A Love for Accents

The reason Inspector Clouseau (The Pink Panther, [电影]粉红豹) is trying SO HARD to sound like an American is that he has a mission to do in the United States. As we can hear, he is failing miserably. Or is he? To truly sound like a native speaker of any language is an impossible task for nearly all of us. But I am sure that Clouseau would have no trouble ordering a hamburger in America even with his French pronunciation.


In fact, students worry too much about pronunciation. When did it become ‘bad’ to have an accent? What students should be most concerned about is intonation and stress, not pronunciation. With effort, a student can learn the basic intonation and rhythm of English (American and British are both basically the same) and be well understood in most places around the world. Native like pronunciation however, is something for the truly gifted and for most of us requires years of study and listening. Of course we need to study pronunciation very seriously, but we should not discouraged at the steep learning curve either.


For me, I love accents. How boring it would be if everyone spoke the same! Just like colors, clothes, and music define a culture, so does accent. So if you have a Chinese accent, don’t be ashamed! Speak loud and proud!


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"The world is my country and to do good my religion."

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