Accent Neutralization – A recurring need

The need for accent neutralization –

The Encyclopedia for medieval times , written by André Vauchez, Richard Barrie Dobson, Michael Lapidge , shares that in 1st Century BC, in Rome , the ‘neutral accent’  was an essential ingredient for urbane speaking. As noted in the book that the mark of an educated human being was set by ‘ the capability to express oneself with chosen words, in chiseled grammar in Hierarchical syntax  with neutral accent and faultless pronunciation ‘* . In 1600, when Received Pronunciation had developed with regional dialect spoken from areas near London , Neutral accent was made synonymous with English language . Eventually with other countries accepting English as a medium for communication it evolved further.

The need for training on accent neutralization remained dissimilar . Initially it was widely learnt by actors who played different roles . Thereafter it was being learnt by the immigrants who shifted their base to find a living. North Americans travelling to California to find jobs would train themselves to be understood and to shed their original accent. According to OSHA , Latino and Hispanic workforce which forms around 14% of the job market , requires this training . This continued further with the media as they developed into the global platform. Every news anchor had to achieve the accent which would be relevant to the wider audience. Finally with the Outsourcing wave , every nation which had a time zone and currency advantage, developed a large English speaking work force. Initially it was required by the call centre agents, but as the leadership roles were shifted to these centres , the Accent Neutralization training became quintessential across the levels. Communication managed through video conferences and tele-conversation required the language used to be crisp and easy to understand by everyone.

Some common techniques involved in correcting the local influence often known as Mother Tongue Influence is are below

  1. Work on the basics – Prepare and practise Grammar , sentence formation and vocabulary. Popular methods such as solving crossword puzzle on dailes  can be considered for a vocabulary building exercise.
  2. Attune yourself – Listen to the medium and learn the sounds used to pronounced words. Think in that language using those sounds.
  3. Practise – Keep speaking with the implementations from the new learning . Speak to everyone who would understand the language
  4. Finally avoid rolling back to the earlier habits .

As expressed by William Penn (1644- 1718) Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood

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