What is the difference between accent and pronunciation?
Where you are from influences your accent. In different parts of the world, people tend to have similar accents speaking foreign languages because they share a common Native language. The German are known to pronounce “v” instead of “w” in English for instance. The French tend to pronounce “d” instead of “th”. It is all due to the fact that in our Native language, there are sounds that are more familiar to us than the ones in a foreign language. Tom and I for one are sure you can tell where we are from when we speak Russian or Chinese.
Should I work on completly removing my accent? Now, on this, Tom and I both agree that accents are good. Your accent is part of your identity. You want to be understood all the time. You want your speech to be clear and command respect and authority. That is why you want to work on your pronunciation.
That is exactly why we practise once a day every day. We train our ears and we train our muscles to speak fluently and we will reach our goal.
A brilliant trick to work on your pronunciation is to practise tongue twisters. We’ve issued a new free video with a few tongue twisters that you must learn to do well. This will improve your pronunciation tremendously. Now, pay attention because Tom has a very special challenge for you this week. If you can, record yourselves and send us the recordings and we’ll help: [email protected]
Your Weekly English Workout:
And if you really want to work on your accent, here are a few little tips.
- British English:
- Practical tip: Speak from the top of your mouth
- Funny tip: Lift your nose up a bit higher than usual, twist your nostrils as if you are inhaling air and speak. You will produce a very thick and funny British accent.
- American English:
- Practical tip: Speak from the bottom of your mouth
- Funny tip: When speaking, pretend you are chewing some bubblegum. You will produce a very funny and thick American accent.