Learning to speak in a new dialect can be an invaluable skill for actors. New York Speech Coaching offers accent and dialect coaching services from trained experts to make the process of learning new speech patterns fun and accessible for anyone. Mastering a new dialect takes time, but our dedicated accent training team will help you every step of the way with intuitive activities and thoughtful feedback.
We will design a program that addresses your needs so you can learn a new accent or dialect in a way that works for you. We have various service and pricing options to give as many clients access to training as possible. Sign up for a lesson or two for a crash course in accent matching, or work with a long-term coach to help you nail tricky regional differences.
Can I learn any accent?
It is essential to note that there is an important degree of cultural sensitivity that is applied to the practice of dialect and accent coaching. New York Speech Coaching is committed to growing our understanding as increased awareness of cultural appropriation and equity in opportunity is explored and pursued in our collective discourse. Simply put, it is not appropriate for people from all races and backgrounds to pursue accents of all other races and backgrounds. While historically, a white American actor who wishes to pursue a Canadian dialect for a role would be considered reasonable, a white American actor pursuing a Chinese dialect would not. We are happy to engage in tailored discussions to determine if the role you’re pursuing is within reason, and New York Speech Coaching reserves the right to withhold service if the requested accent would be insensitively incongruous with the speaker’s background.
Dialect Training for Actors
The best acting performances pull the audience into the production's world. Seamlessly replicating the local dialect is important for an actor to captivate their audience in a period piece or region-specific role. Dialect coaching courses help actors create a fully immersive experience for their audiences.
Through New York Speech Coaching's dialect training programs, actors can learn to match the rhythm and verbiage of different dialects. This training takes time to master, but our talented team can help actors unlock new levels of performing potential.
What Is a "Dialect?"
While languages represent major differences in the ways people speak across cultures, dialects reflect smaller intercultural changes to a particular language from region to region. For example, you and another English speaker may be using the same language, but words could have different pronunciations or carry entirely different meanings depending on the speaker's location.
Consider the differences between American English and British English. While they're the same language, words such as "color" and "colour" have regional spellings, and others such as "aluminum" are pronounced entirely differently. Even within the U.S., language changes with location, such as how New Yorkers often speak versus those in the South.
What Does a Dialect Coach Do?
Our dialect coaches take different approaches depending on our clients' needs. For example, we can help train actors to sound like another person from a different place. Actor-focused dialect training adjusts speech patterns to match those of another region, but it sometimes also requires a shift in body language to replicate the demeanor the dialect's native speakers carry.
In other instances, our dialect coaches conduct extensive research on a region's dialect and provide methods for clients to practice matching its patterns. They'll provide feedback to ensure the speaker's clarity and precision within the particular dialect.
How Long Does it Take to Learn a New Dialect?
According to the depth of specificity required, the length of time to master a new dialect varies. A basic competency with an accent can be gained in a lesson or two, but to become fully fluent with the sounds may take weeks or months.
In most cases, an actor is given sides or a script. For an audition, one need not master the dialect, rather, just display comfort with the audition sides. Often, we can prepare you in fewer than a handful of sessions. If cast in a role, you will want to become fluent in the sounds, rhythm, and intonation which can take a number of weeks or months.