The #PeppaEffect, the British in the House
I was not always comfortable that my first daughter speaks with a British Accent at an early age. It is much better now and is more neutral.
It all started when I got the 1st Generation Apple iPad as her 2nd Birthday Gift in Dec 2010. She got hooked to Peppa Pig and tried to imitate her whenever she gets a chance. I’ll also attribute Peppa Pig for a much better English than we could have ever taught her. Often time, I had to Google-up terms that she said which I wasn’t sure I used on a regular talk.
I didn’t give much attention to it until one day, we went for her school admission. The principal, in the interview, asked my daughter why does she have a “fake accent”. I asked her, “How do you define a fake accent?”
We didn’t go to that school even though she was selected and invited to study there.
My daughter is 10 now and is influenced a lot by a magnitude of social parameters — her favorite TV series are mostly British and American, her best friend school is an American, I converse with her in English, and her mother in Manipuri. Her accent is neither Indian nor American nor British — her accent is her own. I’m sure she speaks much better English than most people I know and interact with. I’m glad she got to interact with Peppa Pig at a much early age.
Unlike adults, kids do not process different accents/speech as distinct languages and they absorb everything. Laaija have her own character and accent, and I’m OK with whatever she experiments with.