Understanding speakers with foreign accents

I had to get some telephonic support the other day and the tech had what I would describe as a moderate Spanish accent. I really struggled to fully understand what he was saying. I wonder if my hearing loss contributed to my difficulties?

My loss isn’t that bad and I still really struggle with anyone with accents.

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I struggle with accents too, we have a consultant that only one member of staff seems to be able to understand (she works with her a lot) especially now she has to wear FFP3 masks and a visor for the procedures she performs. Before I had hearing aids I also used to struggle to understand a comedienne on TV (UK) who has cerebral palsy. I think particularly with Spanish there are a lot of soft sounds that fall in the higher frequency end of the speech banana, probably coupled with the fact that our brains maybe fill in the blanks using our own accent as a template. I don’t know really my speciality is hearts not speech and hearing!

I am think we all struggle with foreign accents. Hell I struggle with some of those southern accents you all have. But like everything else the more you hear them the less you notice them.

Jein. That’s ja and nein (yes and no) here.

While I was in Croatia, my country of origin, when I lost hearing overnight, I mostly didn’t have a problem understanding people talking to me directly. Noise was huge problem, and not looking at my direction.

I have one good ear. I wasn’t hit by depression, had just a few bad days, owned my loss and everything was fine.

Then I moved to Germany few years after hearing loss. That was 3 years ago. Depression hit me hard. I realised how really bad my hearing was. I didn’t know German, and I haven’t used spoken English before the move (I mean, my total spoken time was like 2h, total in life).

I felt dumb, useless and whatnot. Then I got a bit better, found a job, English speaking company. With people all around the world. Oh. My. Cucumber.
I couldn’t understand a word in meetings in rooms with glass walls. Horrible.

I left.
Now, year later I found out about roger mics, new HA and tech, and I’m trialing it.

Have Spanish friend. Beforw this trial, I could understand maybe 30% of what he said from context, or other people’s answers. With new HA, I could even properly talk with him and not just stupidly smiling and nodding, I still haven’t understood everything, it was at a small party with several pairs of people talking, but hell, what a change.

So, people not speaking properly, and I don’t mean accents like intonations or emphasis but not pronouncing whole words, or pronouncing it completely wrong (like saying dam instead of damn/damp/dumb or some other combo), I found extremely hard.

I believe intonations could also be hard, especially on the phone where phone reduces part of the full range spectrum of voice.

So, I’d say it’s combination of your loss, tech used between you two and what exactly did the speaker said wrong.

Because, we’re not actually listening people sound by sound, we’re doing faster process in brain using pattern recognition (that includes context, specific vocabulary around some subject etc).
When we’re met with someone not adhering to what our brain expects, for one reason or another, then we really realise how much we rely on our ears, and when they’re not good, they’re not helping.

My advice to all hard of hearing people would be - don’t move to another country where you don’t speak language(s) needed really fluently without finding psychotherapist first and use them really frequently. :joy:

My husband has perfect hearing and still can’t understand accents.

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I bought my own neck loop FM receiver for use in church

my loss isn’t that bad, but I figured I’d give it a try…

I bring it every time but I don’t even use it if our parish priest is saying mass…he’s an american
but it seems that our parochial vicars over the years have all been foreign and English is a second language for them. Heavy accents and the echo chamber that is the church…
well lets just say I’m no longer forced to wonder what it is they are talking about…