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this is a rant, and also a reach out for help.

i've been living in the US for almost 9 years now, came when i was 14. I was born in croatia (native tounge) and live in germany for 7 years ( second language) then came to the US. I never had a problem learing german at all, never had a german accent. But english is killing me. At first i didnt care about my english when i came here, but then at 18-19 i realized that i had a strong accent. im 22 now, and im still batteling with it. I started being serious about getting rid of my accent in the past 3 months, I ordered me an american accent training kit ( which i went through and doing it again) and also started reading english books almost every night. but it just doesnt help. its getting me so frustrated to the point where i dont wanna speak at all. it really pisses me off, because im much smarter and much more advanced in the gramatical english then some of my co-workers who are natives and when i open my damn mouth i sound like a total forgner. (im typing fast, so ignor the spelling mistakes). I know, I just know, that i miss out on a lot of job oportunities just because of my f'ing accent, it is pissing me off. How long does it take to get the hang of it?? i was looking for accent classes and things like that in my area SLC, UT but just cant find any.

can anyone help?
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Comments  
A question: Are you still speaking Croatian and/or German on a regular basis?
You know how you hear pop music groups singing in English then you find out the band is from the UK or someplace else with (to American ears) really strong-sounding accents? I am an American learning Japanese and French and also used to sing in a choir. Sing alot of stuff you hear on the radio and consider checking out other languages. Also check out travelling to various parts of the US to hear how ridiculous some "English accents" can sound. Not to pick on anybody in particular but my northern Michigan compadres sound pretty goofy to those of us living here in mid-Michigan. Maine and Oregon are unique as are Georgia, Texas, the list of pronunciation vagaries could go on and on. If you travel around a little somebody somewhere in the US is bound to hear you and wonder where you got THAT accent from. And they are talking to native Americans. My mom says when we were travelling we got picked out a lot as being from "the Midwest", because we sound so nasal. Well, we picked on them for sounding like twangy hicks. Some people, including employers, find accents an attractive feature. So don't despair. Oh, and after 33 years of not speaking French I just got done with 5 months of Japanese and am taking refresher courses in French. I'm an English major too, so you can imagine how conscious I might be of my own speaking skills. Plus my teenager has learned more Japanese than me and has a terrible accent. It is getting easier to switch from one accent to another without sounding like completely lame to other people, but it is taking an awful lot of effort and feeling like a dork sometimes. One other thing I recently noticed is that some comedians doing stand-up can switch from accent to accent pretty easily, maybe their lesson to us is that we should practice out loud in private like they practice their routines? I say private because my teenager and I had a Japanese exam yesterday and he was practicing out loud for hours driving me crazy, I in turn was driving him nuts because neither one of us is very good with pronunciation but we each seem to have mastered skills the other one of us just cannot get right....he offers criticism, i offer it to him. Having other people around trying to accomplish the same accent problems seems to help.
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i speak croatian, its identical to russian, at home, and english out side of home.
AnonymousI ordered me an american accent training kit ( which i went through and doing it again) and also started reading english books almost every night. but it just doesnt help.
Hi, did you read American Accent Training? I think your problem is that you have been talking with a strong accent for 9 years. You said you started to worry about your accent only 3 months ago... Well, 9 years of "not caring about your accent" is a lot compared to 3 months of "trying seriously".
If you are serious about improving your accent, with the help of someone or some book you'll definitely succeed, there's no doubt about that. But the problem is that having spoken with a strong accent for so long, improving your accent might take quite a while. But don't worry, even if it might take a couple of years, if you follow a good method and want to change your accent, you are going to change it. All the people who have been living in a foreign country for a long time and still have a very stong foreign accent are the people who have never really wanted to change their accent.

Warning: I said "improve your accent" is possible, I didn't talk about a "perfect accent". A perfect accent might be impossible to get, it depends. However a perfect accent is not necessary at all. Actually, a perfect accent would soon become a perfect boring accent.
Continuing to speak Croatian at home might also be part of the reason why you continue to have a heavy accent in your English.
I'm English and have been living in Holland for many years. I speak fluent Dutch now, but still have quite a strong English accent in my Dutch. I think that's because I continue to speak English at home. The English people I know here in Holland who speak Dutch without any English accent are those who only speak Dutch - also at home. But for me continuing to speak English at home is a conscious choice - if the price I have to pay is an accent in my Dutch - so be it!
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Anonymousi speak croatian, its identical to russian, at home, and english out side of home.
Oh, well, then I think that's the main reason. Croatian is definitely affecting the way you tend move your tongue, and therefore the way you sound. I'm not saying that no one can speak good English if they also speak another language, but since you say that you are having trouble improving... Croatian is probably interfering. Good luck. Emotion: smile
I moved to US a year ago.I asked the same question from my english teacher.She has been taching ESL for 48 years.She told me that i have to read outloud and record my voice,then listen to it.TV would also help.Good luck:)
AnonymousI moved to US a year ago.I asked the same question from my english teacher.She has been taching ESL for 48 years.She told me that i have to read outloud and record my voice,then listen to it.TV would also help.Good luck:)
Bottom-up approach peddled by many accent trainers would not work to a large extent if you don't work on musicality of AmE. Train your ears for observing pitch variety and intonation. Voice coaches or dialecticians would be of greater help.

The dominant approach that links grammar with intonation is useless, and yet is sold to the ESL public. Learn more about "discourse intonation", and how they tackle the ESL using top-down approach.
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