Tips for eliminating accents in foreign languages? :o - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Tips for eliminating accents in foreign languages? :o

I had a Russian oral exam yesterday, and had a bit of feedback from it today. Apparently my language was fine () but apparently the external examiner (bitch from Cambridge ) found my accent was 'not as accessible', whatever the fuck that means. It didn't help that everyone in my class is from England, and therefore have more 'accessible' accents, tsk...

It's may be a bit of a long shot to ask here, but does anyone have any self-elocution tips? Scottish twangs are ugly anyway, so I won't miss it

Thanks in advance (hopefully)

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 02:49 PM
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Yes, start talking like me, thus losing the Scottish hideousness.

Don't even think about coming back with the Welsh thing.

a) the voice message was deleted long ago
b) I do not have a Welsh accent.


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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Sosbans on the pahnells, anyone?

The fruit series is suspended whilst Grachka (obatafan) mourns Saori's retirement.

Saori Obata

Born : April 23rd 1978
Age: 28
Residence: Tokyo, Japan
Height: 5' 5" (1.65m)
Weight: 132 lbs. (60 kg)
Plays: Left handed
Career Prize Money: $652,031
Highest Singles Ranking: 39 (Feb 9th 04')

ITF Titles: Augusta (2005), Gifu (2005), Fukuoka (2003), Port Pirie (2001), Jakarta (1996).
WTA:
Finalist (1): 2003 - Tashkent.
Semifinalist (1): 2003 - Bali.
Quarterfinalist (6): 2004 - Birmingham; 2003 - Memphis, Pattaya City; 2002 - Bali; 2001 - Tokyo [Japan Open]; 2000 - Shanghai.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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Let me clarify this, your accent whilst speaking Russian? I'm interested in foreign languages especially French, German and Russian and I really want to know about what accents English speakers have when speaking those languages. And how the native speakers of those languages respond to the accents.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grachka
Sosbans on the pahnells, anyone?
I saved your Pete Burns rendition. But seriously, I love Scottish accents, they make me fall asleep, but that's a good thing.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L
Let me clarify this, your accent whilst speaking Russian? I'm interested in foreign languages especially French, German and Russian and I really want to know about what accents English speakers have when speaking those languages. And how the native speakers of those languages respond to the accents.
Yup, my accent when speaking Russian.

Well, I didn't have THAT many problems getting my point across in Russia. There are a few things that are more difficult to say, and there are subtle things that I could never get, but otherwise it was OK.

This woman said it was harder to concentrate on what I was actually saying because I pronounced things in a 'harsh' way and that I was applying Scottish pronounciation rules to Russian...

The fruit series is suspended whilst Grachka (obatafan) mourns Saori's retirement.

Saori Obata

Born : April 23rd 1978
Age: 28
Residence: Tokyo, Japan
Height: 5' 5" (1.65m)
Weight: 132 lbs. (60 kg)
Plays: Left handed
Career Prize Money: $652,031
Highest Singles Ranking: 39 (Feb 9th 04')

ITF Titles: Augusta (2005), Gifu (2005), Fukuoka (2003), Port Pirie (2001), Jakarta (1996).
WTA:
Finalist (1): 2003 - Tashkent.
Semifinalist (1): 2003 - Bali.
Quarterfinalist (6): 2004 - Birmingham; 2003 - Memphis, Pattaya City; 2002 - Bali; 2001 - Tokyo [Japan Open]; 2000 - Shanghai.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grachka
Yup, my accent when speaking Russian.

Well, I didn't have THAT many problems getting my point across in Russia. There are a few things that are more difficult to say, and there are subtle things that I could never get, but otherwise it was OK.

This woman said it was harder to concentrate on what I was actually saying because I pronounced things in a 'harsh' way and that I was applying Scottish pronounciation rules to Russian...
Is she a Russian native speaker? If not, who cares. Even if she is, who cares. If you've been to Russia and you can communicate well enough to get your point across, I think you've made it.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well, you should always be looking to improve your language speaking IMO, so I'd like to eliminate it...

As delightful as the advice has been thus far, I want to BUMP! to see if anyone else has any ideas

The fruit series is suspended whilst Grachka (obatafan) mourns Saori's retirement.

Saori Obata

Born : April 23rd 1978
Age: 28
Residence: Tokyo, Japan
Height: 5' 5" (1.65m)
Weight: 132 lbs. (60 kg)
Plays: Left handed
Career Prize Money: $652,031
Highest Singles Ranking: 39 (Feb 9th 04')

ITF Titles: Augusta (2005), Gifu (2005), Fukuoka (2003), Port Pirie (2001), Jakarta (1996).
WTA:
Finalist (1): 2003 - Tashkent.
Semifinalist (1): 2003 - Bali.
Quarterfinalist (6): 2004 - Birmingham; 2003 - Memphis, Pattaya City; 2002 - Bali; 2001 - Tokyo [Japan Open]; 2000 - Shanghai.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grachka
This woman said it was harder to concentrate on what I was actually saying because I pronounced things in a 'harsh' way
it seems you have problems with palatalised consonants. that's a bit tricky, but it can be trained.

otherwise it's difficult to learn the pronounciation of a foreign language if you are over 14 years old.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:34 PM
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Sing

This is THE best way
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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It is really difficult to get rid of your accent. When i speak English i try my best not to have a French accent but that's kinda impossible.

I don't know if there are any tips but i know some friends of mine who cannot speak English without applying French pronunciation rules (as you said) so i don't know if you're like this but the Scottish accent is strong and i have absolutely no idea how it sounds in Russian but that must be quite something

Sometimes people mistake me for a German (may be my looks playing too, German roots) but i've also been mistaken for a Brit so i guess sometimes the French touch goes away but all in all i believe this is not really important. You're a foreigner, it's not your mother tongue you're speaking, you try your best, good on you!

Accents are sexy anyway, aren't they?
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:45 PM
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I find it helpful to imagine I am a native speaker of that language and put on an exaggerated, almost stereotypical accent. For example, if I am speaking Spanish, I imagine I am a swarthy Mediterranean pirate, and put on the thickest Spanish accent I can muster. I make sure my lip and mouth movements are twice as big as they would be in normal speech, to prevent developing a mumbled accent. (I only do this when I am practising alone, as it could be embarrassing. ) But it does help a lot in improving the accent that comes out when you speak that language normally.

Edit: a good way to practise this technique is by reading a foreign novel out loud to yourself, and putting on different accents for the different characters in the novel.


Another idea is to listed to foreign music and try to pronounce certain phrases exactly as you hear them. You could also record yourself doing this to see if there are any mistakes you're subconsciously missing.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:56 PM
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I agree singing is an easy way to get rid of the accent.

Just listen to Céline Dion speaking French (obvious Québec French accent) and singing in French (normal French ). Not the same!
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2006, 08:00 PM
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Oh, God, no! Don't ever get rid of the accents!
A woman speaking with an Irish accent, or a French one, or a...Cypriot accent and especially a woman from Atlanta or Austin *deep sigh*
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