This is Koya Mohd from India. I just joined your wonderful group. It's said that if one acquires a second language after 12 years or so of age, one cannot speak the language like a native. Everytime one speak the language , there'll be an accent. What do you think of it? I'd like to hear from you.
I've never heard about it, but I think it all depends on your native language, how many languages you spoke growing up and what the target language is.
However, I think a lot of people focus their attention on the accent too much. Even if one sounds 'like a foreigner', the goal should be to speak as correctly as possible. Ultimately the accent makes no difference. Taking English as an example, I know many Americans who 'sound native' but their grammar is horrendous.
I have encountered a few people who learned English as adults and had no trace of any kind of foreign accent left in the way they speak, but I've also known people who learned English as children who never lost their original accent, so there's no absolute dividing line. Children are certainly more adaptable and can adjust more easily as they aren't so set in their ways, but I think motivation likely has a big role to play too. If people like the way someone speaks (and I'm thinking in particular of a Dutch friend at school), there's no pressure put on them to change it, but a child who's bullied or made fun of because of it will make very sure that they fix that. Adults aren't so open to such pressure as they can usually walk away from abusive people.
Koya! What is native? Everyone has an accent! In every language they speak! I speak two languages with native fluency and have accents in both. To me, English speakers from Glasgow, New York, Sydney, London, Toronto all have accents. You are from India. You too have an accent in English, as well as Hindi or whatever other languages you speak. Rejoice in your accents. Accents are the spice of language. It is what makes a flute sound differently from a violin or a clarinet even though the notes are the same.