Almost all of the language teachers I've seen place perfect, native-level pronunciation pretty low on the priority list, yet this is the most straightforward thing to learn and will save someone a lot of trouble if they just do it right from the start. I don't understand. I mean getting rid of any foreign accent entirely.

2 Answers 2


Natives do not pronounce consistently

Even languages spoken in only a single, small country often have dialects. Which are you going to learn?

Learning pronunciation is not always easy

This depends on the skills of the person, of the language(s) they can speak with native-like accent, and of the target language.

Learning native pronunciation of English is horrible: the language has difficult sounds and the pronunciation of words depends on their origin, which is difficult to figure out from the way they are written down. Even the natives do not agree about how to pronounce exotic words.

Learning something like Spanish would be much easier, given that it has mostly familiar sounds and a reasonable correspondence between the written and the spoken word.

Learning native-like pronunciation is not generally useful

It is not of great use for reading news, books, doing my taxes, writing emails and many other essential uses.

It has limited benefits for communication, but learning adequate pronunciation is quite sufficient for most uses.

Furthermore, if your pronunciation is better than your vocabulary and grasp of grammar, people will not immediately recognize you as a non-native and you might not understand anything they say. Whereas, if you speak with an accent, they are more likely to speak more clearly and slowly and use simpler vocabulary.

I would say that learning a native-like pronunciation is a nice hobby, but by no means essential in learning a language.


What will save someone a lot of trouble is good understanding of basic stuffs to build your language knowledge. Perfect accent isn't a core to understand a new language, think about the main reason of its existence, isn't it communication? Moreover, depending on your mother tongue, some sounds may be hard to learn, so reproducing it perfectly as a native can be an inconvenience.

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