Why would someone want to change their accent when speaking American English?
- Improves your intelligibility
- Improves your intelligibility with your elders
- Promotes friendships
- Expands dating potential
- Provides a perception that you are well educated or a polished professional
- Builds trust and credibility for you with new acquaintances
- Reduces prejudice for you with some Americans
- Advances your career
- American English dominates the world as the international language
- Presents a remarkable image considered total packaging
1. Stop repeating yourself. If you speak with a heavy accent, chances are you are asked to repeat yourself multiple times each day. Many Americans only speak English; therefore, they are not accustom to hearing and comprehending other languages, intonation patterns, and accents. Increasing your intelligibility with your friends, co-workers, clients, and/or patients should be your number one priority when making the decision to change your accent when speaking American English.
2. As individuals age, they typically tend to begin losing some hearing acuity. These individuals mean well, but are at a great disadvantage when expected to hear and comprehend all sounds including speech. When you speak with any individual who has a hearing loss, young or old, they will have a much more difficult time understanding you if you utilize different prosody or accent than they are used to hearing in American English.
3. It will be easier to make friends if you can accomplish accent neutralization. First impressions count in all societies and the United States is no different. When you meet someone for the first time, they will be making decisions immediately to determine if you are the type of individual whom they would like to be associated. Unfortunately, individuals who speak American English with an accent other than a Northern Midwest accent may be associated with many negative stereotypes. This is even true for Americans who speak using other “American accents.” If you work towards eliminating your accent you’ll have one less obstacle to deal with when meeting others.
4. Going out on a date could be easier with a reduced accent. Instead of being preoccupied with how your date will perceive your accent, you can spend the time being yourself and are more likely to be perceived well by your date. In an environment where everything you say has the possibility of being analyzed for hours or days afterward, you want to make sure that your full intentions come across and that nothing is misinterpreted due to your accent.
5. Speaking with a Northern Midwest American Accent is widely accepted as the preferred norm for Americans who are well educated. Developing the skill to speak with this particular American accent may provide you the competitive edge you desire in your specific profession.
6. In general, we as human beings trust other individuals based solely on how similar we are to each other. Beginning and developing personal or professional relationships with others is always heavily rooted on trust. When other individuals identify with you, one aspect they will consider is your language and accent. The key to your credibility may be expressed in the manner by which you project yourself as a speaker. Utilizing an American accent when speaking English with individuals, patients, or clients who only speak American English may build credibility. They may not know that you speak other languages and will perceive you as more like themselves. Speaking American English with an accent other than standard American English may be a disadvantage.
7. Unfortunately, prejudice in all societies is still prevalent and the United States is no different. Individual prejudices vary depending on the region or city, but continue to be wide spread. Some American citizens believe all individuals who live in the United States should speak English with an “American accent.” Those same Americans make judgments regarding individuals who do not meet their own self created criteria for appropriate speech patterns. The only way to avoid this potential prejudice is to learn the skill of speaking American English with a Northern Midwest American accent.
8. Speaking American English can improve your career. Get higher paying jobs and achieve the career you have always wanted. Communication is a cornerstone of almost every profession in the United States and the world. If you are identified as a skilled communicator in addition to the remainder of your admirable qualities, you will get chosen for promotions before all others who do not possess the same level of communicative prowess.
9. In the age of globalization where connecting to the outside world can be done with a slight touch of a finger, communicating with an American accent may be a great advantage. American English is still dominating the world as the international language of choice and will continue to be the mode of communication exchange all over the globe for a long time to come. Being able to speak and understand American English is indeed an added feature in one’s image and corporate agenda.
10. Many individuals believe that ninety percent of communication is non-verbal and only ten percent is verbal. With this idea in mind, one must consider every aspect of their personal appearance. The next and most crucial step for all individuals includes the language and manner in which that language is spoken. Of course, language and vocabulary are cornerstones of communication, but the accent in which you speak makes a surmountable difference in how you are perceived by others. Creating a remarkable image including all aspects of professional appearance and speaking pattern are part of total packaging for any individual.