Language accent is something that anyone who learns a foreign language faces. Even if your speech is structured perfectly correctly, the impression that you make on your interlocutor depends a lot on the purity of the pronunciation. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to completely eradicate the native accent, but you can minimize pronunciation errors by using some of the following tips.
- Listen to yourself from the outside. The first step to self-improvement is realizing your mistakes. Record your speech in your target language on a dictaphone and listen carefully: perhaps you sound too harsh, or your intonation doesn’t sound confidently, etc.
- Memorize with expression. Pick a monologue from a character from your favourite TV show or movie and memorize it. Much more important to reproduce the intonation than the words. The speech of most languages is nationally rich, you need to learn to correctly express the mood, so not to seem too monotonous to your interlocutor.
- Imitate idols. Everyone knows that repeating after an announcer from audio courses or BBC presenter works great, but it’s quite boring. Instead, choose some of your favorite actors who speak your target language as native. When watching a movie, repeat the phrase you like after an actor and record yourself on a voice recorder. Compare the recordings of your voice with the speech of the actor and repeat until you reach the closest possible pronunciation. This method is considered to be very effective. But it will not change your own accent, it will only cover up and replace the most visible moments in your language. Over time, native speakers will only hear the echoes of your accent in only 4-5 sentences, but probably they will not even realize what your native language is. “There is something a little wrong here” – this is the thought that will be spinning in their heads.
- If you can’t manage to pronounce individual sounds, you need to literally learn where to put the tongue, at what height, with what intensity to pronounce a certain sound. Children copy speech unconsciously, while for adults it is more effective and fast to turn on the logic and conscious actions. Find a good teacher who sets the pronunciation: he will show everything in detail, tell and give exercises to train the muscles of the mouth and work out the position of the speech apparatus. So these exercises and correct pronunciation will become a habit.
- If you are bored of just listening to a speech, then try to get rid of the accent with songs. This is a great resource for practicing pronunciation. Plus, this way you will learn a lot of new words and grammar structures.
Of course, a lot of practice is needed and preferably with the native speakers. If there are no such people among friends, it doesn’t matter, you can visit special language learning courses, practice on specialized platforms, use language learning apps or visit language speaking clubs, where they will help you move to a new level of communication. According to ComboApp, distance learning will be the same popular in 2021 as it was last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the number of educational apps and software is constantly increasing. Taking advantage of using your smartphone, you will be able to learn a new language with the right accent fast and from any place.