How to Speak a Language With the Native Accent

Ever tried to learn a language and found that people cannot understand you when you speak? Learning the vocabulary and grammar rules of a new language is important, but perfecting the accent is key, too.


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    Try to tune your ear to the sound/accent of the new language. Listen to the tones, inflections, and then phrases and sentences spoken by a variety of native speakers. You can be learning vocabulary during this process, but many hours of careful listening to the new speech sounds and rhythms will be very valuable before you begin to try to pronounce them yourself. Listening to dialogue several hours a week for a couple of months will give you a great start toward acquiring native like speech skills in the new language.
    • Start by watching television shows and movies in the language you're trying to learn. Turn on subtitles if you want to help understand what's happening, but make sure you pay attention to the dialogue and pronunciation as you watch. Even if you don't pick out individual words, this will still help you get the feeling for the native accent.
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    Take your time learning. Once you have tuned your ear to the language, you may want to learn it at your own pace. Consider taking classes or using language learning software. Get out some tapes from your local library and make sure that they contain translations/explanations in your own language, too.
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    Practice speaking and get feedback. Once you learn a few phrases, ask a friend (preferably a native speaker of the language you are learning) to listen to your pronunciation and correct it as necessary. Make sure they understand that you really want to achieve an authentic pronunciation; otherwise they will let you "get by" with errors you'd really like to fix.
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    Try to practice your language by recording yourself on a tape and listening to it. Be critical of your own accent, and practice until you match how it's supposed to sound.
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    Try to find internet resources in the language you are learning. Watching videos and listening to recordings online will help you learn the native accent. Practice them aloud as you go, too, and compare how you sound to how the native speaker sounds.
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    Try to do basic translations and/or interpreting in your language. Practice these aloud to work on pronunciation and accent.
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    Use visual reminders. Place vocabulary charts on your walls so that you can look at them often. Use other reminders around your home and workplace; for example, you can label items around your home or desk with both accurate spelling and pronunciation notes to help you learn.


  • Listening to and imitating a native speaker is the most important and fastest way to learn. Remember that when you were young you learned a language by listening and then repeating the words while imitating the accent.
  • The two most important things to do are to speak the language and to listen to native speakers. Watch TV in the language and try to converse with others as much as possible.
  • As you expand the ability of the ear, speaking becomes an automatism. When the ear can ‘hear’ a sound the mouth has a better chance of producing it.
  • As a child your ability for the ear to process different frequencies of sound is expanded, enabling you to distinguish and reproduce the sounds of the languages that surrounds you. To effectively learn a new accent you must expand the ability of your ear by listening over and over to examples of the accent.


  • Never buy a language learning product until you have tested it out.
  • Don't try to learn a language from a book alone as your pronunciation might not be right and mistakes are difficult to correct later.

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Categories: Multiple Language Guides