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English Accent: What is Mother Tongue Influence & Neutral Accent

BY: Muhammed Haris | Category: Others | Post Date: 2009-07-13

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   Muhammed Haris
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English is the most widely spoken international language. The vocabulary being used is same all across the universe. But the accent with which people speak English differs from place to place. United States has its own accent of English, British have their own accent and other countries have got their English accent influenced by the national languages. When a person speaks the regional languages (the mother tongue of the person), those too influences hos English accent.

Difference in accents of the language can be a barrier for smooth communication. Because of the globalization and the system of outsourcing, business requires the communication to happen among people of all across the globe. So it requires understanding their accent as well. US people have the accent of speaking English slowly, and without stressing on the letters. British people have the accent of speaking faster and again not stressing on the letters. Indians generally speak faster and by stressing on the words. These variations pose a significant difficulty in understanding the language.

English language has many words pronounced similarly, but one has to guess its meaning based on the situation a particular word has been used. But the difference in the English accent makes it much more complex. Even if a person is familiar and understands the accent of a particular country, the influence of mother tongue again brings variation in the accent of the people within the country.

What is Mother Tongue Influence?
So the best way to solve the problem of communication barrier about difference in accent is to practice neutral accent. So called MTI (Mother Tongue Influence) can be avoided by practicing the neutral accent. There are many mouth exercises being taught at communication skill courses to practice neutral accent. So, one can practice neutral accent with help of such mouth exercises.

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neutral accent
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "real" neutral accent. This is due to the fact that anyone from a particular region will always identify someone else`s accent as "foreign". Using English as the base language for comparison, let`s look at JUST the US...each region will have it`s own accent, from "The South", "The Deep South", "Texan", "Bronx", etc. To a speaker of that region, they have no accent. Everyone else has an accent. The same would happen outside the US (still using English)...Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand are all English speaking nations, but each feels the other has an accent. Ref: neutralaccent official website
sasikumar 2009-09-26

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