Giant Speck wrote:Actually, this stereotype is somewhat true regardless of the Russian's level of English language skill. It has more to do with the fact that the Russian language does not have definite articles and less to do with the speaker's level of understanding the English language. It's mostly a habit sort of thing.
How very true.
I've been learning English since 5th grade (and I'm 23 now) and I've lived in the US for the past 5 years; my use of articles is still a bloody mess.
People here in the US say that my Russian accent must drive girls crazy. Meh. I only know one girl for whom my accent is/was a turn-on. Other than that, all I'm getting from my accent is friends making fun of it.
I personally find British and Australian accents (I can't distinguish between these two), as well as Southern US accent attractive. There's a British dispatcher on my county's fire/EMS channels, I enjoy listening to her talk. When I have to talk on the radio myself, it's an endless source of entertainment for everyone listening.
If only my English teachers in Russia and Israel knew what a mess my pronunciation is now! They all spoke British English.
True story: once in my 11th grade English class in Israel the kids got too loud, so our teacher (a native English speaker) yelled "Enough!" in Hebrew. Now, "enough" in Hebrew is די (['dɑ:i]), so she basically yelled "DIE!!!" at us. I guess you had to be there.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. Gilbert K. Chesterton