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Is it possible to ‘catch’ an accent from someone? (Peter Schmeichel © Getty Images)

Can you ‘catch’ an accent from someone?

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As social creatures, humans are good at blending in.

Asked by: Simon Thompson, Liverpool

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If you spend enough time with them, it’s almost inevitable. Studies have found that we subconsciously try to imitate speech patterns of strangers, especially if we spend time abroad, where everyone speaks with a strange accent and we are the odd one out. Natural selection seems to have favoured people who have a desire to show empathy and fit in.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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