Accents can be difficult things. They can be particularly challenging when learning a foreign language, but it’s best to love them because yours isn’t likely going anywhere.
At birth, we could all have the same accents
When we’re born, we all have amazing linguistic ability, regardless of location or background. Apparently, small babies can understand the subtle differences in all languages until they turn one. For example, until the age of eight months, American and Japanese babies can tell the distinction between “ra” and “la.” Two months later, however, and the Japanese babies lose this ability because it doesn’t have a big role in their language. Conversely, the U.S. babies become better at it.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
After age seven, your accent is unlikely to change
Research shows that if you start learning a language later in life (after the age of seven or later as an adult), you might become fluent but you won’t be able to change your accent. You’ll have more chance of changing your native accent in your native language, but even that will be difficult.
We often try to change our accent on purpose
More than 1 in 5 Britons change their accents to get what they want, whether that’s trying to sound more or less posh for job interviews or on dates. Some people just try to tone theirs down a bit, trying to fit in. That’s because we think that when we speak, people will have preconceived ideas about the type of person we are. Almost a third of British people think they have been discriminated against because of their accent at some point in their life.
Sometimes our accent changes a bit, subconsciously
When we move to a new area or are around different regional dialects, we tend to mimic the sounds that we hear around us. This helps us to fit in. It’s called bidialectalism and it’s mostly subconscious.
Accents are being diluted
Regional accents are changing over time. As people move about the world more and more, accents are becoming more diluted. It’s what linguists call “leveling,” where regional expressions and varying speech patterns become more uniform.
Nowadays accents are loved and embraced
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what accent you have because many more accents are becoming more accepted. More and more people are rising to the top with different kinds of accents. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger or BBC presenters with regional dialects. 40% of U.K. business leaders are foreign-born, often with heavy accents. And remember, it doesn’t matter when you speak a foreign language. The French might detest their accents when they speak English but most people love the sound. The same is true in reverse. Everyone comes from a different place and as the world becomes smaller, people are learning to love and embrace accents from all over the world.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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