What’s the most attractive accent you can think of?
Can’t get enough of British English? Maybe you find those rolling Spanish r’s intoxicating or you agree that the New Zealand accent is the sexiest in the world?
No matter which accent you prefer, it’s surprisingly easy to think that someone else has an attractive accent, especially when it comes to celebrities.
So, why don’t we think of our own accent as desirable?
Do I sound like a native speaker?
As language learners, pronunciation is a big part of learning to speak. We want to understand a new language, but we also need to be understood.
However, there’s another, more self-conscious reason behind perfecting our pronunciation: We’re worried that native speakers will look at us strangely, or worse, make fun of us.
In this case, perfecting your pronunciation to sound like a native speaker is more about blending in. As a language learner, you don’t want to stand out or feel humiliated because you have an accent.
But truthfully, the first thing you need to do is stop worrying about sounding exactly like a native speaker. You might discover that your accent can actually help you.
How can your accent help?
Think about meeting someone who has an accent you find attractive. Would you be more willing to get to know that person? Talk to them? Flirt with them?
You might not realise it at first, but a person’s accent can have a lot of influence on how you perceive them.
An accent can make you attractive
Have you ever considered that your accent might make you attractive to someone else?
Native speakers could find your pronunciation adorable or even think something sounds sexier when you say it.
An accent can make you mysterious
Where have you been? What amazing sights have you seen that someone else might only dream about?
Well, unless you tell someone about your experiences, they can only guess. Your accent automatically reminds someone that you come from another part of the world and might have very different (and possibly more exciting) experiences.
For all they know, you could be an international spy.
An accent can make you easy to talk to
An unfamiliar accent can be a conversation starter that makes someone more willing to ask where you’re from. On the other hand, someone who recognizes where your accent is from might be able to connect with you more easily.
How to take advantage of your accent
Instead of trying to lose your accent, work on making your accent more useful.
What’s charming about your native language? Perhaps it sounds more musical or has unique sounds compared to the language you’re learning.
Emphasize the charming points that make your accent sound cute, sexy, or interesting. Unless it impacts how much others understand you, don’t be afraid to let the best things about your accent show.
Also remember that even though some accents are thought to be more “appealing” than others, the truth is that attractiveness is completely subjective. So, don’t let that make you afraid.
Getting out of awkward situations
Have you ever been approached by someone who really wants to sell you something? Your accent can help here, too.
“Sorry, no English.”
Don’t want to get stuck talking to someone who isn’t very nice? Stop worrying about being understood and let your accent shine until they decide to find someone else to bother.
Whether it means getting a date or simply making a connection with someone new, your accent will make you stand out.
Pair that with a good first impression and there’s a good chance someone will have an easier time remembering you. That alone can go a long way towards making new friends or even getting a free coffee from the cute barista at your favourite coffee shop.
In short, don’t be ashamed of your accent. It might be more attractive than you think!