"Norwegians in Brooklyn"

If you decide to get a private English teacher this fall, I strongly suggest that you ask the person if she or he has ever tried to learn another language. It's not because you should have someone who speaks perfect Spanish (although it certainly helps.) Language teachers who have experience learning a language can often understand those strange little situations that happen to language students - such as what it's like to develop an accent that people don't expect you to have.

James Fallows, a writer for "The Atlantic Monthly", lived in Beijing for a number of years, and understands what it's like to learn a language, since he speaks fairly fluent Chinese. He's also been tracking and organizing stories about how different English accents can happen in the places where you least expect them. The story about the Chinese guy who talks like Deer Hunter actor Christopher Walken is priceless....


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