How important do you think it is to to learn the accent of the language that you are learning?

I personally think it is positive good to learn any language correctly even with its accentn if it is posible, but what if you are going to live to another country where people speak the same language as you do?is it really important to learn their accent? many people do it after to live several years abroad .

Would you change your accent or would you prefer to keep your native accent?

Aug 1, 2014 10:00 PM
Comments · 55

Whoever you learn from, you will naturally take on the accent from. Some accents are more "neutral" than others. I went to Andalusia to learn Spanish without understanding that it's probably the worst place to learn Spanish because they tend to cut off all the ends of their words and speak super fast. I barely understood a word for 3 months straight, but then at 6 months when finally I could understand and be understood well, I went to live in Madrid for awhile, but no one could understand me! They kept telling me to slow down and finish my words and you could see on people's faces how much they hated my accent. Learning Spanish in Sevilla was a little like it would be learning English from someone with a very heavy Brooklyn accent where they cut off the ends of words and speak super fast. There was a man teaching English in Madrid that I met with the most intense Brooklyn accent and I hate to say it, but his students sounded bizarre. 


It's not that you have to think too much about YOUR accent, but I would think long and hard about the accent of the people you are learning from! It's important to LIKE the voice of the person you are using a model because as Johathan said, you will pick up on it naturally over time. 


I would choose someone to emulate that does not have a heavy accent generally, perhaps someone from the place where you most like to visit and who's voice is very pleasing to you and then just relax and let it sink into you over time. 


That's my plan anyway. :) 

August 20, 2014

The accent you choose will depend on many factors, not the least of which will be who you like, who you can talk to, what resources are available as well as what accent you like. 


My Mandarin accent will be that of my language partner. That's how I decided. I picked HER, so her accent goes along with her. :D


It's probably a good idea to check someone's accent out with others who can better evaluate it just to make sure it's not in some way awful. I decided to imitate a website where someone reads lots of Spanish so I posted it and asked what other Spanish speakers thought of it. 


I just wish I had understood how important the issue of accent was going to be for me when I started Spanish. I have some deeply ingrained habits I am working really hard on changing now. It's really tough going sometimes.


I'm just giving the advice that I wish someone else had given me at the beginning. Think carefully about the kind of accent you want and start working at it right away so you don't have to work harder later on trying to dig up and replace deeply ingrained patterns. It's a tough job.  


October 3, 2014

Ah, for resumé purposes what you need to do is pass tests! That's a very different thing that actually being able to communicate well. Accent will not matter much at all I would think then for your goals. While sight-seeing a couple of days anything you know will be a plus. When it comes to love of a language though, that's where accent could come into play. If you have an accent you love as well, then adding that to your practice can really increase the enjoyment I think. I'm really enjoying trying to speak in one particular accent. It's like learning to sing or something!  

October 2, 2014

at first I didn't understand the point of view of kaina either,but I think he meant that the attempt to change or reduce their accent when he feel to be being discriminated against, or that they will are not understood him very well because of his strong native accent, Right?

That is sad but that it usually often happen, our native accent can be discriminated against and this is frustrating and makes difficult a good communication.

Howevery there are ones better valued than other accents, such as when you listening to someone speak with a French accent, a lot of people like it, or may be it is more understandable accent for natives, I think that happens everywhere, there accents more accepted than others and that is a reality. So I totally agree  with Dorothy in learning with the accent of your environment from the beginning.

October 1, 2014

First of all, it is necessary to note that speaking in an accent is not the same as speaking in a right pronunciation. I think the latter is much more important than the former. In fact, if we talk about learning an accent, as in doing it purposely, unless you're an actor, I don't think it is important. For me, the ability to convey what I have in mind without changing the meaning as I choose the tenses and diction is more important. 


However, it's a different case when one lives abroad. You'll pick up an accent because you're constantly exposed to it. Some people insist on keeping their original accent because it's part of their identity, while the other pick up foreign accent out of habit. It's a choice.

August 21, 2014
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Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language