An accent is the way one sounds when he or she speaks. People who speak English as their second language have what may be regarded as foreign accents. Native speakers too have some sort of accent although subtle.
Accent is therefore divided into two. Foreign accent occurs when a person speaks one language using some of the rules or sound of the other one. An example of this is if a person is having trouble pronouncing some of the sounds of a second language they are learning, they may substitute similar sounds that occur in their first language.
The other kind of accent is simply the way a group of people speak their native language. This is determined by where they live and what social groups they belong to. People who live in close contact grow to share a way of speaking or accent which will differ from the way other groups in other places speak.
- Nurture over nature: when one is born; he or she has got the ability to create whatever sounds they choose. The decision to pick up an accent is however depends on the guidance one gets from the parents. Each language around the world focuses on differing sounds. It is nurture and not nature that determines the particular strengths one develops in speaking over the weakness they inherit.
- Carrying on the traditions: this reason brings out why British accents are different from the American ones. The British accent is identified with classicism and theater. The American accent on the other hand is often associated with modernity. Different English accents have got different classifications. The Midwestern English accent for instance is often deemed highly comforting while those speaking English with Spanish accents are portrayed as sexier. It is in the same way that South Californian accent is considered more youthful.
- Melting pots of culture: accents are a result of the mixing of various cultures in a particular region. For instance in Hawaii and New Orleans, races from all over the world came and settled in these two ports. A new way of speaking that take bits and pieces from each of the cultures to form a practical communication was adopted.
No one language or group of languages can be said to be harder than the rest. All languages are easy for infants to learn. Sentence structures differ from language to language as well which explain why there are different accents. One can however improve his or her own accent to suit the language he or she speaks.