When a bilingual from birth person learns a third language, which accent do they carry over?

Example: Someone is born in the United States of Mexican parents and speaks both English and Spanish fluently since birth. They then go abroad to France to study French. Will they speak French with an English accent or a Spanish accent, or will they speak it with an accent in between English and Spanish? (By English and Spanish, I mean the English and Spanish languages, not the accents of England and Spain. Obviously in this case this individual would have an American English and a Mexican Spanish accent in their two languages).


  1. I think it depends on which language the third language is more related to.
    For your example about the Mexican American, they might speak French with a Spanish accent since French is more closely related to Spanish than English in writing and pronunciation.
    But, if the person is learning German they might speak with a English accent because German is more related to English in writing and pronunciation.

    Bob b
  2. It depends. They might not have a noticible accent at all, if they are able to pronounce French properly. However, I would have to guess that they would have the accent of the language they speak most. Typically, 2nd generation Mexican children can get rid of their Spanish accent if they immerse themselves in the English language/culture/etc.

  3. it depends, if the language they have an accent is closer to the language that they just learned they might have an accent. but if the language they got the accent from is closer to the language they just learned they wont have an accent or not noticeable.

    example a guy has a polish accent in english and he learns russian he wont have an accent or a not noticeable one


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.