What Is Causing Your Accent in English?

What is accent reduction?

Accents are caused by “interference” from your first language.  All languages have certain ways their sounds are made. There is a unique combination of tongue movement, lip movement, jaw movement, and vocal fold vibration for every sound in every language.  And languages are spoken from different parts of the mouth than others.  In addition, what makes a pleasant voice or sound is different in each language. To reduce your accent, and sound more natural in English, you must learn the differences between your 1st language and English.

We unconsciously bring these rules from our first language to the new one we are trying to master.  And sometimes it just doesn’t work.  Sometimes this results in sounds that don’t belong in the new language.  And sometimes these rules result in our inability to hear or imitate sounds in the newer language.  All this is called “interference”.  If you are an adult, it is often helpful to understand intellectually what is going on. It makes it easier to make the necessary physical changes if you know what the problem is.

And it’s not just individual sounds that are different! Languages may also have different pitch range, rhythm, stress, and intonation patterns. There’s a lot to learn in another language, but the last learning curve for adults is often the “sound” of the other language, the “song” of the language, its pronunciation and intonation.

Learn about accent reduction and pronunciation improvement for your language

Use the dropdown list here to find out more information about specific languages I’ve worked with the most. I hope this helps you understand what is causing some of your accent and pronunciation problems.

If you are a pronunciation teacher or accent reduction coach

Teachers and accent coaches, check out my English pronunciation e-guides. Each one addresses issues specific to certain languages. I talk about the interference points and best teaching strategies for each group of language speakers. The guides are easy to read and full of tricks, tips, and advice on what works best. The pronunciation teaching guides for Arabic speakers and Japanese speakers are available now on Amazon.com