How to develop a Japanese accent

Q: I have a question how do u develope the Japanese accent? u sound so cool when you speak japanese   – rika

A: Thank you!  It just depends how you learn.  If you learn from a book or use roman abc letters then there’s a very good chance you’ll have a horrible accent.  It’ll probably sound good to you or your friends, but not so in Japan!

I guess the key is to just listen to lots and lots of real Japanese and learn to speak it by copying what you hear, rather than trying to read and speak it.

One other really fantastic trick I use is to really mickey take the accent of the language I’m learning.

For example, speak an English phrase, but then say it in the thickest most stereotypical Japanese accent you can possibly imagine.  Really, really go over the top.   Then try saying it in Japanese with the same ultra thick accent.  You’ll think it sounds silly, but it really, really works!

Having said that unlike say Italian or French where the stereotypical accent is still current, be careful you don’t copy a Japanese “samurai style” accent because no-one speaks like that anymore, as I found from experience!

Instead get a favourite anime character, or even better a Japanese TV comedian, and really try and imitate their accent.  When you speak, speak like you are that person, really get in their head and speak just like they do.  Copy their face and body language as well  This will really, really help!

Be genki,

Richard

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