Learning a new language as an adult is no easy task, but new research highlighted in Time suggests that one way to speed up the process might be to stop trying to get the accent perfect. Instead, concentrate on the volume, stress and rhythm of words instead.
Photo by the Italian Voice.
It has long been held that you need to learn the correct pronunciation and accent of a word in order to learn a language. For most adults this ended up leading to embarrassment when they couldn’t pronounce the word even when they knew what it meant. While immersion in a culture is the fasted way to learn a language, not everyone has that option. For those who don’t it’s best to practise pronunciation with just a general idea of how a language should sound and stop worrying about specific accents. Time explains:
Few of us have the time or money to engage in complete immersion, but a good tip is to limit your conversational practice with other native English speakers. The speech of second language learners, research shows, tends to “converge” toward a version of the foreign tongue that is more like the speakers’ native language. Instead, seek out someone who grew up talking the way you want to talk, and practice, practice, practice. You won’t sound perfectly like a native, but the natives will understand you perfectly well.
It’s still not going to be easy to learn a new language, but the above tip might make it more of an achievable goal.
How to Speak Like a Native [Time]