncle sam: HEY DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?
    juan dela cruz: yes i do. do you speak Filipino?
    uncle sam: ????
    juan dela cruz: inamu!

  23. maybe because you’ve been from the area just like the poor area (this is not offending to the filipinos) and we admit maybe you had a hard experience to talk with them but don’t you think Sir?? that’s how Good we are in English because even the poorest and wasn’t able to study in a school we can speak, write, read and understand English although some of us are used to speak the basic but the important is at least we can go to the flow of the Global competition…., and why don’t you try to talk with our beggar in the philippines and amazed because they did not study because they are beggar but why do you think the beggar can understand you or speak with you? …Well it’s because we have the Linguistic Intelligent…, unlike the other that needs to used their money just to study English.., We are filipinos…we dont need to spend money just to study English because we are easy to adopt the languages… :p

  24. Those people who discriminate by comparing our accent to the native speaker…. here’s the simple message ! “Did you study psychology, ethics or about any professionalism? because i can only say…. those people who are comparing Filipino Accent to the native Speakers are a BIG MORON… Of course we can’t have the American Accent because obviously we are not American unless since born we live there, so what do you think will be our accent? Indian or Korean?Ofcourse not because we are Philippine i explain it and emphasize two times here so what do you think is our accent? now..if you cannot answer this question it only means you are one of the Moron people so do not discriminate Filipinos….”

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