A lot of adults that come to us for accent modification reveal they have low confidence because of their accent. They often feel they will be judged for having an accent or that they will be restricted in their careers because of negative perceptions of others related to their accent. We at Andalusia Speech Therapy want to share publicly what we share with our clients:
AN ACCENT IS NOT A BAD THING!
Having an accent demonstrates that an individual is multilingual and has experience in different cultures! As Speech Therapists, we step in to help when an accent affects other’s ability to understand them, or when a client is very motivated for personal reasons. We recognize that, unfortunately, people are sometimes indeed judged for having an accent. But we want to provide motivation to let everyone know that an accent does not have to stand in their way of success! Yes, we can help reduce an accent if that’s your choice, but know that you can still be successful with an accent!
In order to prove it, we have compiled a list of individuals who didn’t let an accent get in the way of their professional success! Have a look!
Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger
“I’ll be back!” The infamous line was uttered with an accent! Beyond that, Mr. Schwarzenegger has a vast number of other defining jobs and titles. In addition to acting, he served as the Governor of California from 2003-2011, is an author, businessman and fitness powerlifter to name a few. Schwarzenegger has become a common household name; his deep voice and heavy Austrian accent greatly contribute to his persona and fame.
Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein
Einstein’s success and influence on the world is undeniable and has made him one of the most famous scientists and philosophers to date. He formulated the most well-known equation in the world (E=mc2), developed various scientific theories and published many pieces of work around the specifics and philosophy of scientific topics. Originally born in Germany, Einstein relocated to the USA during the war where his heavy German accent was apparent in English! This did not diminish his impact in academics and science development in the least!
Primatologist/ Anthropologist Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall’s incredible work on chimpanzees has credited her significant respect and success amongst her colleagues and the general population in combination. Her extensive participation in animal welfare and environmental conservation has been very successful thus far. Although she spends much of her time abroad for work and research purposes, Goodall remains true to her English roots and has the accent to go along with it, which can be heard clearly during her many public speeches.
Education Activist and Author Malala Yousafzai
A Pakistani activist for the education of women in her home country and now around the world, Malala’s fight for human rights began at a young age. Surviving an assassination attempt on her life when she was 15, Malala went on to become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history! She has since authored her memoir and spoken at international public assemblies with her accent without hesitation!
Microsoft CEO Sattya Nadella
Born in Hyderbad, India, and having studied Electrical Engineering, Mr. Nadella didn’t arrive in America until he was 21! With an accent, he continued to study computer science and ultimately received his MBA before becoming the CEO of Microsoft! He certainly didn’t let an accent stand in his way to becoming the leader of one of the world’s leading technology companies!
Actress Sofia Vergara: Modern Family
Sofia has embraced her natural Columbian accent (maybe even exaggerated it a little bit!) in her role as Gloria on Modern Family. She is a prime example of an actress who has used her pre-existing accent to enhance her role, all with a good sense of humour of course.
Famous female artist Adele is from North London in the UK and has a dialectal British accent from the Tottenham region. Traditionally, this form of the London British accent has been associated with lower prestige but Adele remains true and proud of her roots and her accent despite a stereotyped connotation. Although it is more difficult to hear accents when people sing, Adele is not hiding it, it simply becomes less decipherable in the type of vocal use.
Singer Keith Urban
Keith Urban’s strong Australian accent isn’t very noticeable when he is singing, however in speech this accent is very prominent, like in his role as a judge on American Idol.
TV Personality Simon Cowell
What would a list about famous accents be without Simon Cowell?! Known for his harsh criticisms as a music and talent judge on various hit TV series, Simon and his heavy British accent have become quite famous for their cunning remarks!
Fashion Model Adriana Lima
This Brazilian model is famous for having graced the Victoria Secret Runway for 9 years. If you saw her on the cover of a magazine or print ad, you might not realize she’s got an incredible Brazilian accent that she has leveraged to help land her some acting and commercial jobs as well!
The list can go on for many, many more names! But we have more blog posts to tackle. If you do want speech therapy for accent modification for clarity purposes or for self confidence, our Speech Language Pathologists are trained to help you with this so feel free to contact us. But know that we accept you as sound today and believe that accents do not need to be a barrier to success.