Does your accent really matter? How can you find the confidence you need to speak English (or other languages).
I’ve learned 4 foreign languages. I’ve grown in confidence a lot but I remember having moments where it was so hard for me to even leave simple voice notes in French, because I felt so insecure.
I remember thinking, what are people going to think of my accent? Will they even understand me?
People always ask me about their accent:
“How’s my accent Camille? On a scale of 1-10, how’s my accent?”
I get it. I want to know how I really sound when I speak French or Italian. “Do I have a good accent? Can people understand me?” I remember thinking.
But here is the thing—we all have different tastes. Someone might like my accent and some else no. But that’s okay!
The most important thing is communication.
Are people able to understand you? Are you able to understand them? If so, that’s great! That should be the goal.
Our accent is part of us, we should embrace it. If we can ACCEPT our accent, we will be more confident when it comes to speaking English because we won’t worry that others are judging the way we are speaking. We won’t be stressed-stress causes us to forget words and ideas. I think our accents can even be charming.
MY ADVICE: STOP worrying about your accent.
And start speaking…the more you practice your spoken English, the more you will naturally link words and phrases. If you want to improve your accent, that of course is possible. One of the best ways is by having a language coach or tutor who can help you, correcting words in the moment….even just once a week can help you.
You might be thinking, I don’t have $ for that…so another option is finding a language partner on free apps like Hellotalk or Tandem, again something that can help you with your pronunciation. It’s hard to know if you’re making mistakes or not with your pronunciation if no one tells you. How are you supposed to know? We learn best through correction.
I will give you TWO tips to improve your speaking on your own:
#1 LISTEN…TO NATIVES
Listen to natives as much as possible, either on youtube videos, podcasts, audiobooks, the radio…when possible, use subtitles so you can see the words because English isn’t a phonetic language.
#2 SHADOWING—which means playing a YouTube video with the subtitles and reading along with the speaker.
Try to imitate their pronunciation. If they speak too fast you can always pause the video or slow down the speed of the video. Even just 2 minutes a day can really help you with your pronunciation and improving your accent.
Once again, I encourage you to embrace your accent. You are amazing, you are learning a language that isn’t your own. You should be so proud of yourself. So stop worrying and start speaking!
By the way, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel— I would love your support!