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  1. #11
    IHIVG's Avatar
    IHIVG is offline Member
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      • Interested in Language
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    Default Re: pronunciation vs accent

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    PS: I'll repeat an anecdote that I told a year of two ago. One rainy winter many years ago, I was in Venice. I went to a shop and asked for a 'soprabito'. Two or three salesmen refused to understand me until someone realised I wanted a soprabito.
    An even more laughable anecdote appears when your mispronunciation causes your hearer to confuse the word you've spoken with a different one. A couple of years ago in Warsaw, I wanted to buy some butter. When I said "vshist-ko" which in my mind meant "300", the salesperson put all the lumps on the scale and made it more than 4 kg. It was only after I repeated the word twice, which should have sounded something like "shis-ta", I got the amount I needed. Later on I realized that the word I said first means "all" in Polish .

  2. #12
    crazYgeeK is offline Member
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    Default Re: pronunciation vs accent

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If you pronounced 'appeal' in either of those two ways, some people would understand you. Part of the reason is that 'appeal' and 'appeal' do not sound like other words.

    But that's only one word. I gather that you're talking about all words. Many words are less forgiving if stressed wrongly.
    And it also depends on the words surrounding them.If you say "appeal court", it could sound like 'apple court', or even "apple core" if your /t/ is lazy.

    But, yes, it would be useful for others to give their opinions as well. It would be especially interesting to hear from those who believe stressing a word correctly is not important.

    PS: I'll repeat an anecdote that I told a year of two ago. One rainy winter many years ago, I was in Venice. I went to a shop and asked for a 'soprabito'. Two or three salesmen refused to understand me until someone realised I wanted a soprabito.
    Thank you for your great explanation ! I have understood how important to pronounce correctly. In fact, I think and also feel pleasant to give all who is learning English an advice, that you should try to pronounce correctly, it really helps you remember new words better.

  3. #13
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: pronunciation vs accent

    I'm one of those people who believes that pronunciation is vital. Accent is just one of those things that we really can't help sometimes, but getting the stress right on a word is very important.

    I'm finding this more and more in Spanish, even with words that I think should be perfectly understandable no matter where I put the stress. For example, the word "difficult" is "difícil", with the stress on the second "i". However, I tend to pronounce it "dificíl", perhaps because that's how it is in French. A couple of times I have described something as "muy dificIl" with the stress in the wrong place and been met with blank looks all round. When I finally realise, and say it correctly, everyone understands!

    As others have said, it's extremely important to get the stress and the pronunciation correct with words which might easily be confused with other words.

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