I was educated in a private school and speak almost with RP; however, throughout my whole life I have received comments like ‘who do you think you are with that accent’ and ‘you can’t be from Newcastle’.
The Greek I learnt at my mother’s knee was greatly modified, at the age of 7, when I attended primary school. It was accepted that one spoke “proper” Greek as opposed to Cypriot Greek – heavily accented and with its own words (sometimes of Homeric origin , like λαλώ) scattered here and there.
Emigrating 18 months later to London meant attending Greek school on Saturday mornings. The great and the good at the church school would hide their Cypriot origins by trying to talk “posh” with varying rates of success.
When my daughter was born, my mother kept berating me about the Cypriot I used. It needed to be cleaned up into the accepted higher level radio Greek.
Suffice it to say that I lost interest in imparting the language to my daughter, who, having an English father. Was happy to lapse into English only.
Subsequently, I’ve heard from Greeks in Cyprus how they don’t rate their own Cypriot accent/ dialects and chose to heap scorn in those who still use it.
What their reasons for this might be, I’ll leave to conjecture. But, for a small island under occupation by a foreign country , imposing its own culture and language and further culturally compromised by the recent entry of Overwhelming numbers of Europeans and Russians… I would have thought that self-effacement of a great part of Cypriot cultural roots would be considered by any thinking person as cultural suicide.
I know lots of people on here might think this is ridiculous, but I was badly bullied at school for sounding ‘posh’. Do, next time you think an RP accent is a privilege and a ticket, think again. It made me miserable.
Man who’s just been introduced to me in a pub: ‘You don’t SOUND Australian’.
His partner: ‘Well perhaps he’s got a posh Australian accent?’
Man: ‘Oxymoron, dear. Don’t be silly!’
I was picked on when I joined my secondary school for speaking ‘posh’. I guess I had quite an RP accent from my parents who had both had elocution lessons when they were younger. I would definitely not have considered myself ‘posh’ though. No one wanted to be posh at my school. I had to very quickly start speaking North Londonese to avoid bullying.
I remember a kid in the PRU I worked in telling me I talked like a “posh gay nonce”