Learning Spanish is not hard. You study the rules, and then you have to learn the exceptions to those rules. And anfter you study the grammar and memorize the vocabulary, you travel to an Spanish speaking country and someone mentions your... accent?
Huh? At home, no one commented on any accent. It was impressive enough to know the language. Now, you find out that there is an entirely new obstacle that affects how people perceive your competence and professionalism. In some cases, it can even cost you a job.
As frustrating as this is, there are techniques that non-native Spanish speakers can use to reduce their accent. By incorporating a few additional exercises as you learn Spanish conversation you can improve your clarity and pronunciation while speaking the language.
But First...When You Learn Spanish, The Focus Should Be On Reduction, Not Elimination
Notice we have not said “eliminate” your accent while learning Spanish. This is because your accent itself is not a bad thing. Your accent represents your culture and heritage. Even more impressive, it’s a sign that you speak more than one language! Moreover, there are countless accents even among native Spanish speakers.
The goal is improving communication so that your colleagues, customers, and friends always understand the important things you have to say.
Slow Down and Enunciate Your Words
We tend to speed up when we have a lot to say or we are excited about our ideas. If you have an accent, speaking quickly can emphasize your accent and make it difficult for people to understand what you are saying. Take your time, speak slowly, and enunciate each word. It may be a little irritating, but it will help others understand your fantastic ideas.
Perfect Your Pronunciation of “R-” and tongue rolling
One of the sounds you will use very often while speaking Spanish is “R-” and rolling of the tongue. Mispronouncing the “R-” sound is an easy marker of a non-native Spanish speaker. Practicing your pronunciation of this small word can significantly reduce your accent. A quick way to improve your pronunciation placing the tongue on top (gum wrinkles), while roaring like a lion “R-” before moving on to the next sound. Non-native Spanih speakers tend to put their tongue straight while saying this sound. By applying this tip, you’ll notice a big difference when using word like “R”, “Perro”, and “pero”, for example.
Record Yourself Speaking
Learn to love the sound of your own voice. Record yourself speaking from the start of your accent reduction activities, so you can hear how the clarity of your words changes over time as you apply accent reduction techniques. This also combines several of your practice activities like reading out loud or focusing on specific sounds.
Stay Positive and Persistent!
Practice makes perfect. Stay persistent, but also remain positive. Be your own biggest supporter and stay away from negative thinking about your language skills or abilities.
If you want to get more tips, try my free class, It will be my pleasure to be your Spanish teacher and help you to achieve your goals...