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  • Hey guys, today I want to tackle a small piece of a very large topic: accents.

  • Youve probably heard the phrases, “accent reduction,” “accent improvement,” “get rid of your accent.”

  • In fact when I tell people that I didn't grow up in the U.S., the most common

  • response I get isYou have no accent!" Usually I just say, “thank you,” but technically,

  • I could say, -“Actually, I do. I have an American accent. You just can't tell

  • it's an accent because you have one, too.” -“Um well this is awkward...maybe learn

  • how to take a compliment?” English is used globally, so it’s spoken

  • differently all around the world. There are national accents, and in English-speaking

  • countries, accents can be different between regions and between social classes.

  • Countries also have thenews anchoraccent, which a lot of people think of as thestandard.”

  • So I suggest that instead of thinking of it as removing an accent, you do what actors do.

  • Actors learn new accents. This is Hugh Laurie. In real life, he has a British accent.

  • But he played an American doctor on TV for 8 years. The interesting assumption that a

  • lot of Americans will say...in a kind way, they will say, "You managed to lose the accent."

  • I have to sort of explain that I don't..I'm not losing an accent, I'm putting one on.

  • So why would a non-actor want to learn a new accent? One of the reasons is to be better

  • understood. Let’s say youre from Italy, and you come to the United States.

  • If we put your accent on a scale, the further you are from the American accent,

  • the more difficult it might be for American English speakers to understand what you're saying.

  • To be better understood, you can learn and practice American sounds to move over on the scale.

  • But how do you do this? I’ll give you some tips here, but I encourage you to do your

  • own research and find techniques that work well for you personally.

  • 1. Find out what elements of your target pronunciation are different from the way you speak now.

  • I’m going to leave a link below to a website calledPronunciation Studio,”

  • where you can find the most common pronunciation challenges for people whose native language is

  • Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Thai, Portuguese, Polish, and many others. If you don't see your native language

  • in this list, let me know in the comments and I'll see if I can help.

  • 2. Create phrases using the sounds that are the most difficult for you and practice them

  • out loud, all the time. Here's Hugh Jackman, another actor who's amazing at doing accents,

  • talking about this. "Create a sentence which contains every major vowel or consonant, particularly

  • different from his own and he'll just run that in his head. 'How many times...have I

  • asked Sam whether or not his daughter has a learning disorder.' Right, so that was my

  • sentence. Makes no sense but I'll say that and it just tricks my tongue, my mind and

  • then I can forget it." Remember that your accent is created by the muscles of your throat,

  • jaw, tongue, lips, among others. You have to train them and it's normal for new sounds

  • to feel uncomfortable. You have to practice them consistently until they become more and

  • more comfortable.Two Youtube channels I highly recommend are Rachel's English for breaking

  • down American English sound and figuring out how to make them, and Elemental English for

  • awesome explanations of stress, rhythm, intonation, and the musicality of English.

  • 3. Listen to content that uses the accent you want, every single day. Your hearing and

  • your speech are closely connected. You have to be able to hear the sounds in order to

  • make them yourself, and you have to hear them over and over to get your ears used to them.

  • Native speakers have been listening to these sounds their whole lives, so you have a lot

  • of catching up to do. I particularly recommend podcasts because you can listen to them on

  • the go, there are so many to choose from, a lot of them are really interesting, and

  • a lot of them use natural conversation, which is an ideal model.

  • That's it for today, thank you so much for watching. I want to give a quick shoutout

  • to ASAPScience, who posted an awesome video about accents right as I was getting this one ready. It's

  • concise and it's interesting as are all the videos on their channel, so I recommend their

  • channel in general. I'd love to hear from you in the comments about what accent you currently

  • have and if there's another accent you want, then what are some of your struggles with it? As always,

  • if anything I said wasn't clear please let me know. And until next time, take care!

Hey guys, today I want to tackle a small piece of a very large topic: accents.

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So You Want to Lose Your Accent

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    韓澐 posted on 2016/10/22
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