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Andrea
Community Tutor
About my accent Hi, could you please listen to my accent and pronunciation and tell me what you think? where in your opinion I should concentrate most and if my foreign accent is so strong. I've recorded myself while reading "The thought fox" by Ted Hughes: https://soundcloud.com/mu-andeli/the-thought-fox-ted-hughes thank you
Nov 12, 2016 11:16 AM
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Answers · 25
Hi there, You sound very good, though clearly with a foreign accent (which is actually quite hard to identify for some reason). One thing you could focus on would be the rhythm of English sentences. The words don't always come across naturally as you're sometimes putting emphasis in slightly the wrong place. Overall though, this is nice to listen to - high quality English skills ;)
November 12, 2016
Hi Andrea. Here are my observations. I listened to your teacher introduction. It’s not at all difficult to understand your English. I noticed the following while listening to your reading of the poem (Ted Hughes's poem is very nice by the way - I didn't know it): imagine: It sounds like you’re saying /ɪˈmeɪdʒɪn/ instead of /ɪˈmadʒɪn/ beside: you say besides loneliness: - sounds a bit like “sloveliness” not an existing word, just my way to describe what I hear. blank: sounds like you’re saying /blɑːŋk/, the a-sound in “arm” twig: it sounds more like you’re saying “tweak” two eyes: sounds a bit like “true eyes” serve a movement: sounds a bit like “several movement” lags: the a-sound is not quite right. bold: remember the “o” is a diphthong: UK əʊ/ US ​ /oʊ/ come: sounds like “calm”. deepening: it sounds a bit like "dippening". Notice the difference between "deep" (a long vowel) and "dip" (a short vowel) with a sudden: remember to pronounce the “a” in “with a sudden” is printed: sounds like “is sprinted” Below is a link to my own reading of the poem, perhaps it might help you a bit. I’m not a native speaker, but my pronunciation is pretty good. Native speakers are welcome to point out things I could do to improve my accent. There are some "pops" here and there, that's because I don't have a "pop-filter" in front of my microphone. Sorry, I just noticed I made a mistake when I read it: I read “cold, delicate as the dark snow”. It should of course have been “cold, delicateLY as the dark snow”. http://vocaroo.com/i/s1qgRqVTWVM8
November 12, 2016
Hi Andrea. First, when we read poetry we tend to speak more artfully, and less naturally, especially in rhythm (as James pointed out). So it's not easy to get a full sense of your pronunciation in regular conversation. Here are some patterns I noticed: Where a native speaker would use the weak form of a vowel, you tend to use a strong vowel (for example, "this" should have the vowel sound of "is," but sounds more like "these"). The "th" should be aspirated, but here it tends to sound like a "d". The number of syllables and syllable stress within a word: for example, "imagine" should be three clear syllables, with the stress on the second syllable, but here it sounds more like two syllables (something like "made him"). "Near" should be one syllable, but here it is pronounced as two. When you form the R, your tongue should never touch the roof of your mouth (as is typical of Italian and Spanish): outside of unique regional dialects, the English R it is mostly a rounding of the lips, with the tongue retracted. Patterns of assimilation are lacking: this is where two sounds come together (usually where two words meet) and the sounds change. For example, when speaking at a natural pace, the final "t" in "thought fox" will be replaced by a brief interval of silence (this usually happens when a hard consonant is followed by another consonant). Also: unvoiced consonants (t, s) often become voiced (d, z) when they follow a voiced sound (such as any vowel, or an M, etc.). Some of these pronunciation issues are more cosmetic (you can be understood, and it just sounds like an accent), but others are more problematic because they can create listener confusion. I hope you find these suggestions helpful!
November 12, 2016
As promised, here is my "typical" New Zealand accent ;) https://soundcloud.com/user-934811555/typical-nz-accent-example
November 13, 2016
Mikkel, I think you could probably pass yourself off as an Englishman to anyone other than a native speaker from these shores! I reckon you could fool a Canadian, an American, or possibly even and Aussie or New Zealander into thinking that you were London born and bred. For me, you're obviously not a native speaker, but I don't think I could place your accent. The only consistent error I could spot was in words ending in 'ng'. You pronounced 'blank' as 'blang', and 'stink' as 'sting'. I'm guessing this is because Danish doesn't have voiced consonants following nasals? Have a go at practising minimal pairs (bang/bank etc) till you can 'hear' the difference in your own pronunciation. Apart from that, there was just the odd word that sounded, well...odd. Had I not been familiar with the title of the poem, I wouldn't have recognised the word 'thought' from the way that you said it. It sounded more like 'thoat'. Bear in mind that 'fought' and 'fort', and 'caught' and 'court' are homophones in standard BrE pronunciation. 'Warily' was the only word which was possibly mispronounced. The first syllable should have the same sound as 'air'. Otherwise - very impressive!
November 12, 2016
Andrea
Language Skills
English, French, German, Italian, Romanian, Spanish
Learning Language
French, Romanian