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Sorry, I Had to Imitate You Later Because Your Voice is Fascinating

Tuesday April 23, 2019

Watching likely-ESFP Harald Baldr on Youtube (his trickster side has really come out lately; he’ll probably put on a real “interesting” show soon), I’ve somehow managed to pick up a Norwegian accent. In fact I used it at the McDonald’s drive-thru the other day, and I think likely-INTJ dialect coach would have given me reasonable marks. Mostly I’m glad it made my kids laugh.

Anyway, listen to Harald for a while and see if you don’t start saying “det” instead of “that”—assuming you’re a native English speaker.

Talking to an INTJ client a while back, we ended up laughing about this together: How easy is to start talking to someone with an accent, only to find that we would start talking in an accent similar to theirs while talking to them! This is absolutely not done out of mockery—which is what is embarrassing, because it can look that way. Just out of a natural facility with imitation of sensory aspects. I chalk it up to our opposite-type ESFP parts. “This is fascinating, the pure sensory sound and feel of these words.” Something like that.

I think we, as a type, take role-thinking very seriously. My INTJ dad, a much more INTJ-A person than me, once attended a Halloween party dressed as a Sikh military officer. Talk about an INTJ costume, right? It wasn’t a mockery, it was more like pure simulation. And he nailed it, shocked a lot of people. One of my siblings has the photo somewhere.

Anyway, the accent stuff has happened to me every time I’ve studied a new language or even just talked to someone who has an accent on the phone. Whenever I’d learn a new language, the most fascinating part was: “How are they shaping their mouth, or what accentuation are they using to get that particular word out so fast? And what are the tones?” Because every language has tones, not just Chinese, and I think many, many INTJs naturally get this.

Study Implications (I mean this IS an INTJ blog…)

I think there’s something to be leveraged here, regarding language study. Back when I lived in Japan I had some friends who studied English by watching movies. They sounded great. And I think that’s what had a lot of value to me in my own language study—maybe as a priority. Just nailing the “sounds legit” part of it. I swear I practiced pronunciation more than anything.

I don’t know if I’m ready for any more language study right now, but were I to start/continue it, I’d probably leverage this interest first and foremost. Lots of imitation, lots of focus on sounds as tones, lots of focus on phrases rather than so much grammar and vocab up front.

And of course: The most powerful, important, and difficult sounds would have to come first. Followed by the most powerful, important, and effective words. The INTJ way of leveraging study time before it turns into procrastination time. ;-)

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