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Katie T

How long does it take to pick-up an accent?

I was just wondering if I move to England for college, how long would it take me to lose my American accent and acquire an English one. I would be 18 when I leave and don't really plan on moving back to the states unless I have difficulty renewing my Visa. So, I just need to know would it be just a little while, or more like 10 years. I don't know if this effects anything but, when I went to New York for two weeks I picked up an accent without trying and that was just last January. So, I do pick things up fairly fast. Thanks for the help!

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Ian M
You never really can.

You acquired your American accent by the time you were five years old, and it stays with you for life. Speech therapists say they can help but I'm not convinced.

No problem though in the UK an American accent is cute, not a problem, the English boys will love it.

If you sound like Dolly Parton you're on a winner.

Ian M

long, because it is verry hard for you brain to get rid of you old accent.

You will always sounds like your from the States. It seems like your trying to pick up accents that are not you. Why? i think you should be happy and proud to keep the accent that you were brought up with. Why try to sound like your from somewhere your not!!! Stupid, right?

Brenda P
Frankly, I don't think you ever really do. You can affect one, but I think a native listener will be able to tell. Trust me, I would love to shed my midwestern accent.

I went to Scotland for two weeks and I starting picking up something. It will probably take you several weeks to a few months before you have all the little accent mannerisms. I guess the more you talk to the natives and listen to the accents the faster you will adapt into having one as well.

i would say 5 to 15 year depending on you

Pedantic Scorpion
I change accents if i get 1 week total immersion. Other people I know have never changed their accent. Your guess is as good as mine.

Probably never. Being 18, you've spent a long time adapting to American, which will make it extremely difficult. If at all, yeah, probably over ten years, since you already know the language (its a bit easier to notice the accents if you learn a language from scratch). If you say you pick up things fairly fast, an accent is not knowledge, it is a habit. My Russian friend moved to America at a young age, he is 17 and still cannot properly say many English words. Once you stick around the English for long enough, it might become habitual for you to talk like they do, or you might never pick it up because of your common ground in American. So no it wouldn't take a week unless you made every effort to change, and if you just tried to blend in with culture, it would take 10 to 20 years.

My mom's from Britain and she's been here almost 20 years and she still has a really strong British accent. Although I think she's made an effort to keep it. I've been there for 3 months at a time and picked it up a little, but I think it would depend on you... where you're from, etc. I think southerners would have a harder time, but I'm from the Northeast, so it wasn't too bad. I would probably say on average about 5 years. Just don't put on an accent to try to pick it up... British people can tell and it pisses some of them off.

new comer
Try to listen to British accent as far as you can,imitate & practice. you may ask for the help of a british friend to correct you.

Mr. Mexican
well I'm Mexican as u can see, i have been in the U.S for almost 5 years and i still cant pick-up the English accent . But i speak more Spanish then English though. So it really depends on how much u practice yoUr speaking. But since ur not learning another language, u just have to practice perfecting how u want to sound. Depends on u really. good luck man.

It depends if you are a blender and try and hide your id a guy i work with spent the 1st 16yrs of his life in Scotland and the next 50yrs down south and still has a very broad Scottish accent because he doesn't try to hide his id he is proud to stick out from the crowd he would not be a blender

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