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Posting from England

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  • #16104 Reply

    Wow, I’m glad to see the thread I started with so much response. I am working in England now, and I’d like to give some input on British accents.

    What seems to annoy most people here is the fact that Indian call centre associates do not understand their accents.

    It’s not really the fault of the Indian workers – admittedly by the British – sometimes people from London cannot understand clearly what someone from Glasgow, Cardiff or Birmingham is saying! However, that is no excuse to constantly say “excuse me, please repeat” again and again. Even some Indian colleagues here complain about Indian CSAs.

    The focus as far as UK accounts goes, should be very much on getting the ear accustomed to the variances in British accents…identify the problematic ones and iron out those areas. London or southern England accents will rarely pose a problem, but go north and you’ll begin to feel the heat. To see what I mean, watch the movie “My name is Joe”. Ideal film to navigate the nuances of the British tongue.

    #16105 Reply

    An interesting observation. Surley though the problem of regional dialect is not restricted to the British Isles, the American Southern drawl always evokes comment. Are there no regional dialects in the sub-continent? I am aware of several versions of mandarin and just assumed that India too had internal language ‘differences’.

    #16106 Reply

    Yes, regional accents in India are a problem, especially people from South India. Even we have trouble understanding some of them. But the issue is not of criticising accents – it’s about getting the job done efficiently. The clients are in the UK or the US, and it’s our job to understand what they’re saying.

    I called my bank the other day and was routed to a guy at the HSBC global call centre who was faking a British accent and it sounded comical. Instead of “british accent training”, it would be worthwhile to put time and effort into “cleaning up” the Indian accent, and then making sure that the Indian CSAs can understand and pronounce words like “Albemarle”, “Seven Oaks”, and “Dulwich” (which is not pronounced the same way as sandwich!). People will understand a clear neutral accent, there’s no need to fake an accent. Don’t you think so?

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