Good pronunciation matters a lot to me. I'm currently learning Korean, and it comes into play often. Because Korea is such a homogenous country, they aren't used to accents and different pronunciations. So if my pronunciation is off, many people don't have any idea what I am saying because they've never had to try and figure it out before.
That being said, I don't believe you should wear yourself out trying to have the perfect pronunciation. In general, as long as you can speak it well enough for native speakers to understand, I don't think it's a requirement to improve it any further. However, if someone wants to get into a specific career field, like Business, It might be easier for them if they work on really improving their pronunciation.
I probably wouldn't pay to improve my accent unless it was really bad. I've found that the longer I am around and interact with a language, the better my accent gets. So I just wait. :P
I'm a perfectionist, so I would like to have a native accent. :P But I agree with Scott when he says that accents make conversations a lot of fun. :)
Personay, I don't think an accent is important part of a speech. It just shows where you are from. I think the majority of countries is multicultural - have a look at the UK - and people are used to it. You can meet people from different countries, you can hear a huge spectrum of accents, but the accent won't tell you what that person is like. Accent does not matter as long as people can understand you.
I am Czech and I have never had a peoblem when talking with people (natives) from the UK.
Well,there are beautiful and sensible comments over me so I don't want to write more except some example I face here in my country(India).
Here the pronunciation is a bit hard for the people and for me also:)As for example when I was in school and was reading my English book and by chance, if I met the word-"Data" then I used to pronounce it like 'Daata' which is not correct.So when I came in contact with students belong to English-medium school then the laughed at me:)then they said:-It's not 'Daata',it's 'Deta'.There are so many examples like that.
And now-a-days ,also,sometimes I face the problem with pronunciation but I try to make it correct by listening to it in google.
So pronunciation matters more.Ohh yea,I remember,one such topic in this discussion,someone wrote that when she was talking to her teacher about the Beach near to her city then her teacher(He was a native English speaker)heard it in another sound i.e Bi*** .That is really embarrassing:)Right?
So mastering pronunciation is important than accent.Accent helps people to guess where you are from and different accents also fun to listen.But a mistake in pronunciation put one into embarrassment.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.Thank you:)
Hi guys, thanks for the replies. How about if we change the central problem from accent to pronunciation? It seems that more people would agree that pronunciation has a more important role in effective communication than accent.
Now the question is: How much does good pronunciation matter to you? Are you willing to pay for it to improve it? Or you don't care at all?