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How good you can be in Spanish?

Dustin Luke is an example of how good an English native can talk in other language.

I needed more than one video to believe how good this guy doing imitations of the "Porteño" accent (Argentinian from Buenos Aires)

 

Argentinian's common prhases (copy the link and paste on you url bar or search it on google)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IpOfFlX8gc

 

Interview with some history and suggestions about accent (acento porteño)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNYiEhIhC78

 

(Argentinians have different accents in each state)

 

How good are you?
Can a latin have an almost perfect English accent?

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Can a latin have an almost perfect English accent?

 

Most of people in Los Angeles are  bi-lingual (Spanish and English ).  The speak with no accent in either Languages (El hablar sin acento ni en Idiomas).


 

I actually have met two people on italki that have never left their country and have VERY good accents, close to native. But perhaps it is because they are musicians; all the musicians I know that study languages have very good accents.

That Dustin Luke guy is the American with the best accent that I know of on youtube. Another is the Chinese-American speaking Andalusian Spanish. He's pretty close with Dustin.

Their accents make me blush at my relatively gringorific accent, but I'm fairly happy with my vocabulary, grammar, and word choice in Spanish.

To Generation Gap: I think that Cristian is talking about people learning a language as a second language. Anybody that learns a language at an early age (like 1-8), has a perfect, native accent according to most linguists and experts on first language acquisition. Unfortunately, the statistics say that Latinos are not any different and after about three generations in the US, Spanish isn't spoken anymore in their families. I see it in all races in the US and in my VERY large extended family. :(

I think that *some* people that live in the US for like 30 years can sound like natives, but I also know some immigrants that have lived in the US for 40 years and use English 80% of the time and still have noticeable accents.

@ Joe Español

I actually don't know what is accent, Native Chinese said I got accent and claim that I don't know anything about their language and culture. Englsih speaking people said I got accent and they have problem in understanding my simple straight forward English. The Japanese and Spanish native speakers never said I have accent. However, when I deal with the Japanese, the Japanese language learners said I got accent? I am always wondering, what is my native language. Am I spanish ?  this is the only language no one said I speak with accent.


" How are you today? " Some Austrians pronounce it as " How are you to die " .  However, if the non-native English speakers pronounce it the same way.  It will be translated as an accent.

@Joe, I agree the musicians have a gift, maybe they hear better than the average people. And yes, I'm talking about latin (or Spanish) who start to learn when are adults.

wow, dychui is amazing.

 

@Gap
You are welcome to be a "native" Spanish speaker! ;) . Choose a country and move in!

 

Here we have diferents accents trough the country, and it's nice when you met some one and you know where they come from only by their accent .

 

I think age is the key, like Joe says.. but I add the "desire", people who lived in one place for 40 years and have 80% of language use is acceptable, but when you have some people who live 40 years and use the language in 50% or less then I thinks is lack of desire.

 

 

I personally know people that have lived in the US for 20, 30 and 60 years and have only an intermediate level of English.

:(

Desire may let a normal person get a VERY good accent. There are speech pathologists that people can see, although I still maintain that just like in everything, talent does play a role. I don't think that everybody is the same; we're not all gifted for the same things. I loved basketball when I was young, but if you are short, not quick, and can't jump, it is VERY complicated making even a High School team! :( But without training or work, I was better in some subjects and sports than others that worked hard.

 

@ Generation Gap:

By accent, we are referring to somebody that sounds bad or not like a native speaker when speaking a language. Somebody can make themself understood just fine, but it doesn't sound "good." Similary, I can play a lot of piano and violin songs and people can *recognize* the songs--but nobody is going to pay me money nor is anybody going to mistake me for a professional! People will just smile and then walk away, or cover their ears!

@ Joe

 

" when speaking a language. Somebody can make themself understood just fine "  - I agree. But, it is not alway the same meaning to some people.

 

I delivery the same message in court, but the judge said. I speak perfect English, he wants to keep me in the jury panel for criminal case. Under this case, who should I believe, the judge or the average English native speakers? In high school, the Chinese (mandarin) teacher, he is Italian, but no one said that he has Italian or English accent. But, a Chinese English teacher who teach in the English speaking country always being said that he/she has strong accent.

 

In the 70 and 80s'. The British people think that the Americans speak funny. But, the Chinese Americans speak the same way will be interpreted as accent. 

Addition:

 

 

Michelle  Kwan , an American figure skater. She is a two-time (1998 and 2002) Olympic medalist, a five-time (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003) World champion and a nine-time (1996, 1998–2005) U.S. champion (the all-time record, as tied with Maribel Vinson-Owen).

Her parent are Chinese, both speak Cantonese. Do you have any doubt that she speaks English with accent

@gap, people tends to mix what they see with what they hear and give a biased opinion. But this is not a bad thing is just how the human being is, we use all our senses to judge some scene.

 

I'm thinking... when I met someone from some other latin country I can recognize the accent and say "hey! you are an Mexican!" or "hey! you are from chile". More than this, inside Argentina we have diferents accents and we can know, with some accuracy, from where they come just by hear some words.

 

When we hear an accent from some geographical location we do not make any opinion about this, in the same way you will not hear people telling Australian have an strong accent, but when you hear a foreign then you can't define the accent and a location for this person is here wen we mix our senses and think "ok, this guy looks like an asian (latin or german) and must sound like an asian (latin or german)". With this we start to expect some kind of accent and we focus on this, maybe this is the reason every time we talk to some foreign we talk about accent and how strong or good this is.

 

 

@Gap


Michelle Kwan was born in the US. I just listened to her talk on youtube. She has a native English accent. I doubt that she speaks very good Chinese; she is a second-generation Chinese person just like me but most second-generation children are either receptive bilinguals (don't speak) or their parents' language speak poorly.

My parents are Chinese immigrants but I was born in the US. I have a perfect, native English accent but don't speak Chinese anymore.

 

By accent we are not talking about language level or education level. I write extremely well in Spanish and could teach it much better than most natives that have never studied Spanish as a foreign language, due to formal education and because I know the grammar very well. However, I don't *sound* nearly as good as natives and no native would ever confuse me for a native speaker. Well, maybe a *deaf* native. :)

You write relatively well for a non-native English speaker. I'm sorry because this is rude (but truthful), but you do not write perfect English at the very least; I quickly found several errors in your writing. This is kind of a case study of how it is extremely difficult for non-native speakers to write, read, speak, and understand as well as native speakers. My father has spent 40+ years living 80% immersed in English (he speaks Chinese at home) and *may* have a tiny accent but other than that, he makes ZERO mistakes. But his English may be better than his Chinese now, even though his formative years were spent in China.


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