Originally Posted by LokisMum
I have a hard time understanding some American accents, but once your ear gets atuned, it gets easier! Course, you all think we have accents!
That's the way I feel about it. I live in a very "cosmopolitan" city and interact with people from all over the world just going about my daily life. I have friends from every part of the US, from England and Ireland and Australia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, Switzerland, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, Vietnam, Haiti, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Italy, etc, etc...it's very rare that I have a problem understanding someone. I might miss a word or two but I can virtually always understand what they are communicating.
A lot of the time I feel like when someone says they can't understand an accent it's because they're just not trying. Once you decide that someone has an "accent" and will be hard to understand, then to me it seems natural that you won't be able to understand them. When you decide that you truly want to communicate with someone, then it's very possible to do so.
Me, I have sort of a weird hybrid accent. I have a midwestern-esque accent that reflects where I'm from (which isn't actually the midwest but sounds like it!) but I also talk ridiculously fast like your stereotypical east coast big city girl.