Imitation the Quickest Way to Grasp a Foreign
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- If you have trouble
understanding people with regional or foreign accents, imitating
their accent may help you understand what they're saying, a new
Researchers tested Dutch volunteers on how well they understood
sentences spoken in an unfamiliar accent. But before they heard the
sentences, the participants were given different instructions on
how to respond to the sentences. Some were told to imitate the
accent while repeating the sentence, while others were told to
write the sentences as they heard them.
The participants who imitated the accent were much more likely
to understand the sentences than those who wrote what they
The findings were published in the journal
"When listening to someone who has a really strong accent, if you talked to them in their accent, you would understand better," study co-author Patti Adank, of the University of Manchester in England, said in an Association for Psychological Science news release.
But you might want to be careful because attempting to imitate
another person's accent could make the speaker angry, she
The Linguistic Society of America has more about
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