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    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1

    Age, Accent, and Language

    At what age is it easier to pick up an accent? I heard it was ages 8-20 because ones language has not been fully defined until around ages 23 or so. When I went to Ireland this past summer, I lived with Irish people, and to my surprise I found myself pronouncing words like them, and using words I've never used before. I was 16. I plan to move to the UK next year, and I am curious as to how my language would change, and what would I do to 'fit it' to the local accents?

  1. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 60,704

    Re: Age, Accent, and Language

    After puberty, it is inceasingly difficult to pick up an entirely different pronunciation, so sounds in a language that are not found in your own langauge may cause problems, though this does vary with the individual. With variations of your own language, there's a common process called 'approximation', where some people pick up some of the sounds around them and adapt their speech. In your case, you seem to be such a person, so you'll probably find yourself picking up UK sounds and words. I'd do nothing- it'll come naturally.

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