Jia-Qi
How long does it take to lose your native accent when speaking a new language?

Hello,

I am just learning English and my native language is Dutch. On the news when I hear Dutch people talking I instantly knows that they are from the Netherlands. I was wondering how much practive it takes to lose your native accent? 

How hard is it for you to switch between your accents when talking in different languages? 

Another thing I was wondering is when I am thinking in English it sound perfectly fine but when I am talking it cost me a lot of energy to find the right words. And of course with the accent it sounds not that good.

Thanks!

Mar 14, 2017 9:56 PM
Comments · 5
First of all, it’s not about “losing” or reducing your native accent, but about acquiring correct pronunciation in your target language.

Dutch people can usually acquire near perfect English pronunciation with relative ease. The amount of time should be measured in hours of deliberate practice, using methods that work, as opposed to just letting the years go by and expecting the desired accent to soak in by osmosis. 

As far as “accent,” it would be necessary to choose a specific one. Unless you have something special in mind, I’d recommend Received Pronunciation or General American — I only teach the latter. BTW, I’ve met many Dutch people who’ve learned RP and who speak English with an accent that Americans cannot distinguish from native until they there is an obvious grammatical error. Actually, I my have met others and not even known it. On the other hand, there are people who move to a new country and still have an accent decades later, so it all depends on one’s individual motivation.

March 14, 2017

A big way I learnt to get rid of my English accent  was to listen to German songs again and again and again, pause, play, repeat, rewind... until I knew every single word by heart and had the exact pronounciation.

This way is very fun and doesn't feel like studying!!! You will learn quickly and after time the correct pronounciation will get stuck in your head so you don't even have to think about it :) Good luck!

March 14, 2017

Most people never lose their native accent.  But do not be discouraged.  Your accent is part of who you are.  There are many kinds of native English accents, too and they are part of who we are.  Your goal can be to reduce your accent and you should certainly work on any areas where your accent might cause one word to be mistaken for another, but you do not need to eliminate your accent altogether.   Most English speakers will think your accent makes you sound interesting and pleasant. 

Best of luck with your studies!

March 14, 2017
Hi, unless you are learning English for your school grade, I'd say :" Take your time." Practice makes perfect, that much is true. It's important for you to feel comfortable while speaking English. For starters, I recommend you to concentrate on the words and/or vowels that give off a good English accent. Ex. Nederlands (Dutch): Lamp, "la" als in lak en "mp". English (Engels): Lamp, "la" als in "lè" en "mp". The difference in the sound, while you pronounciate a typical English word is what you should try to focus of, in my opinion. Hope this helps, leer ze!
March 14, 2017
I know some people here in Brazil who speaks Portuguese for more than 20 years and still has an accent, but I think it depends on your work, if you really want to lose your accent you have to work for that, get familiar with your common mistakes, change the intonation, etc but I think these who are living here (or any country) for a long time and still has an accent is because 1) they don't care about their accent  2) they are speaking their mother tonge every day and speak the foreign language just sometimes. 
March 14, 2017