One of the requirements of volunteering here is that you must be able to speak conversational English. So there are volunteers here from Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Finland, Czech Republic, Sweden, England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the U.S.
Interestingly enough there seems to be as much difficulty in understanding the various forms of accents among those whose first language is English. The Scots words and accents from Glasgow and Aberdeen are particularly difficult for those unaccustomed to them in conversation. One morning a friend said he was going to pop out for a quick fag, and the third person in the room was aghast. "What did he say?" she asked. While initially I was going to answer flippantly, I suddenly realized she had understood what he said; she did not understand what he meant. "He's going to have a cigarette,” I responded. So I have become a translator from English to English. My skills are not always needed, so I have to wait for sudden awkward pauses in conversations, and that is my cue that the hearer did not comprehend what the other English speaker has said.
It has become a funny thin place.