This Article is About
american accent
native speakers
job interviews
speaking english
cultural differences
foreign language
hard time
Can You Communicate? - Learn How To Speak With An American Accent
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Can You Communicate?  -  Learn How to Speak With An American Accent

Certain foreigners living in the U.S. or Canada face seemingly insurmountable communication hurdles propped up by their heavy and hard-to-understand accents. This problem also pertains to those people who may not live in North America but who in their daily business rely on frequent contact to Americans, whether as customers, partners or investors.

What is the Problem?

Basically, Americans have a hard time understanding those foreigners, not foreigners in general, of course, but certain foreigners. And if you don’t understand what somebody is saying, you ask him to repeat himself. Now, what if you still don’t understand this person? It becomes an embarrassment and while you may try your best for some time, at some point you are going to seek an end to the conversation and maybe even shun this person if you can. This is especially detrimental in a business environment where people are always hard-pressed for time and less willing and patient in this regard. The result is that any such foreigner faces an extreme struggle in trying to succeed in their career. Such a problem could keep them from advancing in a job or from getting on in the first place.

There are people who perpetually fail in their job interviews because even though the qualifications may be right, even excellent, the interviewer simply cannot understand them. Cultural differences often are an obstacle owing to the various ways of interpreting speech. But the problem some foreigners face is that native speakers cannot understand them, either because the words are incorrectly pronounced or the flow of the language, vital to any understanding, is missing. This problem is not limited to speaking English in North America and could arise whenever we have to communicate in a foreign language.

What can be done?

There is a wide range of tuition available. Most foreigners in the U.S. do not face a problem with not being understood. Despite language tuition most people will retain a foreign accent when speaking American English. This is nothing to worry about. But foreign accents vary in intensity. If you have to communicate with Americans in a business environment and you find that you often have to repeat yourself, then you should consider putting some work into changing the sounds you produce and learning about the connection of words and sentences. This can be done by one-on-one or group tuition - in a regular language class there is usually not enough time devoted to this. I believe that a good way to start, however, is to use self-teaching resources. Private tuition is expensive. But those resources are either free, or users incur only a slight expense compared with even an ordinary language course.

My advice here is to take advantage of one or two language training services available on the internet in order to raise one's awareness of the problem and its solution. What will help in any case is to start and listen closely to native speakers. Part of any online course will be to do just that. There is no excuse for not facing up to those communication problems. But the amount of work required will differ from person to person.

Street Talk


Hi Travor. It is a very good article, especially for me. I am not a native english speaker and I have some problems in writing articles. Moderator thinks that my articles are spun articles and rejects them. I am trying hard to improve my writing skills and I hope your resource will help me.

  about 1 decade ago
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