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Tips on perfecting an accent?


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I'm of Japanese decent so it's really hard for to flip my tongue when it comes to my accent. But I think I'm doing pretty well with my American accent but sometime I just slip back to my native accent which kind of ruins it for me. I really want to be able to speak smoothly without any ticks on my accent, any tips for perfecting it? 

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Not much can be said other than to practice, practice, and practice. Watch and listen more to how native speakers talk and repeat the words until it comes close. I know this sounds silly but Sesame Street is a great show to learn.

Totally agree with you in here 100%. Repetition and practice is your best way to perfect something not only language and accents but also other things. Practice makes perfect and that's really true. So I suggest you just go ahead and practice and practice. Try to talk to yourself with that accent and watch tons of American movies (preferable the good ones)

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Not much can be said other than to practice, practice, and practice. Watch and listen more to how native speakers talk and repeat the words until it comes close. I know this sounds silly but Sesame Street is a great show to learn.

Totally agree with you in here 100%. Repetition and practice is your best way to perfect something not only language and accents but also other things. Practice makes perfect and that's really true. So I suggest you just go ahead and practice and practice. Try to talk to yourself with that accent and watch tons of American movies (preferable the good ones)

Yeah I practice all the time. I even try and talk to myself loudly in the bathroom, which is kind of embarrassing but hey, I'm trying to learn damn it. I guess what I mean is, are there any specific ways or practice or techniques you know to make your tongue more flexible when it comes to accents?

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I think the best way is to have a favorite Song and a Movie. There will always be an yearning to speak exactly like in the song or in the movie. My most favorite way is by singing a song, because it is so easy to repeat and fun to do so. And then you have to translate the singing accent into your normal talking accent. Also if you spend a lot of time with people having the accent you desire, you automatically learn to speak it that way. It happened with a friend of mine who was in college, and had British friends. When he cam on home, he had a little of a British accent.

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I think the best way is to just live in the country for a few years and you'll pick up the accent naturally. I don't think you can force it because I can always tell if the accent is forced even if it's well hidden and subtle. Not that I think it is that important, but I'd you want it to sound as natural and not at all forced then I think it is the best way to go about it.

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The best way to develop an accent is to go on YouTube and watch videos of native speakers. Also, you can try watching movies and practice speaking with the actors, or whoever is speaking. Learning a language is hard, but perfecting an accent of a language is even harder. Good luck to you!

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Well, this might be boring, but mastering the English sounds is the key.  I never did, btw, hence my accent is far from being perfect.  This is a sure way to improve your accent, but is kinda tedious, well most of the materials available out there are tedious. But if you really want to do it, then get a good book on phonetics.  I wish I had done it when I had just started learning it.

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I think that you have to kind of forget about the word, and allow your brain to process nothing but sounds. You know what I mean? Think of it as abstract sounds.

I have never used this technique for language learning, but I have used it to win at tongue twisters and it works like a charm.

And repetition, of course, plays a big part on your success.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the best way is to just live in the country for a few years and you'll pick up the accent naturally. I don't think you can force it because I can always tell if the accent is forced even if it's well hidden and subtle. Not that I think it is that important, but I'd you want it to sound as natural and not at all forced then I think it is the best way to go about it.

I'm actually been living in California for like 5 years now. I mean I do have the accent and I think I'm doing fine it's just it's hard to really keep it natural.

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I second the YouTube recommendation. Here's a lady I found that addresses exactly what you are looking for. American Accent for Japanese Speakers

Her whole channel seems to be pretty useful, actually! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDmYmMIR1b7G4ezf2JzLgRA

Wow thanks! I've been on Youtube for a long time now trying to search for really good lessons on accents but this one takes the cake for me. Thanks a lot!  :wink:

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I think Japanese and Chinese accents are really hard to conceal especially if you learned English when you are already an adult. I know a few families that are of Chinese and Japanese descent that migrated over here, and since their kids who arrived here were quite young that time, their accent adapted to my county's accent, while their parents who are here for more than a decade now still have that distinct Chinese or Japanese accent. I guess it's the type of accent that sticks with you unless you really practice getting rid of it.

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When studying English, my teachers were very insisting on having us learn the phonetic alphabet (IPA). At first it's frustrating because it's just a bunch of strange symbols, but visually seeing the name of "the sound" for each word helps me identify how I should be pronouncing it, and it's less likely for me to substitute them for one of the sounds from my native language instead. Check out this website and practice along with the different sounds: http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/english/english.html

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The Japanese tongue is really hard to train when it comes to the accent especially when you're not born in an English speaking country and your taught Japanese as your first language. But there are a lot of videos you can find online that teaches a few exercise on how to get your tongue warmed up for certain accents.

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The Japanese tongue is really hard to train when it comes to the accent especially when you're not born in an English speaking country and your taught Japanese as your first language. But there are a lot of videos you can find online that teaches a few exercise on how to get your tongue warmed up for certain accents.

I was actually born in California but my parents always speak Japanese at home so every time I got home from school I can't really practice the English language. But I did pick up on the accent it just doesn't feel natural to me.

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I was actually born in California but my parents always speak Japanese at home so every time I got home from school I can't really practice the English language. But I did pick up on the accent it just doesn't feel natural to me.

Well that's a main problem really. You really have to practice that's all there is to it. But it's really weird because by now you should've been all over the it since you've been living there for a long time.

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Something that has worked for me is to listen to the target accent many times, for example from a movie, and then to try to imitate the accent over and over. It helps to read the script. For example, I like Tom Wilkinson's accent in the movie Michael Clayton. I found a great Youtube video with his opening monologue, and I imitated it many times. I think this helped!

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Lots of practice and immerse yourself as much as possible in the language and accent you are learning.  Really get the sound of it in your head by listening to audio books, radio broadcasts, whatever is available to you and keep practicing repeating what you are hearing, trying to make it sound just like what you heard.

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Something that has worked for me is to listen to the target accent many times, for example from a movie, and then to try to imitate the accent over and over. It helps to read the script. For example, I like Tom Wilkinson's accent in the movie Michael Clayton. I found a great Youtube video with his opening monologue, and I imitated it many times. I think this helped!

Yes I did that practice also! And it really helped a lot, I tend to imitate Brad Pitts accent and overall character when he played the role of Tyler Durden in Fight Club, it really helps to have some sort of role model.

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Lots of practice and immerse yourself as much as possible in the language and accent you are learning.  Really get the sound of it in your head by listening to audio books, radio broadcasts, whatever is available to you and keep practicing repeating what you are hearing, trying to make it sound just like what you heard.

I was actually ramming ever possible useful thing in my brain when it comes to accent. But I found out that it's really not a lack of practice on my part but more of the mouth shapes and how your mouth, jaw and tongue should work .

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Something that has worked for me is to listen to the target accent many times, for example from a movie, and then to try to imitate the accent over and over. It helps to read the script. For example, I like Tom Wilkinson's accent in the movie Michael Clayton. I found a great Youtube video with his opening monologue, and I imitated it many times. I think this helped!

I a never in favor of imitating an accent as it looks fake for obvious reasons. But if you are adamant on learning an accent, you should watch movies and TV shows of that accent.

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