Changing or keeping native accent?
I am from Ireland and I am learning Spanish. I have a quite thick Irish accent but when I speak Spanish I try hard to imitate the accent, however I have been told (by a native Spanish speaker) that I should keep my normal Irish accent. What do you guys think? Should I keep my native accent or try to change it to fit the proper pronunciations?
I know this might seem like a bit of a stupid question!
As long as people can understand you, there is no reason to do anything about your accent. If it becomes a problem, then you will probably need to adjust your accent. Some people are good at understanding language with an accent, but others aren't. As an ESL teacher, I am used to people speaking with a strong accent and it doesn't bother me. Once I was speaking to one of my students about something. I replied to his questions without any trouble, and then someone asked me how much Arabic I understood. I told that person that he had been speaking English. They were surprised because the accent was so strong they had not understood anything. If that student travelled to another country, he would have to do something about his accent because people wouldn't understand him.
Make an effort to pronounce Spanish correctly, especially when reviewing vocab or in lessons (it is harder to be particular in a fast conversation). It is very hard to try to change your pronunciation later, though it will correct itself to some degree if you are regularly speaking with native speakers. MUCH easier to build good habits in the first place! Plus, it makes you easier to understand. This playlist explains the right sounds very clearly IMO: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlmgeS8moU5gfAAwJEh2ROE_bYRoDyhHZ