The Whole Of Africa Sounds The Same To Me

People tell me that Africa has this vast number of completely unrelated different languages. My girlfriend is from Ghana and even in that country she says they have a vast number of completely dissimilar languages. The same on the Indian subcontinent. Still, to my ears subsaharan Africans speaking English (or French) have all the same timbre to me as if their native languages were all very similar.

The same is true for Indians, Pakistanis speaking English. To me their English accent is all very similar as if their native language were the same. I don’t think I could tell a Pakistani from an Indin based on their accent. Now, in Europe that is not the case Portuguese, Russians, Norwegians, French, Germans all have their very distinct English accents, all coloured by their native language. Why don’t I hear the same uniform “European timbre” as is the case for subsaharan Africa or India?

1 Like