Transe Macabre (transemacabre) wrote in little_details,
Transe Macabre
transemacabre
little_details

How long to regain accent in your native language?

My character, Arden, is born into a society that is at a medievalish level of technology, more or less. Due to a very complicated series of events, he is taken from his home at the age of eight and lives for the next four years in a very foreign country. During that time, he learns to speak that country's language to a native level, and speaks it all day, every day, for the four year period. He had very limited opportunity to speak to a native speaker of his first language. Let's say that for that four year period he lived and breathed L2 95% of the time and L1 5% of the time.

I have a scene where Arden, immediately after returning home, speaks in his native language and cringes when he hears his thick foreign accent. My question is, assuming he's determined to lose it, how long would it take him to relearn his original accent in his L1? He most definitely wants to regain his original accent and "talk proper", as his L2 is a reminder of a dark period in his life and also marks him as a stranger in his own country.

What would be a reasonable timeframe? Three weeks? Six months? Longer?

I did a number of web searchs, but the situation my character is in is a bit different than the norm for dual culture/second culture kids -- which would be probably the closest real-world equivalent -- as he spent several years seperated from his native culture AND his family and other native speakers of his first language. Arden had no one to reinforce his original accent and over time the phonology of his L2 became more prominent.
Tags: ~languages (misc)
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