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Accent reduction’ at work is racist to some but empowering to others.

Namthip Muanthongthae | Moment | Getty Images

Four years ago, Elizabeth took a “Business English” course to communicate better with her colleagues.

But the 35-year-old Taiwanese professional who lives in Singapore said they still ridicule her accent.

So she’s now thinking about taking more courses, with two goals in mind: to improve her English pronunciation and “remove” her native accent, she said.

“I think my Chinese accent is really annoying to others,” said Elizabeth, who asked that CNBC not use her real name to protect her employment. “I do think [removing it] will be beneficial for my personal life and help me to perform better at work.”


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