Perfect Accent

wasee   Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:21 am GMT
Hi,most of us here are non native speakers of English .I wonder if it is ever possible for a non-native English speaker to learn a perfect American (or any other) accent . Are there any people who have learnt another accent of English successfully?
davidab   Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:18 pm GMT
I don't know whether there have been, but let's put it this way: it is difficult enough for native English speaker with one accent to learn to sound like a native English speaker with another accent unless they are exposed to that other accent from an early age or have undergone some kind of professional accent training. An American may train himself to sound 'English' but it wouldn't be a specific English accent, likewise with an English person trying to sound American.

ESL students should not worry about sounding 'native'. Being able to make themselves understood is enough.
Travis   Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:27 am GMT
That definitely applies; I myself, for instance, find it next to impossible to really speak pure General American due to some fundamental phonological rules in my dialect that I find it extremely difficult to break without using a wholly foreign phonology, such as my realizations of /r/ and /l/ and my final devoicing. There are phonological rules of my dialect that I do not find almost impossible to break when speaking General American that still feel very unnatural to try to override, such as Canadian Raising of /aI/. In can still definitely approximate General American, but it will still definitely have an Upper Midwestern accent.