20 Apr Lose that “American Accent”: Tips to improving your pronunciation
Losing your american accent in order to sound like a native speaker is one of the most difficult aspects of learning another language. An accent is comprised of many different parts of speech, such as rhythm, word stress, intonation and expressions used. However, one may argue that the main culprit of keeping people from losing their american accent is mispronunciation. Losing an accent takes a lot of time and practice, so be patient with yourself. Here are a few tips that can help you improve your pronunciation and help you lose your accent:
Talk with native speakers
The fastest way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it by speaking with native speakers. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes when speaking with them and be open to correction when you make a mistake. Listen to how the native speakers word their sentences and how they pronounce words. Mimic their accent and pronunciation. Natives will know right off the bat that you are not native if they hear your american accent but many are willing to help if you ask.
Watch television in the native language
When I was learning German, a requirement for one of my college classes was to watch 30 minutes of German news each day. Most reporters speak very clearly in their native language, making them prime examples to listen to for pronunciation. Again, listening to native speakers is a great way in helping to improve your accent and television and movies are a great substitute when you don’t have frequent contact with a native speaker. Listen to a sentence, then pause, and try and pronounce that sentence exactly how they said it.
Read out loud
Spend part of your regular study time reading out loud in your target language. You can read a book, the newspaper, or whatever else you enjoy. Reading the words out loud will help you improve your pronunciation and pick up the rhythm of each sentence.
Losing your american takes practice and consistency. Make sure you are consciously trying to improve your accent at least five days a week. Set a time and place on when you will focus on your pronunciation skills and stick to it. Practice makes perfect!
Have you had success in losing your american accent? Comment below and other tips that have helped improve your pronunciation.