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“The French accent is very mysterious and seductive for Americans. So, instead of feeling frustrated, Americans are a little seduced, a little in awe about it; as opposed to ‘oh I can’t understand this person’,” says Lisa Wentz, a voice and speech teacher who works as accent reduction coach.

In some industries, such as gastronomy and hospitality, a hint of ‘frenchness’ reminded in one’s speech is welcomed. In other instances, skills matter more than a strong accent. But there are cases where French speakers might seek professional help to reduce their accent.

To know more about accent reduction and those who pursue it and their motives, I met with French actor Phillippe Debaty and Lisa Wentz from San Francisco’s Voice Center.

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