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How to reduce your accent

Many of the pronunciation problems that language learners face is the result of misusing the sounds they use in their mother tongue. So, the pronunciation problems you suffer from are probably similar to the problems your other "language learners" face.

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When a native English speaker tells you that you (for example) have a Russian or Chinese accent, he or she actually confirms this. Many accent reduction programs are based on research that identifies the specific sounds that each language group (eg, French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, etc.) makes when pronouncing English words. For example, 70% of Spanish languages ​​have difficulty pronouncing the / st / sound in the word stick, while Chinese languages ​​have no problem pronouncing it. The following tips will help you reduce the impact of your native language on your English.

Pay attention to native English mouth movements.

When watching major language programs, pay attention to the mouth movements of a good speaker. Repeat what he says and imitate the tone of his voice.

Speak slow.

Speak slow, until you have mastered the English tone and sounds well. If you speak fast and with the wrong tone and pronunciation, English speakers will have difficulty understanding what you mean. Also, if you keep “talking wrong”, these mistakes will stay in your mind.

Use a dictionary.

Be familiar with the phonetic symbols of your dictionary and look for the correct pronunciation of words that are difficult for you to pronounce.

Get help from others.

Make a list of words that are difficult for you to pronounce and ask a native English friend to pronounce them for you. It is good to record his voice and listen to it later and repeat it yourself. If you do not have such a friend, you can use software that plays words with a recorded human voice. (For this purpose, you can use the Pronunciation Power software or the Cambridge Expression Dictionary.)

Listen to tape books.

You can read and listen at the same time by preparing books that have a tape or audio CD. Read parts of the book aloud and record your own voice. Compare your voice with the main speaker and try to correct your mistakes.

Note the suffixes s and ed.

Learn the correct pronunciation of words ending in s and ed. For example, consider s- or es-. This suffix sometimes sounds / S / (for example in eats), sometimes sounds / Z / (for example in plays) and sometimes sounds / IZ / (for example in washes).

Read English aloud.

Read an English text (such as a storybook) aloud for 15 to 20 minutes each day. This will help you to strengthen the muscles of the mouth that are used to speaking English. Research shows that speaking a new language takes about three months of daily practice to strengthen the muscles of the mouth (for that particular language).

Listen to your own voice.

Record your own voice and listen to it to find your pronunciation mistakes. This is a great exercise because it helps you to be aware of the mistakes you are constantly making.

Be patient.

You can improve the way you talk, but it does not happen overnight. People often seek immediate results and therefore very quickly become discouraged and give up.

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