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How fluent do you sound in the language you're learning?

Let's be honest: being able to speak in another language is amazing, but to be mistaken for a native speaker of a language - that's something else entirely.

When speaking in the language you're learning, how native do you sound? Could you trick someone else into believing you're from a different country? Could you trick a native speaker into believing you're from their country?

Or do you just sound like a beginner with a really bad accent, like me.

(Both my Spanish and Japanese teachers had problems with my accent.)

June 21, 2017



I went to Vienna last Summer and tried some German on the street, shops, etc. They didn't just figure out that I'm a non - native, but right away asked which Balkan country I'm coming from :D

Pretty frustrating.


I've been told that I sound like a Finn when speaking Swedish. I take this as a compliment, as I'm a Brit speaking Swedish.


I could trick someone that wasn't Dutch that I was a native speaker, but there's no way in the world I could trick a native speaker my Dutch is pretty bad


My accents in Russian and Spanish are both very good, but I doubt I know/practice enough in either to hold a conversation and pass for a native. My French accent is generally good, but it comes and it goes. My German accent is okay but a bit more variable than my French. My Polish and Chinese accents are both abysmal. In Esperanto, I sound ??? I think I generally get the stress right but I'm not sure. As an American, it isn't that hard to pronounce. To be honest, though, I really don't mind having a bit of an American accent when speaking foreign languages, as long as it doesn't impede understanding.

[deactivated user]

    Imo it's impossible to trick a native speaker, the accent remains no matter what. Sooner or later they will figure out that you are only a person is learning the language (and of course, it depends of yor native language and the language you are learning).

    I'm italian and despite spanish and portuguese should be easy to pronounce, my brazilian friend once said to me: "Oh gosh, your pronunciation is perfect"! And then i failed.

    Their L is different from ours so she noticed there was something "different", the same happened to her: for a moment i thought she was italian when i listened her italian for the first time, but then i noticed something different that made think " there is an accent there xD!" But sincerely i don't even care much of the accent, it makes the language "unique" when we try to speak it xD.


    I've been taken for a Brit in America, for a New Zealander in Scotland (which still puzzles me a bit) and now a few times for a Scot in England (the result of spending three years in Scotland). In France, I've managed to pass for Swiss, Belgian or Alsatian (all consistent with a weak German accent, which is probably what I actually have). It doesn't work in those places, though. I've managed to confuse one of my Spanish teachers with my pretty broad Andalucian accent, but I've never managed to pass in Spain, mainly because I've only ever been to Andalucía. I've been taken for both a Norwegian and a Finland-Swede in Sweden. In general, I've had the experience that you can never pass for a native of a region in that region, because around there, people know their particular accents too well. Every Scot will immediately spot me for not Scottish, but even just a hundred kilometres south of the border, my accent is close enough for people not to notice what's off.


    I haven't spoken much of Danish - yet. I'm a little scared. But the few words I do know, I have been told I speak it like a native would. I was quite proud at the time.


    Someone told me I sounded Venezuelan when speaking Spanish but I don't know about that. I was trying for a Mexican accent. No one has told me anything thing about my German accent but I learned how to pronounce German when I was young so let's hope it sounds somewhat native.


    I've been told that my English pronunciation is very good, the only problem is that I sound like I can't decide if I want to be American or British. Sometimes sentences sound more British, sometimes it's more on the American side. It apparently confuses people and they can't guess where I am from. Well, it confused at least one person (American).

    I've been also told that I sounded French back when I was in school. It was actually a bit frustrating when my French teacher (from France) told me that my essay should've been a lot better since I am French and thus he'd hold me to a higher standard. I had to explain to him, that while my father is French I only learned the language in school. I guess my pronunciation was that way because I heard French from a very young age, despite not being raised bilingually. After school, I let French slide though and now too much of my vocab is inactive, which is a shame and my bad grammar makes me stutter when I speak. Thus I probably don't sound French anymore. I'm set on changing that though.

    Never had a Swede judge my Swedish skills yet, I will probably sound like a German speaking Swedish. ;)


    What is your native language?


    I was told by a language teacher years ago that unless you learn a language before age 9, you will always have at least a slight accent. Non-French speakers think I have a great French accent but native speakers DISAGREE. My Polish accent could be described as a southern US drawl even though I'm from Michigan. Both of my parents were born in the US and spoke Polish all their lives yet they had different accents. Go figure.

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