Imperfect language despite being raised in country?

I was wondering if you’ve ever come across anyone who claims to have been raised (e.g., spent primary school years) in a country but speaks with an accent and makes grammatical errors like a non-native speaker.

I don’t want to say anyone is lying (ha ha) but I was honestly baffled when I met two people like this.

Is it possible?

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100% possible!!!

You can remain as baffled as you wish but some children grow up learning to speak in the manner their first generation parents and relatives speak the language, despite having been born and raised in the country and being exposed to native speakers all the time.

Being raised in a country from the year dot and still sounding like a foreigner is a tragedy but regrettably happens


Interesting! Thanks. It is probably more common in larger immigrant enclaves where people socialize more with speakers of their heritage langauge.

I am more familiar with the opposite phenomonen e.g., in the U.S., heritage speakers having varying levels of their parents’ language from nil to native including speaking with an accent or in a manner similar to an adult learner while having a native command of English.


I absolutely agree with you.

It’s more common in larger immigrant enclaves and even then, many often have a native command of the language of the country they live in.

I’m not surprised that you are more familiar with speakers having a native command of English in the US as it is more often case that children will acquire the language of the country they live and speak like a native. Yes indeed, some children acquire the native language of both their parents - if the languages are different - and are truly trilingual, or bilingual or monolingual as the case may be. They may speak more languages all possibly acquired to varying degrees.

I was a little amazed at this short clip of a young son of a Russian-speaking Ukrainian immigrant reading from a book with practically no discernible accent. His father says in a comment that 1-1/2 years ago the boy basically could not understand English, spent 6 months silently observing, and now has no problem communicating. Papa, by the way, speaks English well but with a very strong accent. Valeriia Rudenko on Instagram: "Как я рада, что у моих детей есть возможность выучить английский язык и владеть им в совершенстве #usa #hawaii #proamericanka"