Easier English accents for Spanish native speakers?

Hi guys,
I’m trying to choose an specific English variety to focus. I am thinking if some accents would be easier for certain students depending on their mother tongue.
For example, maybe American accent is easier for Spanish speakers but Scottish is really difficult, or maybe Australia accent is impossible for German speakers but the understand Canadien pretty well.
Do you know if that happens? If so, which accent is easier for Spanish speakers, like myself? Also, does it make any difference if we speak Mexican or Chilean variety (I think so, since phonetics are different).
Thanks in advance!

I don’t think there are “easier” accents. You’re under the impression that “American is easy” and “Scottish is hard” jiust because you’ve been exposed to a lot of American material and little from Scotland. You could even argue that “in principle” Scottish should be easier because you could roll your r’s and pronounce ch with the same sound of Spanish “j”.
But, again, the easiest is the one you’ve been more exposed to it.
My advice would be the following:

  • As a starting point, choose an accent that’s easily understandable by as many people as possible. If you get very proficient in an accent that many native speakers find obscure, you’ll end up being frustrated.
  • Don’t try too hard to mimic that particular accent. You can mix up a bit here in there, choosing “easier” variations of sounds. Going for an exact accent is hard and may backfire because it forces you to match it up with a particular selection of words/expressions. On the other hand, if you, say, pronounce vowels the American way but don’t pronounce “Rs” you’ll be ok (think Bernie Sanders) of if you pronounce the “R” the American way but you have more British “short” o’s or you pronounce proper “ts” between vowels. You’ll sound like an English speaker from some unidentified place, which is quite all right
    My focus would be in two aspects (in reverse order of importance):
  • Master the phonemes that are important in all varieties of English but which don’t exist in Spanish. High in my least woluld be the vowels: the schwq, the “short” i and the “short” u, such as in book. Do learn the diference between “it” and “eat”, “pool” and “pull”. Get your schwas straight… Just by doing that you’ll lose your Spanish accent, pair it with fluent speech and good vocabluary, you’ll begin to sound like that possible native speaker from “somewhere”.
  • Even more important, practice the “sentence stress” intonation typical of English, which is very different from the Spanish one. In a nutshell: Spanish pronounces all syllables and vowels within syllables in almost the same way. In English you alternate between clear, long and high pitched stressed syllables and unclear, fast, short unstressed syllables in which the vowels are reduced to just one, or at most two, phonemes (mostly schwas).

A very good source of information about these topics is the youtube channel “Rachel’s English”. its focus is American English but, again, that’s the least important thing. Use it as a way to learn the basic sounds and the intonation pattern.

Te deseo mucho éxito

I think what others have written here is true. If I were learning English, I’d go with just United States or Canadian varieties of the English accent–regardless of the learner’s native tough.

Really good advices, ll take them into account: wide spreaded accent, schwas (first time I heard that!) and intonation. So ease has nothing to do with phonetical origin of student, you think?

I think the most important consideration is the availability of material in a given accent. The UK is more diverse accent-wise than the US, so it’s harder to get deep exposure to any one specific UK accent. Even the classic Received Pronunciation is on the wane as I understand it. General American, however, is by and large spoken by 100+ million people and is ubiquitous in American media of all sorts, of which there is obviously a very great deal available. Every other accent just puts out less content b/c fewer people to make it.

Having spent time in Chile, the English accent of Chileans differed markedly from the English accents of Mexicans, which is just additional evidence for your interesting point about underlying phonetic issues that may come into play. I agree with the point made about vowels. It’s the diversity of English vowels that really affect comprehension of native Spanish speakers. On that front, it probably winds up another feather in the cap for American English (with which Canadian English mostly aligns), which has a slightly reduced vowel inventory owing to phonological changes.

I don’t think origin language is a big factor in “choosing an accent”. It does influence which sounds and sound combinations you should concentrate on practiing more.

Some youtube videos on the schwa sound: