Do you think having a perfect accent is possible?
For all practical purposes, I don’t really think so anymore unless a) the sounds in your native language happen to coincide with those in the language you’ve learnt or b) you’ve learnt the new language since childhood.
Let’s take the language that is the most learnt in the world: English. I, for one, haven’t met anybody speak absolutely without an accent. Seriously. I have met a lot of people with I could say perfect grammar but not with a perfect accent. Just haven’t seen him/her. Politicians speak with an accent. Journalists speak with an accent. Football players speak with an accent (after all they have got a nearly-perfect environment to learn the language, haven’t they?).
How would you go about trying to make your accent more perfect, though?
A lot of people say you will pick it up by listening. Although listening helps, I don’t think you’ll pick everything up by just doing it. Neither by speaking. When you are speaking, you learn to pronounce so that you are understood, not that you pronounce perfectly.
I’d say it would be best to begin with sounds. I’d look at IPA tables (tables of sounds) for your native language and for the language you are learning and try to identify the sounds that you have in both languages. This is pretty hard to do because it’s hard to find IPA tables for some smaller languages (like Lithuanian) but I imagine it’s doable. Then you can identify all the sounds that do not coincide in your language and the one that you are learning and try to learn to pronounce them. Find guides or people who explain you where your lips must be, what the position of your tongue should be and so on and try to imitate that (before a mirror, if needed). Alternatively, find the sound pronounced slowly on good quality audio and record yourself trying to imitate that.
Also, I have found a site online for English accent training. It kind of lacks IPA tables and more practical tips. I have also found a book called Pronounce it Perfectly in English but it seems that it lacks video or more elaborate instructions. However, it has explanations about how to make these sounds and that’s a good thing. I think these are the resources that we should have more of. I didn’t find these for other languages like Japanese, Spanish or French. Perhaps these could come in useful as people become more interested in improving their accent.
P.S. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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