Get Rid of Your Accent — Good Idea?

In these politically correct times in which we live, the ‘experts’ out there on YouTube say that you should not get rid of your accent. These teachers are the same ones who make their lessons for the mass global audience: it’s all very low level, easy stuff. Moron level. The most you ever get with them is ‘4 Amazing Phrasal Verbs You Need to Know’.

These teachers are being politically correct when they talk about accent. I’m not sure if they actually believe what they say, but that’s what they say because it’s the ‘acceptable’ opinion to have. It’s all very friendly and smiley and appeals to their low level mass audience who only want to feel good about themselves. When their teacher tells them comforting words like this, it gives them an excuse not to bother.

YouTube didn’t work out very well for me. Might be because I’m POLITICALLY INCORRECT. I didn’t have ‘the right’ opinions about things. It caused a lot of backlash.

Here’s what I think about your accent:

When it comes to YOUR accent, it’s necessary to separate yourself from the herd.

Most non-native speakers are never going to get rid of their accent because they are too lazy and have no focus. Even if they wanted to improve their accent, it won’t happen for them.

Most non-native speakers don’t NEED to get rid of their accent. This is because they rarely use English. What’s the point of having a native speaker level accent if you have no contact with native speakers? None, really.

But for those people who live and work in the UK, telling them not to bother about their accent is plain bad advice. Okay, if you pick fruit in a field and only work with other foreigners, you can struggle on without having a decent accent. But that is where you will stay: in minimum wage, temporary work for the rest of your life. With a dodgy accent.

Even professionals with high level skills are not immune to the problems caused by having a dodgy accent. The main one being that it seriously undermines you at work. No matter how great the standard of your work is, you’ll be undermined on a daily basis by the way that you speak. Again, like the fruit pickers, you can probably get by here in the UK; you can struggle on speaking badly. Everyone’s politically correct here, so don’t worry, the weakness of your accent will never be directly pointed out to you by your managers or even brought up at job interviews.

This can allow you to go on living in the illusion that the way you speak isn’t important. It’s a comfortable illusion, but it’s also one that’s hard to maintain. If/when you ever have a problem at work — you will remember once again about the weakness of your accent. That’s because you know, deep down, that the way you speak isn’t yet good enough for the work that you do. It’s only natural to feel vulnerable when you know that you’re the weak link. If you don’t do something about it, this vulnerability will haunt you forever.

I don’t advise the mass global audience to get rid of their accent; like I said it’s impossible and not worth it for them anyhow. But for professionals, another, much higher standard is required of them. This standard is to speak clearly and naturally.




7 Truths of Accent Training

Are you interested to improve your accent? Here are the 7 accent training truths you must know before you begin!

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How to Become an Accent Expert

My insider secret to becoming an Accent Expert (I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T TELL YOU THIS!).

Are you working to improve your accent and overall speaking style? In this video I share with you the technique that I have used since I was a child in order to develop my close listening ability. If you want to improve your accent, then it’s essential that you hone your close listening skills, or else you cannot identify nor reproduce small parts of sound. By practising this technique you will build up your practical knowledge of how different sounds are made with the tongue. Do this for many years and you will become an accent and pronunciation expert — like me!

Info about my Clear Accent course: CLICK HERE.

Some Feedback About My Accent Course

Eduardo from Spain wrote with some feedback about my Clear Accent course:

“Just a few lines to thank you for your advice. I started your course “Clear up your Accent” a couple of weeks ago. I was already familiar with the IPA and so on, but I must say that all the exercises and lectures you provide us with are being really helpful, and reviewing all the sound is making my speech much clearer. I’ve also started modelling Stephen Fry, cutting his speeches up in shorter chunks and recording myself to compare it with the original. It’s hard work, but I’m loving it!! So, thanks again! You’re a great coach!!!”

Accent Training Secrets — How to Improve Your Accent

My biggest speech training secrets revealed: How to improve your accent or speech via self-training. This is the accent and speech training method that is used in my accent training course and is also the method I follow when I want to teach myself a new style of speech. Follow this method and you will achieve results that improve your overall speech clarity and confidence when speaking. The same method applies to native speakers as well as non-native speakers of English.

Chinese Accent Speaking Problems in English

My thoughts on the speech and accent problems some Chinese people encounter when they learn to speak English. Also, telling you a little about myself as a teacher and why I am motivated to help people who have speech problems.

In summary, as a teacher I serve people who are aware of their speech problems and who need extra support so that they can stop struggling in their daily life due to miscommunication.

‘Thanks for Everything’: Feedback on my Accent Course

I received a review of my accent course from Alex who is learning the Estuary English accent (so that he doesn’t sound like he is from any particular social class but somewhere in-between). Here’s what he had to say…

My name is Alex and I am from the Netherlands.
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating your accent training course.
For years I have been trying to get the slightly Dutch sounds out of my English pronunciation, but I could not quite figure out how to do that. By ‘knowing my cave’ I have become more aware of the way I speak and it has helped me to properly use the parts of my throat and mouth that are used in a British English accent.
Although to you Dutch might sound very different from English, there are lots of sounds that partly correspond, which makes it more difficult to copy the British sounds.

If you are interested to learn a clear British accent, check out my accent training course. I teach you standard British pronunciation as well as any changes to make if you want to get a more Estuary ‘in-between social classes’ effect.

More Than an Accent Course

Here’s a review by Eleni who joined my accent course a couple of months ago. Eleni didn’t need accent training to get a British accent but she did want to improve the tone and expression of her way of speaking.

Eleni’s Review

I grew up in a Greek-speaking home, in New York City, in Queens. Yes, you can understand that my speaking voice could use some refinement.

In the summer of 2016, I joined the Thomson-Reuters chapter of Toastmasters. The speakers there are dedicated, long-term members, and top-notch. Vocal variety is a critical skill to have and we are scored on it at every session. This brought forward a desire I long had but had dismissed. Voice class. I always wanted to do that. I am not an actor nor a singer and have no plans to be on stage. I thought that voice classes were meant only for those professions. My interest was immediately piqued this past February 2017 when I read in “The Daily Mail” an article featuring a speaking skills expert, Jade Joddle. Everything came together.

I contacted her and we had a one-hour session together. Speaking Greek, I grew up in an environment with a language that has a different music than English. I am not a musical person and do not have a good ear for the spoken word. There are things that I would need pointed out to me. When we spoke, Jade told me that I tend to drop my “k’s” at the end of a word. I turned to my Greek dictionary immediately. Our words do not end with “k” sounds. In Greek, we are only allowed to accent the last three syllables of a word. I sometimes stress an “off-syllable” in English.

I enrolled in her accent training class. I have no intention of taking on a British accent. (It would count against as a New Yorker as people would consider me affected.) What I do gain from the class is practice in expression, tone and flow. The pauses, punctuation, the shape of our lips as we speak – all things I once paid no mind to.

My number one takeaway: The more I do the lessons, the more I notice. I am not done with them all. I would say that I am half-way through but I do plan on doing the entire series over again so that I can act on what I have learned.

I am beginning to like the sound of my own voice more.

Join my course CLICK HERE. 

What I Really Think of the R.P. Accent (honestly this time…)

When I make videos about the R.P. (Received Pronunciation) accent, people tend to get upset. I think that’s because some people feel like I am being critical of the way they have learnt to speak English – but is that really so? Or am I just observing subtle realities in language and the voice that the great majority of people cannot hear themselves?

In 2013 I made lots of videos about the R.P. accent that argued this accent is rarely spoken, except by native speakers of the older generation. However, I observed the fact that non-native speakers of school age are still learning this accent – perhaps due to having learnt English from an older teacher or due to using old fashioned materials. The point I was trying to make was what kind of English/accent do you want to learn? Do you want to speak in a way that is similar to real life English people you would live and work among, or in a way that sounds 30 years out of date? It also depends on your personal situation: if you are 60 years old, then an R.P. could suit you. Plus, it depends on how ‘posh’ you are: if you are posh then an R.P. accent could suit you too, in theory.

Back when I made videos about the R.P. accent, I admit that I was still insecure about my own accent (but actually my own voice in general). That comes across in those old videos. However, these days, I have changed my views about accent. I say, what ever accent you want to learn, then go ahead and learn it. Speak as you feel happy. If I ever were to observe your accent and way of speaking I would NEVER lie to you. Also, rather than accent, I think voice and clarity of speech are much more important – so in that sense I couldn’t give a flying fig about yours or anyone else’s accent! I say: speak as you feel happy.

Here’s the thing too… I think we can all agree that famous English actors have nice accents. Some people would say they speak with an R.P. accent. Now we’re getting a bit complex, but what I would say is that famous actors have healthy, well-developed VOICES, plus, they speak Stage English. Stage English is not the same as R.P.

Actors learn how to speak Stage English by going to theatre school for many years and then they speak with this accent when acting (not in normal conversation). Two of the most famous places one can learn to speak this way are RADA and Central School of Speech and Drama. These two schools are elite, hard to get into and VERY EXPENSIVE. Learning what you consider to be an R.P. accent will do nothing to transform you to sound like a famous English actor. That’s because to speak in that way has to do with breath, control, poise, range, clarity and YEARS of training the voice – which are things you won’t learn in an ordinary English class.

So, is the R.P. accent still spoken? My answer to that is yes. It is spoken and you will hear it occasionally. Also, if you work in finance, the law or at a top level in your profession, you are likely to hear your older colleagues (60 years and above) speak this way. If you know someone who is younger than that and you think they have an R.P. accent, then it might be what I call Standard Modern English.

Another thing to know is that some of the videos I made about the R.P. accent are trolling videos – it’s a running joke on my channel to trigger people regarding this accent. I make videos like this to get views, and because I know that other English people find trolling videos like this to be funny. Also please note that I have made videos making jokes about the cockney accent and the American accent too.

Regarding accent training with my private clients I am always very honest. If I don’t think I am the right accent trainer for you I would always say so. I prefer clear accents over training you to remove all traces of your native accent. So, if you came to me saying that you wanted to learn R.P. in most cases I would say I’m not the right accent trainer for you. Plus, I am more interested in developing your whole voice and speaking style, so teaching you R.P. would not be fulfilling work for me and therefore I would not be interested to work with you on a one-to-one level. Other accent trainers would suit you better and perhaps give you the results you are looking for.

Clear Accent Training — CLICK HERE.

The Language of EastEnders

Guest post by Nina Lalumia

This is a celebration of the rich language of EastEnders, the long-running BBC drama that takes places in the fictional working-class neighbourhood of Walford in London. Before starting out, I do want to say a little bit about the other reasons I love the show. It presents a diverse range of characters: white and black, Christian and Muslim, gay and straight. But none of them are placed artificially to serve a PC or liberal ideology. For example, Shabnam is not “the Muslim character,” and Tracy is not “the lesbian character.” They are presented as human beings, first of all, who have these characteristics among other complications. Also, the differences are presented as real problems that are not easy to live with. But everyone has equal footing in the economic and social marketplace to struggle to achieve their goals, and to negotiate or battle through their differences.


Words of wisdom from Aunt Dot:

Speaking to Carol, who is worried about her cancer coming back, Dot says, “You don’t want to be scared of dyin’. It’s the livin’s what’s difficult: leadin’ a life you can be proud of.” The sentence presents a use of ‘what’ to mean that. Also, ‘want’ does not mean desire; it means: “There’s no need to be scared of dying,” or “dying is not the real thing to fear.”

‘What’ can also mean who: “You was the one what spoke t’er, uhz far as I can recall.”

And here’s another use of ‘want’: “They want to wind their necks in!” (They ought to mind their own business and not be stickin’ their beaks in other people’s.)


Non-standard past participles:

Note: I will never say ‘incorrect.’ There ain’t no such thing as incorrect speech, so long as the person you’re talkin’ to can understan-djya.

“You shouldn’t’ve spoke tuh ‘er like vat.” (The hard th sound is often pronounced as v.)

“You were out wiv yer mates while I was sat at home cryin’ me eyes out.”

“Of course you’re feelin’ het up.” (‘Het’ for heated; ‘you’re’ rhymes with ‘door.’)

“Seein’ as you was stood behind the amoebas when the brains were bein’ handed out…” (That’s Shabnam showin’ some cheek the first time she meets her future husband.)


Non-standard verb conjugations

“You ‘eard ‘im, ‘e don’t wanna go. End of!”

“He was proper ‘appy a-bou—tit, weren’t ‘e?”

As these examples show, most often the h at the beginning of a word is dropped. Sometimes it’s set up by a long-e ‘the,’ which is otherwise pronounced thuh. “There’s nobody in thee ‘ouse!” “Ya don’t know thee ‘alf of it!” “Don’t fink this means I’m lettin’ you off thee ‘ook!” (The soft th sound is often pronounced f.)


Cockney rhyming

“Look at the boat on that one!” ‘Boat race’ rhymes with ‘face,’ so ‘boat’ is used to mean face.

“Lend us yer percy: I need to make a call.” A phone is sometimes called a ‘blower,’ perhaps because of the old speaking tubes that enabled communication between rooms. Percy Thrower was a famous radio personality who talked about gardening. ‘Thrower’ rhymes with ‘blower.’

Linda: What was that all in aid of? (What was that all about?)
Mick: Ain’t got a scooby…yet. (‘Scooby Doo’ rhymes with ‘clue.’)

“We’ll have a nice bit of bunny, like we shoulda done last week.” (‘Bunny’ is a cute name for a rabbit. ‘Rabbit and pork’ rhymes with ‘talk.’ Really, it does. If it don’t, ya ain’t sayin’ ‘talk’ the way ya ough*uh). I’m using the asterisk to stand for a glottal stop, the sound with which ‘out’ and ‘ask’ begin, but in such cases is used where a t or two would be written (wri**en).


Words used for emphasis, like ‘very’

“You’re well cute when ya frown!”

“She can turn into a right shrew when she’s ‘ad a few!” ( A few drinks.)

Mick when he gets into bed with Linda after she’s been away for several weeks: “I’ve proper missed this!”

“I’m really, really sorry. I was bang out of order.”

“Those trainers are dead expensive!”

“That’s a top welcome, ain’t it?!”


‘Yous’ for plural ‘you’

Mick: There’s nofin goin on between yous two, is there?

Nancy: No. ‘Course there ain’t!

Mick: All right! Keep yer hair on!


‘Not half’ means completely

“For a smart girl, she can’t half be shtupid sometimes!”

A: Ya don’t ‘ave tuh put bu**er on yer toast!
B: But it don’t half taste be**er if ya do!


Innit,’ ‘yeah,’ and ‘eh’

‘Innit?’ is used for ‘Isn’t it?’ ‘Yeah?’ is often used to emphasize an imperative (like ‘will you?’), but is sometimes used like ‘eh.’ ‘Eh?’ is used to emphasize a question and to seek confirmation or agreement from the listener.

“Any prob-lums, just call me, yeah?”

“Just give us a few minutes, yeah?”

“Well, this is a joke, yeah?”

“Don’t she look pre**y, eh?”

“What would ya do wivout me, eh?”

“It’s a pre**y day, yeah, innit eh?”


‘Oi’ means ‘Hey!’ or ‘Watch out!’

A: I like the way you’re wearin’ yer hair.
B: Hides more of my face, dunnit?
A: Yeah, exactly.
B: Oi!



“ ’Oo took the jam out of yer doughnut?” (What’s got you in such a bad mood?)

“You cause nofin’ but agg, an’ then wonder why everyone get’s the zig!” (‘Agg’ and ‘aggro’ are short for ‘aggravation.’)


Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars

Words of wisdom from Roxy, trying to explain how things are to a man:

“Look, us ladies, right? It’s as much about what we don’t say, as what we do say. So it’s up to you numpties to figure out what it is we really are sayin’. Life would be a lot easier if you got what we were tryin’ to tell you, or not tell you.”

If ya can’* figyuh ou* wha* a numpty is, ven ya are one!


For anyone who doesn’t know what EastEnders is, check out the video below:

EastEnders Compilation of Dramatic Moments 😉

How to Pronounce Places in London – The Cockney Way

How to say names of places in London in a Cockney / Estuary English accent.


(1) Ends in -ham

(2) Ends in -den / -don

(3) Ends in -ton
Stoke Newington

(4) th fronting
South London
North London
Bethnal Green

(5) Dark /l/
Forest Hill
Russell Square
Crystal Palace
BUT NOT: London Bridge, Leyton or Turnpike Lane

(6) Glottals either /t/ /p/ or /k/

(7) H-dropping
Hackney Wick
High Barnet
Hampstead Heath



Download Video Transcript



London’s Modern Cockney: Jayde Pierce

The Short Answer: Jayde Pierce has a Cockney accent featuring modern pronunciations.

The In-Depth Answer: British model and Instagram personality Jayde Pierce (rumoured to have dated Justin Bieber) speaks with a delicious, modern Cockney accent. Her manner of speaking reflects how London’s Cockney accent has evolved away from its harsh and grating origins. When listening to Jayde Pierce speak, I hear an authentic London voice that reflects how people with a working class background actually speak in real life in and around London. What I don’t hear is a dated Cockney stereotype of a person who drops their h’s (h-dropping) and speaks in Cockney Rhyming Slang!

Listen to Jayde Pierce’s Modern Cockney Accent:

Jayde Pierce’s Accent Analysis

Modern Cockney / Estuary English Influences

The Glottal Stop Mid-Word – Jayde speaks with a big, fat juicy glottal stop in most instances where /t/ is in the mid-position of a word such as ‘forty’ or ‘little’. The effect is that instead of the /t/ sound we hear a sudden break/pause; for example, ‘neaten’ becomes ‘nee-en’.

The Glottal Stop End of Word – In continuous speech Jade also drops t’s at the end of words. Dropping t’s in connecting grammatical words such as ‘but’ or ‘that’ gives her sentences a more relaxed and casual rhythm.

ð Phoneme sometimes becomes /v/ end of words – Pronunciation of ‘with’ /wɪð/ becomes /wɪv/.

-ing words sometimes adds a /w/ sound – Pronunciation of ‘going’ /gəʊɪŋ/ becomes ‘gowin’ /gəʊwɪŋ/. Pronunciation of ‘doing’ /duːɪŋ/ becomes ‘dowin’ /duːwɪŋ/.

-ing words lose ŋ phoneme – Similar to the above point: words like ‘buffing’ become ‘buffin’.

Multicultural London English Influences

/ð/Phoneme beginning of words sometimes becomes /d/ – In some instances Jayde pronounces the first sound in ‘this’ like a /d/. For example, ‘this’ becomes ‘dis’ in connected speech.

NOTE ON THE USE OF ‘SOMETIMES’ IN ACCENT ANALYSIS: When we speak, our pronunciations are not 100% regular. We pronounce words in different ways depending on the speaking situation and context. The observations in this post have all been taken from the video referenced above. Where ‘sometimes’ is used in my analysis, it means that in some instances Jayde pronounces a word in a particular way, however, this does not mean that every time she utters this same word or a word with the same phoneme that it is said by her in exactly the same way.

Jayde Pierce’s Speaking Style Analysis

Jayde speaks fast with a see-saw intonation (another Cockney speech influence). She appears to be someone to whom words flow easily and fluently. She would do well in a speaking-focused career (more speaking; less traditional modelling) and I can really see her selling her own range of beauty products in the future; I get the impression she could sell anyone anything!


Kate Moss: How She Speaks: CLICK HERE.

Cara Delevingne’s Upper Class Sloane Accent: CLICK HERE.

How to Do (Any) Accent – Accent Improvisation!

For such a small country, the British Isles has an incredible variety of accents and dialects. It’s amazing how different we sound considering we speak the same language. If you are looking to expand your repertoire of British accents, or any accent for that matter, here’s my advice to you – improvise and have fun experimenting with your target accent.

Accent Improvisation Exercise

(1) Imagine your ‘character’: every accent has a life of it’s own. When you imagine the accent you are trying to learn in your mind’s eye, who is it speaking to you? Is the person young or old and what are their likes and dislikes? Let your imagination run wild and start speaking in the accent, imagining yourself as the character.

(2) Accent-specific vocabulary: does the accent you want to learn have any original greetings or slang that the people use? For example, someone from Birmingham would say, ‘Alright our bab?’ as a hello. When you are speaking in your accent be sure to include as much of its original vocabulary, idioms or expressions as possible because this is what gives each accent it’s particular flavour.

(3) Engage your ears: if you are practising a new accent, it helps to do a little research before you get practising as it makes the accent much easier to switch into. Can you think of any famous people who speak in the accent you wish to learn? Do a quick internet search for your famous person or target accent and simply listen to the accent as it is being spoken. Really engage your ears as you listen. What stands out about the way words are pronounced? Are any sounds in particular missing? For example, if you’re listening to the Cockney accent, /h/ will be dropped from the beginnings of words such as ‘hard’. By truly listening to an accent you don’t have to be an expert on the phonology of language.

(4) Get Improvising: learning accents should be fun! Play around with your new accent and have fun saying random things. If you can get a friend to speak in the accent with you, do a character roleplay and say whatever comes to mind.

(5) Record Yourself: Of course you want to know how you sound when speaking in your new accent: that’s why you have to record yourself. When you play back your speech in your new accent take a constructive approach. What words and phrases do you say well in the new accent? Are there any key sounds in particular where you slipped up or made errors consistently? With this knowledge in mind, you can focus your training and practice on mastering the tricky sounds.

(5) Get Help with Your Accent Training: For any accent you are working to master, a little expert training goes a long way. Check out my Clear Accent course if you’re looking to improve your accent or learn the standard pronunciations.