The strange thing about the way language works is that everyone else has an accent except me.
The natural tendency is to look upon everyone else's variations from my normal as being the odd bit. What's equally fascinating is that for a large part of it, it is simply the sound that makes things different.
Here a guy called Crehnquist tries his hand at sounding like he is speaking a few foreign languages, including Japanese (thanks to Carlie who put me on to this one).
I think he does a remarkably good job, and though of course my familiarity with Japanese means I spot the sounds and words that are wrong, if I wasn't paying attention and I heard this in the background, I probably would have mistaken it for the real thing.
The responses are mixed and frankly they mostly seem to miss the point, but for this guy, a German who's voice sounds, if you tune out, just like a CNN newscast (actually, one of the responses says BBC but he is clearly too animated for the BBC who are more neutral sounding than this).
The important thing we should take from this as students of language is that if you want to speak a language there is so much more to doing it properly than simply learning the words and the grammar - you really need to listen to the sound.
Anyone who has taught English in Japan will understand the impact of a student who, after you've spent hours teaching kids and housewives who maybe have never been abroad or used English in anger, wanders in and starts communicating in accented Californian or Australian English. You almost wonder what they are doing there.
Personally, when I am thinking about my Japanese I always try to speak from the back of my throat and barely move my lips, like the monosyllabic grunts of Samurai films. Of course, for girls you have to do that whole trill screechy thing. Well, it's never easy is it?