Too often people think that the reason you should partake in accent reduction or accent training is to eliminate your natural accent. At Parker Accentuation, that is absolutely not our goal.
We want to help you learn how to pronounce the words in your new language properly. It does not mean taking the accent of your native language away – a task that is almost impossible. What we really want is that your new language, in this case English, be more easily understood by others, particularly American English speakers.
Our primary goal in accent training is to separate the pronunciation of American English from the pronunciation of your mother tongue. We never want you to try to get rid of your natural accent. Your accent is a part of you! And they’re great! However, when accents get in the way of understanding, when accents get in the way of communication, it can lead to some really devastating effects.
For example, if a doctor calls a pharmacy to prescribe medication for their patient, and the pharmacist misunderstands the doctor, the wrong medication may be given to the patient, putting them in danger. If someone is in a courtroom testifying in a trial, and they are misunderstood by the lawyer, the judge, or the jury, that can have devastating effects on the court case, and on whether someone is found guilty or innocent. For anyone in the sales field, if your client can’t understand what are you are selling, or what the benefits are to them, they most likely will not choose to buy your product. It may be the absolute perfect product for them, but they don’t know that because they don’t understand what you’ve said about those benefits.
By learning to pronounce English words more clearly, you can also overcome the bias too many people have against speakers of English as an additional language. Accents are, unfortunately, a way that people discriminate against others. Until society learns to accept this difference, as it accepts so many others, accents can hold you back.
Love your natural accent. Be proud of where you are from. Be proud of the way the you speak. At the same time, be aware of your need to communicate with other people. Be aware of your need to make yourself understood by others.
Don’t try to get rid of your accent – by learning the American pronunciation of the English language, you can be better understood, and have the best of both worlds.