Law of my life

Accent is part of my former identity from which I can and should never escape


Law of my life
by oazadi

I always consider coming to America and experiencing the life in a foreign country as one of the major turning points of my life during which I matured quickly and learned how to manage my living personally.

When I first came here, I was facing a lot of difficulties with the issues like language, cultural distinctions, Americans’ prejudice against Middle Easterners, and separation from my life. At first I dealt with a miserable sense of alienation and social rejection mainly because of my accent. I considered myself lower of the class compared to the native born Americans, and sometimes I was even afraid to talk because I was afraid of mispronouncing the words which, I thought, would make other people laugh at me.

But the problem was not just accent, but also the intolerable problem of being unsociable and not able to attract other people and make friends, and that was the problem that I dealt with almost my whole life, and, I should say, I couldn’t come up with a way to solve it yet, and I am accepting it as an unending reality as it goes. In my home country, I had a few friends all of which had similar interests and usually points of view toward issues as me. When I first came here, I naturally lost everything and everybody including my best friends, so the problem of being unsociable became more and more serious at that point I had almost nobody to be with as a friend.

In such a bad social condition, I also had to deal with the problems of a getting along with my new country. I clearly remember the night that I finally cried for my mom after two years of not crying because of a bet that I made with one my friends; in that night I talked to my mom about the harsh situation that I was in. I told her how I was afraid to talk even though I knew the language only because I am afraid that my accent will be revealed.

My mom; however, gave me a wise advise. She told me that accent is a necessary and inseparable part of my former identity from which I can and should never escape. Then she told me a beautiful and meaningful sentence that I shall never forget. “Remember, you always do your best”, she told me caressing my hairs, “and in that case the result will be the best it can be; not maybe the best, but the best possible result”. Fulfilling the message of this motto really changed my life completely.

From then, I started to better every day. I got my first “A” grade at school only three days after hearing this magic sentence. Five months later, I received my progress report for the first semester; you may not believe, but it was full of “A”s.

The motto worked and gave me a great hope for a glorious future which is about to happen. Now, this miraculous statement is more important to me than my name because I owe my happy and pleasant life to it, and I am sure as long as I know by my hear that I should always do my best regardless of all the problems, and in that case the result will be the best it can be, nothing shall never make me incapable of reaching my goals.


more from oazadi


by ziba bahadori (not verified) on

they say , I have sexy persian accent!
our accent is the most beautiful accent in
the world.


Here is the truth IMHO: Deep

by HoomanP (not verified) on

Here is the truth IMHO: Deep down every european/american thinks he/she is better than us specially the losers! because they have nothing else to be proud of they can only be proud of being native born westerns! The problem is not just having accents the problem is we are not one of them! Look at french people they dont try to hide it they actually try to accentuate their accents! The whole thing is we come from a civilization that in the past few hundred years have not been so successful. and deep down we know it all and feel embarrassed because of it and they know that too so we can have "activists" and make this kinda racism more subtle but there is no way that we ae gonna get rid of it until iran has some sorta economic power which is not gonna happen in near future so we have to deal with as long as we live here. I think it's the truth and I always believe its much easier to face the cold truth with all its rancidity for once as opposed to trying to hide in fancyful , feel-good veils and taste it drop by drop.

Azarin Sadegh

If you're good in what you're doing..

by Azarin Sadegh on

In America, if you're good in what you're doing, nobody would care about how you look or how terrible your accent is!

Unfortunately, in Iran it wasn't the case. As an example, my late cousin, who had heavy Turkish accent but a really high IQ, suffered a lot socially because of it and never really got over it even until the end of his short life. Americans are more tolerant and more forgiving.

I work in one of the biggest companies in the US (and even in the world) and the software I currently work on is developed by different teams located all over the places (from China to Poland, etc...)

So it means that most of our meetings are phone meetings and believe me it is sometimes so hard to understand some people talking. But who cares? When you look at their impressive credentials, you would notice that they are among the most intelligent and the most successful engineers well known and well respected by everybody else in this field.

So please don't worry about your accent and just focus on your education. Good luck!



Which Is Worst Iranian Accent in LA or Turk Accent in Tehran

by AA (not verified) on

Think how us Iranians treat other fellow Iranians. We make fun of our countrymen with Turk, Rashti,etc... accent. I have a slight Iranian accent and I think I've been treated equal in the States; whereas, my husband who has an extremely slight turk accent in saying certain Farsi words is always made fun of by Iranians. How ironic!!!


Thank you!

by Anon on

Thank you for writing this and sharing your experience with us. All of us who left Iran went through these exact experiences and feelings. Hang in there; these experiences make you a better, stronger person and help you deal with life's little curve balls. Remember what your mother told you. Don't worry about your accent, and don't be self-conscious about it, because EVERYONE has an accent...and who cares! Just make sure not to isolate yourself and practice your language skills, no matter what! In the field of law we jokingly say that accents make the attorney more expensive!

So, hang in there and know that we are all rooting for you and supporting you!

Good luck to you!





Ben Madadi

Re: Anonymouse

by Ben Madadi on

I don't know if there are CD's or DVD's, haven't done any research. But this method worked for me. Speaking a language can be dramatically improved by exercising it. I have done it and it has worked very well!

K Nassery

I love accents and I'm American

by K Nassery on

Not only do I love accents, I can tell what part of India someone comes from because I really listen and pay attention to their words.

I often forget that my husband is foreign.  I was impressed the other day that someone came from Japan, then I realized that most of my close friends come from Asian countries.  True friends won't care if a word is  "not quite right."  Smile and enjoy life....

 BTW... My American born children can really put on the Iranian accent when they want to tease their dad.  He thinks it's hysterically funny.



Ben you are not making any sense.

by Anonymouse on

Sounds like hapool happol to me.  If this was true I'm sure it'd be on CDs and DVDs.  What's wrong with just saying Estop or terty tree (33)? You lost the whole point.  The point is don't fight your accent.  It'll evolve until you can no longer correct it and then it stays with you and by then you're done.

Ben Madadi


by Ben Madadi on

There are some real ways of improving one's speaking. Having some accent is okay but it can be improved a lot. I have done this. I speak 5 languages and I can speak 2 of them (beside Azeri Turkish being my native tongue) with most of their native speakers not noticing that I'm not a native speaker. But some people do notice it. Other don't. Most people don't. There must be some scientific ways to do this but what I did was not scientific but simply a personal experience of mine. My technique is like this:

First, you have to listen to your own speaking and listen to native speakers and ask for their opinion. There is no problem in this and their criticism can be the best thing. Then if you record your own speaking and listen to it you CAN notice your own accent and when you become conscious of what you see as a problem that is the first stept to exercise and improve.

Second, I discovered that the main reason people do not speak other langauges well is because they unconsciously associate their mother tongue with the other languages. This is a HUGE mistake. When you speak a language you need to do some brain work of your own to COMPLETELY detach yourself from your native language for the moment, so you do not unconsciously translate or make improvisations from your native language. Every language has its own rules that may have nothing to do with your own language. Try to speak the OTHER langauge ONLY the way you hear it from native speakers and do not associate it with your own language.



by alireza on

dude, accent is sexy!


Nice writing

by 50cents (not verified) on

Hi dear,
Nice writing. Read this advice of mine and repeat it with yourself everyday.
I and a few others came here as very poor graduate students. There were many people, some embarassingly from Iranian community, who wanted to put us down for our accents and our poverty and many other things. We focused on our work and studies. 20-25 years fast forward:
We all still have accents. I started two high tech companies and remained as CEO (in both cases, despite a lot of opposition and boardroom fights which left my opponents with nerveous breakdown and stomach ulcers) until IPO. I still have accent eventhough I am a really good public speaker. I deliberately invest in companies with Ethnic CEOs (Iranians included) and support them to stay on unless they screw it professionally. My friend became chief cardiovascular surgeon of a major research hospital in California and he also has a heavy accent. He has a samavar in his office from which he pours tea for his American patients. In the world of heart surgery, he is, as they say, the king of kings. Another friend is practically one of the fathers of non-invasive surgery and has a heavy accent. Another friend became director of Germany's largest hospital and the first person who performed a liver transplant in Europe. He has a very heavy accent (Kurdish superimposed on Farsi, superimposed on English!). These are people for whom white Americans with hardcore American accent stand in queue, sometimes several years, for a visit. We all wear our Iranian heritage very loudly.

Do not worry about your accent. Do not worry about people and their opinions. Most people around you are pussycats who like to immitate tigers. You find very few real tigers in life.

Bahram the Iranian

It got better but still not ok

by Bahram the Iranian on

I feel for you I have gone through much worse because of the family issue that I had to deal with on the top of immigration issues, yes It got better I went to school and got A, I found job that paid my bill even my accent has got much better, but still I feel lonely and ......yeah lonely 



by Mehran (not verified) on

Unfortunately this is the meaning of uprooting. Basically you loose everything and start from scratch all over again. I have gone through all those phases as well and eventually things got better over time. It is wise to trust in yourself and give everyone the benefit of doubt. I have had many wonderful American's who kept my company even though I had a heavy accent. It is okay, you will find good friends.


It is naive of us to dismiss

by Balouchi (not verified) on

It is naive of us to dismiss racism and prejudice in USA. This country was founded on those basis, first blacks then Chinese and so on and so forth (George Washington was owner of slaves himself). I too came to this country after the revolution as an adolescent and was subject to ridicule and harrassment on daily basis in High School, first because of how I looked (Mexican) and then for my Nationality and here it is 30 years later and it still continues but now it is a lot less subtle. I used to be employed in a corporation with over fifteen thousand employees which included twenty eight Persians but after 911 almost all of us were intimidated or saddled with so much extra work that we either resigned or were terminated. At least the author of this note was lucky to have his mother/parents for moral support, There are some of us who did not have anything but a cold pillow to drown out our lonely cries at bed time. In conclusion an expression comes to mind, that which does not kill you only makes you stronger and I try to remind myself of that everyday and hope someday it will come to fruition.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I hope I'm wrong, but I sense skepticism in you from your reply.

I truly hope you do not doubt that the writer has experienced prejudice by Americans. It would be very naive of you to do so.

I grew up here, and I don't have an accent. If someone were to hear my voice on the phone for the first time, they would just think that I'm some guy from the East Coast.   

I lived in Washington, DC for more than 30 years, and even in a city that is as multi-national and multi-cultural as DC is, prejudice indeed exists. Sometimes the prejudice is very blunt and in your face, while at other times, it's subtle. In my personal experience, it began to really to be obvious ever since 1978-1979, and has only grown worse ever since. And since 9/11? That's another matter entirely. I have been passed over for employment or promotions in favor of people who, while being an all-around good guy, lacked even a fraction of my qualifications.

Remember, this is the writer's perceptions and feelings. There's no reason to believe they're not real.

However, if I have misinterpreted your response, I apologize.


An extra language

by azadeh_rassaf on

Reading your article really hit home with me.  I have a younger brother who is planning to come to the states, and sometimes I think about the similar situation he will be in.... so I really feel for you.

As far as your accent goes, I grew up here, so I didn't have that issue, but a friend of mine once told me that she went to a lecture by a man who had a Spanish accent.  The man said that he had struggled with how he felt about his accent, but that now he was proud to have one.  Because now when he sees or meets people who have an accent, he realizes it's an indication that those people know an extra language.

So when people hear your accent, they will realize that you know another language as well, one that they may not be familiar with!  Which means you not only have something less than them, but something more!

Best of luck to you on your journey and more power to you!


Explain how and where you experienced "prejudice"?

by farrad02 on

Please explain how and where you experienced "Americans’ prejudice against Middle Easterners"?   

Did you actually experience this?


wow so sad

by persian prince (not verified) on

it really felt bad when u didn't want 2 talk but it's alway darkest b4 the dawn right?


Loss=gain You never really

by bird flu1 (not verified) on


You never really lose anything! There is always something else gained in the process of losing.

You're an excptional young lad because of what you have experienced. Failures should be viewed as stepping stones to success. If you don't go through adversities, you will never learn how to succeed--remember that, my friend. Look at all the challenges in your life as a blessing and a 'lesson-to-be-learned'. Learn from those lesson and turn them into a positive.

Expressing personal details of your struggles with everyone on this forum takes courage and resilience. You're already a glorious success. The measure of a man is what they have overcome Not where they are in life or where they are going. Success is not accumulation of wealth, by the way.

Here are some quotes you might like:

"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death--Thomas Paine

Awareness (including self-awarness), Action and ability are 3 keys to success.--unknown

Once you approve of yourself, you won't need any one else's.--unknown


If only all children would listen to their parents.

by Anonymouse on

Children these days don't listen to their parents as much as we used to.  They think because they were not raised handling cell phones they are so ancient.  Parents love, experience and caring is something that can never be replaced.  We say in Iran that "heavan belong to mothers".  That is so true.  Although, there are mothers or parents who as a result of every day stress, work and problems don't care anymore and their children end up screwed up one way or another.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

Thanks for sharing this.

As far as your accent goes, hold on to it. Your mom is 100% right.