Yes, they do seem to have a very hard time mastering our vowels. We pronounce almost every one differently. Their "call" sounds like our "coal," except it's not a diphthong. To compensate they tend to pick a regional dialect (such as the Texan you mention) and exaggerate it without really getting it quite right, so it doesn't even sound like us Yankees when we imitate Southerners. Even the Aussie and Canadian faux-country/western singers do better than that. ^_^ Monty Python liked to do American sports jock dialect and it sounded pretty silly coming from a business executive. For American women, they always picked Dustin Hoffman's "Tootsie," a case study in a man mastering feminine patterns and only coming up with a parody of them. I wonder if our actors sound just as silly to them when they try to do British accents. That's our secret, the Melting Pot. I suspect it's only the last couple of generations of British people who have everyday contact with peers who speak with foreign accents. We hear phonemes that aren't part of our paradigm all the time and our brains absorb them. So when we want to pronounce one it's already in there and only our vocal apparatus has to adapt. It's really complicated and I don't fully understand it. But if you understand that biological sex is only a subset of grammatical gender, you'll be on your way to making peace with it. Remember that Indo-European also had a neuter gender, which survived into Latin, Greek, proto-Germanic, and old Slavonic (and I don't really know about the other nodes on the family tree like Sanskrit and proto-Celtic). German, Modern Greek, the Slavic languages and Romanian (unique among the Romance languages because of the influence from Slavonic) still have it (and I don't know about the Indo-Iranian, Celtic, Baltic, Albanian, Armenian, etc. descendants). When you realize that there are three grammatical genders, it puts the biological aspect into a better perspective. I suppose it was natural for our Mesolithic ancestors to assign male and female animals consistently to two of those three genders but I'm unaware of any theories as to how or why it happened in that particular way. BTW gender is by no means universal among non-Indo-European languages. And in addtion to English, I believe the Scandinavian languages have lost it and perhaps for the most part even Dutch, leaving German and its cousin Yiddish alone in our branch of the family in their retention of it. That's just a schwa, the indistinct neutral vowel into which unaccented vowels degenerate in many languages including German and French. It's the name of a Hebrew vowel which has become silent in the modern language (the nearly universal ultimate fate of the schwa), which was resurrected artificially from the liturgical pronunciation of many generations of Jews whose primary language was something else. That's a northeastern American dialect pronunciation. Most of us speak an idiolect comprised of bits and pieces of the dialects we've been exposed to. My wife lived with a British girl in her late teens and 35 years later she still talks about "hoovering" the carpet instead of "vacuuming" it. Americans think that's a rather cute Britishism so that has reinforced her unconscious tendency to hang onto it. I wasn't born there but I lived there since my freshman year in college. With my combination of Chicago and Arizona speech I did not notice any "accent" in L.A. but I now notice Chicago and Arizona dialect pronunciation so I obviously adopted it. I have the same experience. No matter where I go in the U.S., no one has ever commented on my accent. A good part of the reason for that, of course, is Hollywood. Newscasters in Boston, Newark, Atlanta and Dallas sound more like the Angeleños in their network offices every day (curiously not like the equally influential-in-other-matters Manhattanites) so the people in those cities are accustomed to hearing it. The same thing is happening on a much larger canvas in hispanophonic Latin America. As the casts of TV shows produced in every country are increasingly multinational, they have standardized on the speech of Mexico as "neutral." They even send them to dialect schools so that soap opera families don't sound like Papá is Argentine but los niños are somehow from Honduras and Venezuela.