Within the English language, there are hundreds of different dialects and accents utilized throughout the country. The variety of accents spoken around the United States most likely came from individuals who were raised in a different country, were taught to speak in a different language, and later moved here and learned English as a second language. There are also different accents among native English speakers throughout the country, and we call these “regional accents.” Although these individuals in America all speak English, their dialects and accents may contain different pronunciation patterns, uses of grammar, and vocabulary.
Over the years, and especially today, people have developed particular opinions about people who speak with accents or dialects different from their own. These views are frequently influenced by the actions, behaviors, or personalities of the speakers. These views have led to numerous stereotypes and prejudices toward a variety of accent and dialects, and have ultimately caused certain accents and dialects to be more accepted than others.
What Are the Accent and Dialect Stereotypes?
The accents and dialects that are least accepted are most likely due to the stereotypes that have been developed overtime. For example, a New York accent and dialects may be interpreted as loud, rude, and disrespectful, making it less acceptable than the standard American accent you would typically hear in the Midwest or from a news broadcaster. People may also associate those who speak with middle-eastern accents with the unfortunate events that have occurred in the U.S. relating to terrorism.
It is unfortunate that some accents are more accepted than others, especially since we are all just people living in the same country. However, the truth is, people believe speaking with a standard American accent provides stronger credibility and more opportunities for advancement such as speaking during a job interview, communicating at work, or simply interacting with others.
If you speak with a foreign accent and you want to avoid the unnecessary, stereotypical judgments and prejudices, you may want to consider private accent reduction training. It will provide you with individualized attention as well as the tools, guidance, and feedback you would need to speak with a standard American accent.