Have you ever stopped and listened to the voices of the people around you? Even if we speak the same language, chances are we all sound a bit different – these differences are accents. Everyone speaks with an accent, even if we don’t realise it.
Accents are technically defined as the melody, rhythm, stress and pronunciation of consonants and vowels within a native language. Some accents are easily recognisable, such as English accent, Australian accent or an Irish accent, while some are a bit harder to define.
There are two types of accents – national origin accents and regional accents. National origin accents are the accents we acquire as we grow and learn our first language in our country. A child growing up in Australia and learning Australian English would acquire our infamous national twang – unique vowel sounds and our characteristic use of inflection at the end of our sentences. A regional accent describes differing accents within the same country – think about the stereotypical ‘Southern’ American accent vs. the ‘New Yorker’ accent. In Australia, we have three types of regional accents – the broad (think Steve Irwin), the general (think Julia Gillard), and the cultivated (think Cate Blanchett).
While our accents are unique and an important part of who we are, unfortunately they can at times get in the way of our communication. While accents are certainly not considered a problem, a strong accent can make communication harder in some circumstances. This is why some people choose to modify their accent with the help of a Speech Pathologist.
Speech Pathologists certainly don’t see an accent as a problem, and they can often be a very interesting area of speech! However, if a person is interested in changing their accent, perhaps for career reasons or if the person learnt English as a second language, a Speech Pathologist can certainly help! We gather language samples to look at how a person might pronounce different sounds by themselves and within words, and how the person uses intonation and inflections in sentences.
Accent modification can be very difficult for a person to achieve on their own, however, with the expert knowledge of a Speech Pathologist, it’s relatively simple – it just takes a lot of practice!
We have Speech Langauge Pathology appointments available in Beenleigh, Chinchilla, and Toowoomba. We also do consults via video conference with TeleTAG. Book a phone consult now to discuss your specific therapy needs!
Isabel became a Speech Pathologist because she is passionate about helping people and loves to watch her clients reach their goals. She loves to work with clients across a broad range of ages and presentations. If you love bad jokes and even worse puns, you’ll get along with Isabel just fine! Isabel likes: baking, crime documentaries, puppy dogs, and ice cream. Isabel dislikes: spiders, cockroaches, and running out of ice cream. Favourite colour: orange
“Always be a little kinder than neccessary” – Anonymous