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6 months ago
Admissions Advice

I am in Indian and I want to learn American accent as I wanted to study abroad . Please suggest some books and tips.
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I'm in my high school and wanted to go abroad for my undergrad.

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Accepted Answer
6 months ago

You don't really need an "American accent" to study in America. A lot of my friends have the so-called "Indian accent" and they not only do well but are top of the class.

However, if you truly want to learn the "American accent," you should learn the IPA symbols that are used in English as that will help familiarize you with English phonetics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_Alphabet_chart_for_English_dialects

Another good tip used in language learning is called "shadowing." Basically, you hear a voice clip and repeat that clip with your own mouth then do the same steps over and over until you pronounce everything correctly. That has helped me with Japanese pronunciation before.

https://howtogetfluent.com/shadowing-for-language-learning/

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6 months ago

As someone who is Asian and attends an international school, I understand what you mean. Although I do have a native American accent because I attended international schools since 1st grade, it is hard to change your accent overnight. That doesn't mean you can't change it at all.

However, I have seen so many of my Asian friends who have non-American accents. I understand why you want to change it. Even though you don't need an American accent to study abroad, it is better to have one because you sound more fluent and native. Also, this might be a little negative, but I am trying to be realistic (if it helps). My American friends (who are nice people) teased my Asian friends because of their accent. To them, it was just sort of a joke. They didn't think seriously of it, because they do not know what it is like to be teased with having a non-American accent, but to my Asian friends, it was hurtful.

I'm not sure if this will work that great, but I advice you to watch Youtube videos and TV shows. You also have to speak a lot. I learn Chinese/Mandarin (it's my third language and I am not fluent yet). I've been told by my Mandarin teacher that I have a really good/native Chinese accent, and I was really surprised since I am not Chinese. I think the reason why I sound "good" is that I tried to not overlook each word as I speak or read. I think hard about the tone and accent of each word. I correct myself if I think I get it wrong. I also had some reading practices as I was learning. I also watch Chinese dramas for both entertainment and academic purposes.

I want to tell you not to give up.

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6 months ago[edited]

First and foremost, you don’t need to have an American accent to study in the US. Regardless, as an Indian myself who over ten years learned an American accent, there are some tips I can give you.

First, listen to media which has American pronunciation. This will help you understand how things sound. To see if you are sounding like that, record yourself and play it back, then compare it by ear to the original audio and your audio.

I will say that most Indian languages have an “ah” sound for the A sound equivalent. In American english, the A does not have an “ah” sound. It is a sound that is not very commonly found in Indian languages (from my anecdotal evidence). It is more of shorter, less “ah” of a sound. It is hard to explain over text, so I would suggest you to look it up and consult IPA pronunciations.

Also, even though it may not sound different in indian languages (again anecdotal evidence) C and K do have different sounds, albeit very slightly. Similarly, V and W are also different sounds.

Hope this helps! I’ll continue updating this post as I remember nuances :)

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