Watch Me on “Tecnópolis”! (And Why my Accent Was so Strong)

About a month ago, I got a phone call from the Castilleja town hall, they wanted to know if I’d be willing to be interviewed on the Canal Sur program “Tecnópolis” talking about my new home town’s most famous export: tortas. Torta could be translated in several ways — including a slap to the face — but “flat cake” works best here. The principal torta bakery, Inés Rosales, has just celebrated its centennial, and “Tecnópolis” paid homage to the company’s success in both the community where it finds its roots and, this is where I come in, the international community. At some point in the last hundred years these crispy olive oil-and-almond treats made it out of the sleepy towns of the Aljarafe to the U.S.A., and to have a native accent sing its praises, Canal Sur asked the Castilleja Town Hall whether there were any Americans registered as residents. I was the first (if not only) name on the list.

In the end my appearance is probably only half a minute, but hey, it’s something. I’m speaking Spanish of course, and the gist of my (somewhat scripted) line is that I’m from America, where we’ve got the curious tendency to eat tortas with cheese (a line fed to me), and that my mother actually buys them for the co-workers in her office sometimes (basically true), and everyone loves them.  One thing that really struck me viewing the video afterward was how much more my American accent came out than it normally does, at least I hope I don’t usually have such an accent. Although my explanation for this occurrence may seem to be just shameless excuses, I’m convinced that there are certain situations which prompt one’s foreign accent to come to the fore, and in my case it was a perfect storm of factors. First off, there was a big TV camera in my face. Being nervous brings out your accent more. Secondly, I had just woken up. I’ve found that it takes a little bit of warming up the tongue to hit your stride, especially with the rolled “r”s and rigid vowel structure of Spanish. Finally, it’s not the same reciting a line that someone else prepares for you, as it is expressing your thoughts in a natural way; the forced nature of the former is highly conducive to sounding like a guiri.

Enough of my excuses, though. Here’s the link to the video (it can’t be imbedded, sorry):

Click on the tab to the right that says “Programa 14/03/10”. I can be seen briefly at around 1:15, and then again speaking at 4:35, but it’s worth it to watch the few minutes in between, if for nothing else than to see a couple nice shots of the town I live in.


~ by lincolnbrody on March 23, 2010.

One Response to “Watch Me on “Tecnópolis”! (And Why my Accent Was so Strong)”

  1. you are a teevee star! this is cool. good job! um, good job liking tortas and being foreign!

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