En tant que non anglophone, comment puis-je améliorer mon accent?

Ananya Bala

Ananya Bala, Relationship Manager at Rype (2017-present)

Répondu il y a 86w

Hi there, for starters I believe the first question you should be asking yourself is ‘Why do I want to improve my accent?”, if this is because you have an English accent that does not fit the conventional mould of English accents (American, British are two of them) then I would say you shouldn’t feel the pressure to train your accent to sound like the conventional accents native speakers have.

One reason to improve your accent is if you believe it is a barrier when you converse and try to communicate information to the another person in English. If they don’t understand you because of your accent, then I’ve outlined some resources that will allow you to better your articulation, pronunciation, accent.

I do understand that sometimes the two reasons have a correlation, I just wanted to support you and tell you that if you’re fully comprehensible in English, but want to modify you’re accent because you experience the pressure of adapting to societal norms, then don’t feel the pressure. The world is a beautiful place and it is wonderful to hear different accents in English, they’re all beautiful!

SO, without further adieu:

1. Converse with native speakers
This is a weird story, but I have a large group of French friends and every time I spend time with one or more of them, I end up picking up their accent a little bit and my English turns into this weird mix of a normal American accent and little hints of French. Similarly, when I lived in Singapore, my accent would do the same thing but have small hints of an English accent because I was surrounded by a lot of British expats.

The common denominator? Being surrounded by, and speaking to a lot of different native and fluent English speakers. You won’t just pick up your speaking skills, but also Comment they speak and will be able to imitate it easily.

En tant que non anglophone, comment puis-je améliorer mon accent?

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En tant que non anglophone, comment puis-je améliorer mon accent?

2. The concept of ‘Elision’
This video below provides an excellent example of how the concept contributes to sound of native speakers

3. Pick the accent you want yours to sound like, and immerse yourself in a world of resources that are spoken in that accent
Since I’ve already started providing resources for an English accent, I’ll continue with this accent, but there are counterparts in an American accent, South-African accent, etc.

  • BBC - World Service - Home
    Listen to current events, politics, business, technology and other news topics through their radio service
  • YouTubers with English accents
  • Podcasts with English accents
  • TV Shows with English accents
    You’re probably already watching this show! (And the best part about Netflix produced shows is that they have a wide range of languages in subtitles too!)

4. Read out to yourself
While this may not be the best idea for the one-hour you might have before going to bed, reading out loud is one of the best ways to practice your accent while also improving your comprehension. As a German studies student, I read aloud a lot of my books when I can (or passages I find extremely tough to understand). When you hear yourself speaking, you’ll have an opportunity to take note of your pronunciation, see where you’re going right and wrong and fix it.

Moreover, the more you read, the more comfortable you get with the phonetics of the language and so you may find your accent is significantly better 2–3 pages into reading aloud than your first paragraph.

En tant que non anglophone, comment puis-je améliorer mon accent?

5. Sing some cool pop tunes

This is probably better for if you want to have an American accent. I’m sorry I have to bring them up, but have you ever heard One Direction sing? They were an English boy-band, however in ALL of their songs- they have an American accent!

Why? I have no idea, but pop music has simple phrases (and most likely bad lyrics) which you can learn how to pronounce just by finding the song catchy!

These are a couple of my ideas, hope these help ��

[Disclaimer: I work for Rype]

Johannes Frank

Johannes Frank, User Services Specialist at Box (2017-present)

Répondu il y a 203w

Réponse d'origine: How do I get rid of my native accent while speaking English? People always complain that I speak English in my native accent. How do I improve?

Besides the fact that an accent can be very charming, this is of little help to you. It is not correct that you will keep your accent for your life. You can manage it. There are probably more than this way to do it, but here is at least one:
First you should get a rough understanding what an accent is. Your native language is basicly made out of phonemes. Read all about it on wikipedia.
These phonemes come into play when you try to speak a different language. The other language might differ dramatically in phonemes. And this is the actual problem. Your accent roughly works like this:
A native speaker speaks something and this sound enters via ear (and body) your brain. Your brain tries to figure out the sounds but there is a mismatch. Language detection works via phonemes but you do not posses (anymore you did as an infant) these phonemes. Thus you try a closest match. With this match you speak back. Now here is the problem. It is a set of foreign phonemes modeled with the phonemes of your native language. An other effect kicks in. As the foreign speak most likely isn't immediately complain you learn this as correct. And each time you speak with your accent it gets more solid.
How to overcome this problem. You do the same as you would in successful learning how to sing: You join a choir. In a choir you sing synchronously with your peers and thus get immediate feedback about your errors.
With a language you use the same technique with audio books. By some or get free (free public domain audiobooks) Use a program with AB repeat. Start speaking synchronously with the speakers. Don't stop until what you speak and what they speak has virtually no difference. Use different speakers to overcome the voice imitating. Over the time, your brain will thus learn the phonemes of the other language again, and your accent will start to vanish. But be aware you might need thousands of training hours to get close to the native speakers.
It is surely not an easy way to go, I needed four weeks with 10-15 hours a week training a day for my first French sentence (I am a German native). "Chapitre Un, dans lequel Phileas Fogg et Passepartout s'acceptent réciproquement, l'un comme maître, l'un comme dommestique":-)
Nowadays I am down to about 10 minutes for a sentence and the sentences are much more complex. So don't be afraid when you seem to get stuck. Do don't. And you will get quicker over time.
For other sources of text and sound to train see: Interesting Things for ESL/EFL Students (Fun English Study)
Hope it helps

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Kevin Hong

Kevin Hong, CBD de Sinemia | Auteur le plus vendu | Conseiller de démarrage

Répondu il y a 28w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 193 et de vues de réponses 421.6k

Au cours des dernières années 18 après mon retour en Amérique, je suis moi-même passé d'un “deer-in-a-headlights F.O.B. to a writer for Forbes, CNBC, Inc et maintenant un Amazon bestselling author.

At the age of 16 I moved back to the States from Korea. Prior to this, I did live in Minnesota quite briefly from the age of 2 to 9. During this time, my parents spoke mostly Korean at home so I wasn’t introduced to a lot of English until I started Kindergarten. After a couple of years, we moved back to Korea and we stayed there until we moved back to the States when I was 16. It was at this time I realized my English was far below my peers and I was initially placed in an “ESL”type class (We had a different name for this in our school) I even failed my college written-entrance exam as a freshman.

Here’s a picture of me graduating from 6th grade (I am on the right):

En tant que non anglophone, comment puis-je améliorer mon accent?

In order to improve my spoken English, I watched a ton of the American TV show, Friends. I watched Friends during the day. I watched Friends at night. Particularly at night so I could attempt to rêve en anglais. When I didn’t dream in English, I was so angry. I didn’t want to think in Korean. In order to be successful in America, I knew I needed to master English first and that meant thinking in the language.

I noticed when I started thinking in English I knew I was immensely improving because all the internal communication was happening in English. Thoughts were actually synthesizing en anglais.

Even as I learned the words, I noticed there were also nuances that were difficult to understand in American culture. The funny thing about language is that culture is always tied to language. And vice versa. Inasmuch, if you don’t understand the language you won't truly understand the culture. If you don’t understand the culture you won't truly understand the language.

Full immersion puts the absorption process into high gear. Television programs, (particularly the sit-com) was like my secret weapon because it se sentait immersive but I was able to be in a comfortable position where I wasn't constantly hitting walls in conversation and thus putting my engine in reverse, so to speak. I should also mention, when I watched Amis I watched with et without subtitles (English, of course).

Also, when I read a book, I wouldn’t just read it. I would record myself reading aloud. It's not just how you pronounce the words; it's, in large part, intonation. (My Chinese readers who have successfully learned English will particularly appreciate this.) The emphasis on a particular vowel can completely change the meaning, the context of that which you are trying to communicate. For example, in Korean many times a word will have an upward intonation but, unlike English and similar languages, it's not necessarily a question.

It didn’t stop at just reading aloud. I would record my speech and play it over and over again until I could pronounce every word correctly. I remember back in college I wanted to work in Wall Street so I wanted to sound husky, tough, and as American as apple pie. Just imagining putting on a suit and strutting through Wall Street, kept me motivated to improve my English over and over again.

My senior year in college, my roommate of 4 years walked up to me and said:

“Kevin, your English is so good now. You finally sound like you were born here.”

When he said that, I went to my room and cried. All those years, trying to “sound” American paid off. From there, my English not only became fluent but I was able to master it. It is one thing to be able to communicate in a language but another to be able to influence others in a language.

Here is a recent speaking engagement at the University of Chicago, Booth. You’ll notice right away in the beginning I say, “Came back to the America”. I still will butcher a word here and there despite all my years of practice ��

Below are the strategies I used to not only master English but to get my Spanish up to speed (at least conversant) within 6 months.

1. Lire à voix haute. My workaround to my funny accent became recording myself reading English and playing it back over and over again as it improved. Self-critiquing and noticing marked improvement boosted my morale, expediting the process tremendously. You also want your tongue to develop the muscle memory required to say the word correctly and confidently so you do not hesitate to speak with foreigners.

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2. Find a sitcom, or just a television program in the language you are learning, particularly one that parle to you. Something where the nonverbal communication, the body language really helps close that invisible barrier. Friends spoke to me because I enjoyed the interactions and the subtleties between the various characters. I also enjoyed the settings and the strong universal archetypes. Friends "spoke" to me before I even knew English. Find votre Friends. (By the way I’m not a “Friends” type of guy, but it was a tremendous introduction to American culture)

  1. Watch it once with the foreign language and with English subtitles
  2. Watch it again with the foreign language and foreign subtitles
  3. Watch it again with no subtitles
  4. Rincez et répétez

3. Aie conscience of the subtle differences between the intonations in your native (or preferred) language and the one you desire. The key to improving my accent (I had this funny Minnesota/ Korean F.O.B. accent, at the time) was in understanding the core principles of intonation and subtleties that don’t translate from East to West. For example, the inherent problem with the Korean language, particularly in relation to the Western languages, is that it's rooted in Mongolian so the sentence structure is, in essence, backwards. For example, 'I went to school' directly translates as 'school I went to', in Korean.

4. Immerse in the culture As your English improved, take advantage of it. Meet people who are English speakers. Make friends at school, coffee shop, at the bar. Talk to them as long as you can. Assimilation is the fastest way to learn a language and mirrors the way a child learns a language, which will help you accelerate your learnings much more quickly.

Getting rid of your accent can help you influence others and have others take you much more seriously. It is important and very useful if you are pursuing a professional career. As I share in my book, “Before becoming a businessman, I knew I needed to become an American first”.

Adam Helps

Adam Helps, Software Engineer at Autodesk

Répondu il y a 203w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 1.2k et de vues de réponses 3.5m

Réponse d'origine: How do I get rid of my native accent while speaking English? People always complain that I speak English in my native accent. How do I improve?

I have some unorthodox advice for you.

One of the issues with speaking a foreign language without accent is that you cannot hear accents very well. But that's not really true--you can hear accents very well when someone is speaking your native language.

I believe this is because native languages and foreign languages use different brain modes. Children can pick up accents so well because their brain continues to learn language in the primary mode until about age 12. After that, further languages use a secondary mode. You usually have an excellent ear for accents when speaking your primary language, and a poor ear for accents in secondary languages.

So my recommendation is to learn how to do impressions of English speakers in your native tongue. How does an English speaker sound when they are speaking your native language? Pretend that they have a really épais accent. Imitate all the funny little sound changes that they get wrong. Think about the words that sound really funny and try to say them the English way.

Now--take that accent you learned for doing impressions, but use it for speaking English! After all, the reason we can't speak your language very well is that we are using our native language's sounds. If you can imitate our "mistakes," then you are imitating our accent. Your impression won't sound funny to us, it will sound correct!

Mikkel Haaheim

Mikkel Haaheim, PhD from Michel De Montaignes University Bordeaux 3

Répondu il y a 148w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 226 et de vues de réponses 181.9k

Réponse d'origine: How do I get rid of my native accent while speaking English? People always complain that I speak English in my native accent. How do I improve?

First thing you must know: speech training in not going to help you significantly. It is great for actors and narrators who have the time to rehearse a very specific text, but it does not help very much for the improvisational nature of real conversation. The only real value of speech training in conversation is to help you pronounce specific sounds that do not occur in your native language (notably, the English "r"- conversely, English speakers generally need help with the Spanish "r" and the French glottal "r"). You need to be able to produce the sounds, and speech training WILL help with that... but ability to produce the sound is NOT the same thing as producing it appropriately for the "linguistic/phonetic context".

Second: there has been lots of advice given for learning phonetics. This faces the same problem as speech training. People don't naturally speak by following sets of rules. In fact, you are far more likely to have a recognisable accent if you DO try to follow the phonetic "rules", because native speakers BREAK those rules constantly. The specific pronuncitation of a letter will change depending upon the phonetic context (the sounds produced before and after the specific letter). Learning an accent is more about learning how people break the rules under certain conditions than it is about the rules themselves. BTW, those "rules" are themselves averaged descriptions of how linguists hear the sounds, and how they record the movements that produce those sounds. There is A LOT of fluxuation that is not represented by the rules.

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Third: research has demonstrated that people naturally immitate the speech patterns of those around them.

This last point is the most important. Several respondants suggest imitating the sound. However, conscious imitation brings in influences that can actually interfere with the natural process. Your TRYING to speak without an accent might be causing that accent. If you really want to speak with a "native" English accent (and, as has already been pointed out, there is no single native accent, even within a precise dialect), then the best way is to immerse yourself among speakers who share that accent (there is no such thing as speaking without an accent). Every chance you get, surroung yourself with native speakers. Listen to them (but do NOT try to analyse or imitate them). More importantly, speak with them. It is the natural exchange of speech that results in speech patterns starting to match one another, so you need both. This does not happen overnight. If you can't immerse yourself in the actual environment of native speakers, try buying some DVDs of English movies. Learn the lines, and act out the parts of ONE of the characters. Listen to the other characters, and then say the lines of the character you choose to act out. Watch the movie again, and choose another character. This is probably as close to a natural process as you will be able to achieve if you can not getyourself into a group of native speakers. If you DO choose the DVD method, choose movies that you enjoy, but also movies with a lot of character interaction.

Dima Sichkar

Dima Sichkar, worked at Internet Service Providers

Répondu il y a 163w

Réponse d'origine: How can I learn to speak English without a foreign accent?

Yes, it's completely possible but it's hard and requires time and dedication! It's self training that not everybody can make!

Si tu veux sound like a native speaker vous devriez:

  • have free time for practice (sorry but time is scarce resource) ��
  • know the difference between your native language and foreign language you are trying to learn,
  • and have motivation to keep your learning process hot on everyday basis.

Time and motivation is your inner journey. I can't help you here.

Second point about the difference between your native language and foreign language you are trying to learn is in my reach.

La Différence
Until you are Neo from Matrix where he could upload new skills directly into his head (and language is really a skill and not a discipline) your only choice is to expand your understanding of "Language Mechanics"

When you listen or speak something in your native language you activate specific areas of your brain responsible for sound recognition (Système auditif) et articulation (Articulation (phonetics)).

When you were just born this "language center" in your brain was completely "empty". It does not have any "language coder/decoder" installed. And then experience with your future native language began. You hear voices of your parents and all the people which come and play with you. "Ooh, what a nice little baby!:-)". All the sounds you hear start to create in your language center new neuron paths. That is how you create your own "native language decoder". By simple act of listening!

You also naturally start to imitate simple sound like "goo" "agoo" etc... In such a way you train muscles of your throat and install in your language center a "native language coder". This native language coder will help you automatically construct words from simple sounds.

So, the whole sound structure of your native language is imprinted in your brain, in your "language center".

And here is the difference:
The whole sound structure of your native language is almost completely different from sound structure of foreign language you are trying to learn!!!

Where to Start?
Now you know the difference between your native and foreign languages. This difference is "language coder/decoder" for your future foreign language.

In the beginning was the word (sound). Right? ;-)...

And now, to sound like a native speaker start from LISTENING to high quality records of native speakers. Don't worry about understanding! It's not important on this stage. Just listen and pay attention to every sounds and intonation. The more clearly you will hear every sound the more likely you will rightly imitate pronunciation.

After "blind listening" what follows is repeated pronunciation...

For all action takers and who wants to know more:
Join us at - Speaknative

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