To speak with a clear and understandable pronunciation are the fluency in a language? I think that speaking like a native is not something important, but I do like to speak with a clear and understandable pronunciation so I do not prefer to imitate the accent do you agree with me? 
Feb 7, 2016 10:19 PM
Comments · 25

Emir... I agree. It is better to pronounce each word clearly with your accent than it is to try to copy someone's accent. But it is important to know the difference between an accent and proper pronunciation becuase they are not the same.

Good posting...

February 9, 2016

Just a few weeks ago I attended an international meeting. The participants came from various European countries and from the US. All of them spoke excellent English, but many of them had very recognizable accents. The one from Italy had a particularly strong accent, but his use of grammar and vocabulary was flawless. No-one had any problem understanding him and I can guarantee that no-one in that room questioned his success or knowledge.

Only two of the participants were somewhat harder to understand, due to their accents. The funny thing is... they were from Scotland and the UK (Essex, I believe). Perhaps even funnier is that the people who struggled most in understanding them, were the people from the US! :-)

Of course a *very* strong accent may cause problems in communication. In my personal experience, heavy Asian accents are often more challenging than the European accents we encountered at that last meeting. As long as people are easy enough to understand, however, I kind of like the accents in their English when I'm at international events. It feels like a celebration of English as the lingua franca of the world.

February 9, 2016

Emir, the essential basis of language learning is imitation.  That means picking a role model to imitate.  I think it would be sensible, and kinder, to advise learners to learn a standard accent from an English-speaking country.

Everyone has the freedom to choose what accent they prefer, but the reality of the world, among employers or social groups, is that learners who speak with a native or near-native accent are considered more successful than those who do not.  I think learners should recognise that reality.

It is unrealistic to divorce pronunciation from accent.  Pronunciation is accent!

February 9, 2016
Emir, yours is an interesting comment.  The problem with it is that it borders on being a tautology.  When a person genuinely achieves "clear and understandable pronunciation" understandable to every person who is proficient in English, that speaker is speaking with a near-native standard accent.  Let's not fool ourselves that anything else is entirely "clear and understandable".
February 9, 2016

I agree 100% with you. Even sometimes I do not like the pronunciation of some native speakers.

February 9, 2016
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