Whether you’re preparing for an acting gig or just having a laugh with your friends, there are a few tricks you can use to put on an American accent that is authentic and believable.You can begin to learn the difference between regional dialects once you get the hang of basic pronunciation.You’ll have an experienced ear convinced that you’re from just down the road with enough practice.
Step 1: You should loosen up your tongue.
Put your mouth in a relaxed position before you speak.When speaking American English, your lips and jaw should be at rest, along with the rest of your face.Just behind your two front teeth, keep your tongue in the center of your mouth.If your mouth is in the right position, sigh.You should make a sound when you exhale.Many harsh sounds and difficult oral techniques are not included in American English.
Step 2: Accurately say each syllable.
If you want to say each word clearly, break it down into small units.When you get better at making the sounds individually, you can speed up and start speaking more fluidly.You can listen to audio examples on Dictionary.com if you don’t know how to break a word down.The way in which each word is pronounced is one of the defining characteristics of American English.
Step 3: It sounds like a pronounce vowel.
The corners of your mouth are doing more work than your jaw when it comes to vowels.If you open your mouth too wide, it may throw off your pronunciation.The vowels will be formed from the front of your mouth.There are only a few outliers, including compound vowels in words like “out” and “Always.” If you want to recreate these positions yourself, watch the way Americans’ mouths move when they say common English vowels.
Step 4: Stress your sounds.
Lift your tongue slightly so that it points toward your teeth, but it doesn’t actually touch the roof of your mouth.Put your lips together and let the sound come from your throat.Unlike British, Australian, and other forms of English, American English is most often spoken with a hard “R” and your mouth will return to this position every time.The emphasis in every word of a sentence is provided by an “R” sound.
Step 5: There are different pronunciations of Th.
Press your tongue against the back of your teeth to get the tip to stick out.To make a soft sound, exhale through your teeth.Keep your mouth in the same position, only this time vocalize the sound, rather than using your breath for a more resonance effect.There are two different sounds in American English, one for soft and the other for hard, and native speakers sound them out differently.
Step 6: The words and sounds are hard to find.
It’s a good idea to write down a list of words that are causing you trouble.Speak each word slowly and feel out every part.When the sounds start working with you, split complex words into smaller parts that are easier to pronounce, and put them all together.If you want to master a few words a day, you need to make an effort.Dedicated practice is the only way to get better.
Step 7: More time is spent with native speakers.
Since Americans have been speaking the language all their lives, they are the best example to follow.Making mental notes about what stands out to you and what you need to work on will help you absorb the language.Don’t be afraid to ask your American friends for help.They may be able to give you tips on how to improve your accent.Pay attention to their other mannerisms, like their facial expressions and what they do with their hands.
Step 8: There are American movies and television.
If you can’t talk with a native speaker in person, your next best bet is to watch American movies and shows on TV.When you are watching, repeat simple words and phrases to yourself.The dialogue in movies and TV shows has to be spoken in a way that the viewer can catch it.Think of your viewing as homework.You will be learning and entertaining at the same time.
Step 9: Listen to American music.
Look at the way American musicians place emphasis on different words.Most words stay the same even as they are changed to fit the song.Songs can be used to get the particulars of another language down since they tend to be sticky in your memory.You will be exposed to other devices that are unique to American-style English, such as rhyme, similes, and metaphors, when you listen to music.You can listen to music on the go with the help of programs.It’s a good idea to start with the catalogs of famous American recording artists.
Step 10: To mimic Northern speakers, make your vowels harsh.
You can switch the point of pronunciation from the front of your mouth to the roof.Add a slight nasal inflection to your vowels.Northerners tend to be less strict in the way they pronounce certain vowels.You might not hear the final “R” in a word like “car.”To understand how Northern American English evolved, it is helpful to look at languages like Irish, Italian, and Polish.
Step 11: Speak like a Midwesterner.
If you want to mimic a Northern American accent, let the vowels come from the top of your mouth.Your tongue should be near the center of your mouth.Leave a little space between each word as you speak.The way Midwestern accents “Shift” certain vowels, such as the “O” in “Open”, is similar to that of a sharp “Ah”.If you want to get the right sound on your vowels, draw your lips back just a bit.
Step 12: You can try a Californian accent.
You will want to say Less for this dialect.Hold your mouth open as you talk.It’s almost like your mouth is numb with your words.For a more authentic delivery, let your “o” sounds trail off a little.The stereotypical surfer and “Valley girl” accents used in movies can give you a good idea of the spin Southern Californians put on the language.
Step 13: Add some Southern accents.
Your vowels can rise and fall as you speak the word.Southerners are known for their easy drawl and so they don’t put as much of an edge on their words.Getting the lilt down is what Faking a Southern accent is all about.A single-syllable word like “Wind” might come out as two or three syllables.The final “G” is often left off of present tense verbs, so words like “reading” become “Readin’.”
Step 14: Slang terms can be learned.
In the region that you are trying to imitate, identify the kind of slang that is popular there.When it comes to pulling off a convincing accent, slang is the final piece.You will sound more believable once you are able to use it correctly.”Chill,” “Sweet,” and “What’s up?” are some of the most common terms used in American English.Slang can make a conversation sound forced.If you use the wrong slang, it can give you away, and you may even be considered rude.Wait until you are comfortable with the meaning and application of slang before you start working it into conversations.