picking up an accent as a foreigner

mandy_t   Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:54 pm GMT
Hi, sorry if this has been discussed before.

My question is, if you're not a native English speaker (but you have been learning it for a few years) and you move to, say, England, do you usually pick up the local accent there? How long does it take?
Peanut butter with jam   Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:38 am GMT
That is really hard to say, because it depends on:

-how old you are
-how good you are at picking up accents
-how much time you are willing to spend on practicing,
Mike   Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:53 am GMT
Not too sure if this answers your question but I'll give you a few examples of people I know.

- A friend of mine moved to Australia from Vietnam when she was about 9 (she's 17 now). She speaks English very much like a native speaker, although with a few little glitches.

- My parents who moved here about 16 years ago, their accent is nowhere near as fluent as a native speaker (about 5.5 out of ten)

- A woman, a friend of my mums, moved here about 5 years ago. She only knows how to say "Hello", "Good" and "bye" and a few other minor words.

- I know a British girl who moved here at about 9 as well (who's also about 17 now), she still has a noticeable English accent.

So yes, it depends on all the things PB&J has said but also on the accent you had to start with. If you were say Indian, it might be a bit harder to shag off your original accent.