How To Speak English Without an Accent
The correct pronunciation is one of the most complicated areas for learners, so they are wondering how to lose an accent. No matter how good the grammar and vocabulary are, if you don’t know how to say things correctly, native speakers will have difficulty understanding you. It’s true that improving your speaking accent is essential if you want to be able to communicate effectively. This article provides some tips on how to start speaking English correctly.
What Is English Without An Accent?
Before we learn how to speak English without an accent, let’s define what it really is. This is simply the way that a particular group of people speaks their native language. So, there are many different accents across the globe, and there is no one “correct” way to speak English.
If you ask yourself – Why do I have an accent? It’s because we all pick it up from the people around us when we learn to speak. Depending on what part of the world someone is from will depend on how they sound. For example, a person from New York City in the United States will speak with a different accent than a person who’s from London in England. And even within those regions, there are various sub-accents.
If you want to know how to get rid of your accent, the first thing you need to do is decide which one you would like to acquire. Here are some of the most popular accents:
- American. This is the most common type heard in North America. It is also used in Hollywood movies.
- British. It is mainly used in Great Britain and is often considered to be more "proper" or "refined" than American English.
- Australian. The Australian accent is most similar to that of New Zealand and is also similar to accents from the South-East of Britain.
- Canadian. This is similar to American English, but with some slight differences.
Therefore, when talking about English without an accent, we generally mean someone who speaks in a way that is considered to be the standard for that particular dialect of English. This can be difficult for non-native speakers, as it requires a high level of mastery over the language. But eventually, you can even learn how to talk in different accents.
If you’re not sure which accent to learn, consider what kind of English you will speak. In case you want to communicate with people from all over the world, then learning an American or British accent may be your best bet. However, if you only need to communicate with people from North America, then learning a Canadian or even regional dialect will be more beneficial.
How to Speak English Without an Accent
So, can you lose an accent? The answer is definitely yes. There are some things you can do to minimize the influence of your native language and start speaking like a native. Let’s look at them in detail.
Tip 1: Learn the Sounds
The first thing you need to know about how to lose an accent is that it’s important to understand what sounds incorporate your native language and which ones are different in English. This will help you be more aware of the differences and similarities and learn to speak with an accent you want. To this end, you need to get acquainted with the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Tip 2: Listen Very Carefully
Listen to native speakers as much as you can because this will help you to understand how to speak English without an accent. Listen to them speak, and try to identify the differences between their pronunciation and your own. After a while, it will become easier for you to hear individual sounds that are pronounced differently by natives. To better understand how to speak perfect English without an accent, listening to English TV programs and radio shows or finding podcasts online can also be helpful.
Tip 3: Practice Speaking Aloud
It is important to do this regularly, as it will help your mouth get used to making the correct shapes for the sounds. You could say them aloud when you are doing other things, such as cooking or walking somewhere – anything that doesn’t require all of your attention. Alternatively, there are many tongue-twisters that can be great for practicing particular sounds.
Tip 4: Listen To Yourself
Record your accent speaking voice often so that you can listen back and compare your speech with that of a native speaker. This may feel strange at first, but it is very useful because it allows you to hear how you sound from an outside perspective. When recording yourself, pay attention not only to your general pronunciation, but also focus on specific sounds that give away your foreign accent more than others.
Tip 5: Slow Down
This is another important tip on how to speak in an English accent. When people speak their native language, they usually speak quickly because they are so used to the way the words sound. However, when speaking a foreign language, it is important to slow down and pronounce each word clearly. This will help people understand you better, and it will also give you more time to think about what you want to say.
The Importance of Mastering English Accent
When someone is speaking with an accent, people may not understand what he’s saying. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to communicate with someone in a professional setting.
While in some scenarios, having an accent can work to your advantage, such as when casting directors are looking for actors who can play a role that requires a specific dialect. In most cases, it’s best to try to sound as close to a native speaker as possible.
Let's look at the reasons why mastering the pronunciation is important:
- It’s easier to communicate with others. If you have an accent, there’s a good chance that people will have difficulty understanding you. This can be frustrating for both you and the person you’re speaking to. So, it’s better to change your accent to avoid any confusion.
- It’s easier to understand others. In addition to other people struggling to understand you, you may also have a hard time understanding others if they have a different accent from yours. This can make it difficult to follow conversations or even watch movies and TV shows. If you want to be able to easily understand others, it’s best to work on minimizing your own accent.
- English is considered the international language of business. If you want to succeed in global business ventures, then talking with an accent your clients are accustomed to will help you a lot. And in order for them to understand what you’re saying, it helps if they don’t have to struggle with your thick accent.
- Many people believe that if you speak English without an accent, it demonstrates intelligence and sophistication. In most social settings, sounding like a native is generally seen as being more desirable. Therefore, if you want people to perceive you in a positive light, then working on dropping your accent should be high on your priority list.
Of course, improving the accent is often easier said than done. Pronouncing certain sounds can be difficult, and it may take years of practice before you’re able to master them. But even if you can only make a few small changes to the way you speak, it will still go a long way in helping people understand you better.
How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of a Foreign Accent?
You are possibly wondering how to get rid of the accent and how long it will take. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Everyone is different and will learn at a different pace. Some people might be able to do it relatively quickly, whilst others might find it takes much longer, even with regular practice. It really depends on many factors, such as:
- The age you started learning the language. Generally, children pick up languages more quickly than adults.
- The amount of time you spend using the language. The more time you spend using it, the better your pronunciation will become.
- Your motivation. If you are really motivated to improve your accent, then you are more likely to be successful.
- Your native language. If your native language comprises the same sounds as no accent English, then you might find it easier to master it.
- Your level of English. If your level is high, then you are more likely to be able to master the pronunciation quickly. Otherwise, it might take longer as you will need to focus on other aspects of the language first.
So as you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the questions – How to change my accent, and how much time it would take? However, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, then you should be able to see some progress relatively quickly. With regular practice, you should be able to speak with a more natural pronunciation within a few months.
How to improve your accent with Promova?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why you might want to work on your accent, let’s talk about how you can actually go about doing it. If you have a question – How can I improve my accent? – the best thing you can do is sign up for a course designed to help people improve their pronunciation.
Thanks to online learning platforms, you can now find dozens of different courses that can help you improve your English accent. If you decide to use the Promova platform, you’ll be connected with professional English tutors who will help you work on your accent. You’ll be able to practice your pronunciation with them in real-time, and they’ll give you feedback on what you’re doing well and what you can improve.
At Promova, we offer both group and individual classes that are taught by experienced instructors who are native English speakers. In addition to working on your pronunciation, they can also help you with other aspects of your spoken English, such as increasing your vocabulary and improving your grammar. Also, our classes are conducted in a supportive and fun environment, and tutors will teach you a lot of tips on how to lose your accent.
Although some people might think that having a foreign accent is cute, for many people, it can be a source of anxiety and frustration. If you want to get rid of it, then it is possible to do so with enough time and practice. So, how to get rid of an accent? Remember to listen carefully to native speakers, practice speaking aloud regularly, and be patient. Also, don’t worry too much about making mistakes. The process of mastering accents might take some time, but eventually, you will start to sound more like a native speaker yourself!