South Englishes, North Englishes
L kuteure mpfique comment ka kanguc angkaisepeut s b t r e r
economic structure" to play a particular role in the international division of labour. The women I describe in this
article grew up speaking English in their home countries.
un outif dbppression du Sudpar Ir Nord
English in postcolonid Pakistan
"That Indian accent.. .you'll have to get rid of it if you
I have spoken English all my l$. In school, collcge.
In my social l$. At work. Even at home, most of the
time. Growing up in a middle-class urban family in
postcolonial Pakistan, English ruled our lives.
want to get anywhere in this field.. You know, you have
to learn to talk like a Canadian.. .."
This was in 1975 when I first came to Canada, at my
first job-as an editorial assistant in a television station. I
get upset even now-22 years later-when I think of the
boss advising me how to make it as a journalist in Canada.
Get rid of that accent.. .
I was an experienced journalist when I left Pakistan in
1973. I had worked for a number of years as an assistant
editor in an English-language daily newspaper in Karachi.
Then I spent two years training in print, radio, and TV
journalism in Germany before I emigrated to Canada.
I have spoken English all my life. In school. At college.
In my social life. At work. Even at home, most of the time.
Growing up in a middle-class urban family in postcolonial
Pakistan, English ruled our lives. It was equated with
intelligence, knowledge, culture, and was also a way of
getting ahead. Predictably, I went on to get two Master's
degrees, in English literature and English language.
And here was this man telling me to go to accent
reduction classes. No one told my colleagues from England to learn to talk Canadian-style.
The "you-have-an-accent" accusation has been a motif
of my life in Canada. This construction has disempowered
me in my careers as a journalist and an English-language