People who learn English as a second language are often said to have an accent by native English language speakers. What does that mean exactly?
An accent results from speakers substituting the sounds of their first language for sounds in English. This substitution can occur in vowels and in consonants. Speakers may be unaware of their substitution errors, or may be unable to make the correct English sound. For example, a French speaker may pronounce the word 'this' as 'zis' because the French language does not have the 'th' sound.
English also has patterns of sounds and intonation that differ from those of other languages. Stressing different words or syllables, or using the pitch patterns from their first language also contribute to the perception of a foreign accent.
If you think you speak with an accent, and would like to have more of a standard American accent, contact us at Bay Area Accent Reduction. We provide a free, no obligation 15-minute assessment with a speech-language pathologist.