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Meryl Streep says accents are easy

Most of us have trouble with accents. Whether we’re putting on a comedy voice for friends or trying to adopt a Parisian French accent, it’s a bit of a struggle.

Meryl Streep has done Australian, Italian, Danish, and a host of other accents over her career, and describes it as “the easiest thing I do”. She adds “the kid part of it is copying a voice I’ve heard”. Can language learners take tips from her?

To some extent: Imitation is a good way of starting off your accent efforts. Perhaps try watching a movie with your favourite actor talking in their native language and emulating them. After a while though, it will be time to develop your own voice in your target language, so stop imitating and just talk!