Relax! Reduce Your Accent by Reducing Your Stress

Improving your speech or reducing your accent takes a lot of self-awareness… it requires listening to yourself and regular practice in order to improve. But today I’m going to ask you to be aware of something other than the sound of your voice.  I’d like you to be aware of your body’s stress.

Since April is Stress Awareness Month, I’d like you to take time this month to notice where you hold stress and tension in your body, as this greatly affects the muscles that control your speech and pronunciation. Let’s take a look at a few exercises that will help you relieve speech muscle tension.

Shoulders and Neck

Controlling your speech begins further down than your tongue and cheek muscles. It starts in the shoulders and neck, a place where many of us carry stress and tension.

 

 

Cheek and Jaw

Many of us clench our teeth or tighten our cheek muscles when stressed. Try to be aware of this, and try the following exercise when you...

Continue Reading...

How Do YOU Say Pecan?

April is National Pecan Month, and it’s only natural for Americans to love pecans: The pecan is the only nut tree native to North America. It’s been growing wild and in cultivation from the northeastern United States all the way down to the river valleys of Mexico… so naturally, all these regions from north to south have developed a different way of pronouncing “pecan.”

 

 

In fact, the linguistics department at University of Wisconsin­ Milwaukee identified eight different ways Americans say “pecan”, and plotted them all out on this fun map.

Take a listen to these various pronunciations and learn a little more about the beloved pecan in my latest video.

So, just how do you say it?

More fun than saying “pecans” is eating them. Here’s a tried and true pecan recipe that makes a great snack or gift.

Spicy Glazed Pecans

adapted from Spiced Pecans by Alton Brown

1 lb....

Continue Reading...

The Luck of the Irish: Phrases and Sounds for St. Patrick's Day

“Top o' the morning to ya!”

Although that is not a phrase actually used in Ireland, Americans love to say it and embrace all things Irish on St. Patrick's Day, every March 17th. Mythical leprechauns, pots of gold, and the color green are everywhere as everyone becomes a little bit Irish to celebrate the culture of “the Emerald Isle.”

In fact, St. Patrick's Day celebrations as we know them in America only just began around 60 years ago, as Irish immigrants sought to retain their heritage.

What started as small gatherings quickly became parades and festivities all over America and the world! I love that our country is full of customs and celebrations from people groups the world over.

In my latest video, we'll learn some phrases for St. Patrick's Day, practice the sounds in those phrases, and delve into the history of the holiday.

 

With practice, you may not need the “luck of the Irish” to sound like an American! 

If this video...

Continue Reading...

Why Spring Training is Important for your American Accent

The days are starting to warm up and spring is just around the corner. In America, this not only means everyone is excited about the weather changes, but many sports fans also get excited for the start of a truly American game: baseball! Right now, major league baseball teams are just starting their practice games – called “Spring Training” – to get themselves ready for the real season.

Training your own speech is just as important as an athlete training his or her body – the big event in your life that requires a great American accent, like a job interview or important presentation.

A few years ago, at the end of baseball spring training, I shared a video about the importance of taking the time to train your speech – and how to pronounce the “ing” sound that is a problem for many non-native English speakers.

 Take a listen to my tips for this sound – and I hope your spring is filled with your own training and practicing...

Continue Reading...

Phrases to Know on a Snowy Day

We're still in the month of February, which means winter isn't over yet! There's always a chance we'll encounter more snowy weather before springtime warms us up. Americans are so used to dealing with lots of snow that we have many phrases using it.

In today's video, I'll explain how combining “snowed” with different simple words – like “in,” “out,” or “under” – completely changes the meaning of the phrase:

 

If you found this video helpful, take a look at my other video [link: http://www.losemyaccent.com/2016/02/01/broken-rules-learn-how-to-say-snow-plow/] on how to pronounce “snow.” You can also receive a free accent screening and pronunciation guide at losemyaccent.com. Happy winter, and stay warm!

 
 
Continue Reading...

Phrases of the HEART

It's probably fair to say that humans will never be able to fully express the emotion of love through our words... but that doesn't keep us from trying! In America, romantic love has its own holiday on February 14th : Valentine's Day.

As we approach that day, you'll see the heart as a symbol of love everywhere you go. We also use the heart as a symbol in our language, to try to communicate the closeness of our love. Today's video takes you through many of the “heart” phrases we use in conversation and in music.

Don't “break my heart”... check it out!

 

 

The English language is also full of “heart” idioms that don't necessarily deal with love. Instead, the heart represents the situation being very important or close to us.

Here are some “heart” phrases you might encounter that have more negative meanings:

And here are some that have a more positive message:

I hope you know I have your “best interest at...

Continue Reading...

Broken Rules: Learn How to Say Snow Plow

Some people like to say that “rules are made to be broken.” Well that’s certainly how it seems to be with the English language sometimes! Just when you learn a pronunciation rule, it seems there is a group of words that break that rule.

This often happens with words that have the same spelling, but are pronounced completely differently. In this video, we’re going to talk about that wintertime white stuff – snow – and the phrases and sounds that go along with it.

 

 

If this video was helpful, my free pronunciation guide and accent screening can help you with these sounds and more. Check it out at losemyaccent.com.

 
Continue Reading...

Nail That Toast! Holiday Vocal Presence Tips

 

Office Christmas parties and holiday meals are happening all through December in the corporate world, and perhaps the last thing some of us like to hear is, “I’d like you to give a toast and say a little something to everyone…”

 

This time, don’t be caught off-guard with what you’ll say and how you’ll say it! As my Christmas gift to you, I’m offering you my Tips for a Successful Holiday Toast as a free download this holiday season.

(Right click to download!)

 

 

Feel the confidence that a strong, clear message to your company and co-workers can give you… it’s more than just “a little something!”

Continue Reading...

Phrases for a Happy Thanksgiving

It’s time again to stuff the turkey (and ourselves!) as Thanksgiving is upon us this week. You know, Thanksgiving is some people’s favorite holiday because it’s all about THE FOOD. I hope you enjoy a tasty Thanksgiving meal with friends or family, as we gather to celebrate the blessings in our lives. 

I’m thankful for youand for my international clients and followers I’m explaining some American Thanksgiving phrases you may hear as you celebrate this week. Enjoy this video, and a Happy Thanksgiving from Lose My Accent!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_lLAT3pg9cA" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> 

 

Continue Reading...

Hispanic Heritage & Your American Accent

¡Hola, mis amigos!

It's an honor to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month once again with my Latino friends and followers across the country and the world! It's a time to recognize the rich traditions and culture that have brought so much joy and unique perspective to the United States.

I have a couple questions to think about as you celebrate your heritage: Is it possible to improve English pronunciation while holding onto your culture? Will you lose part of your heritage if you decide to work on your American accent?

This can be a worrisome topic for anyone with an accent: You worry your family will think you're letting go of your culture, or that changing your speech will somehow change you. But I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way, and that you really can have the best of both worlds! When we talk about reducing your accent, we're really talking about changing the parts of your pronunciation that make your English difficult for others to...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.