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  1. #1
    kollol is offline Newbie
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    Improving and identifying my accent

    Hi,

    I hail from India and though my mother tongue is English, my accent was very stereotypical Indian. Therefore, I am working hard on my accent to improve it. I am sending a copy of the way I speak now in the following link.

    http[colon]//soundcloud[dot]com/aguan6806/accent-14/s-53XFY

    (I have written[colon] and [dot] instead of ":" and "." to not make it look like a link. Please replace while copying and pasting the address).

    Please let me know if I have (at all) improved, and if yes, then does it seem similar to any particular regional accent of native English speaking countries. I am curious and I would be glad if you could help me.

    Thanks and regards,

    Kollol

  2. #2
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Re: Improving and identifying my accent

    It doesn't sound Indian. Does it sound native? I don't think so. First I thought it was a Chinese accent; I could be wrong.

    I don't know how you have trained yourself.

  3. #3
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Improving and identifying my accent

    Quote Originally Posted by raindoctor View Post
    It doesn't sound Indian. Does it sound native? I don't think so. First I thought it was a Chinese accent
    I thought the same.

  4. #4
    kollol is offline Newbie
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    Re: Improving and identifying my accent

    Hi,

    I think I really tried to say it very slowly and was very conscious of myself in the previous one. I recorded another sample when I was casually reading. I trained myself just by watching movies.

    http[colon]//soundcloud[dot]com/aguan6806/acc/s-TeMME

    Pardon my inconvenience. I am really curious to know your feedback on the second one.

  5. #5
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Re: Improving and identifying my accent

    It doesn't sound Indian. Nor does it (as a whole) sound Native: sure, you can find a few words sound native. One aspect of native accents is this: tempo changes how native speakers chunk when they speak; in every chunk, there is at least a nuclear pitch accent (or nucleus and/or tonicity in British schools)--this is where the speech appears slower even in faster tempos. Then, there are reductions as long as that chunk contains more than a syllable--this is where the speech appears faster than the foregoing. The other thing is: not all stressed syllables get accented (pitch change); in some cases, even stressed syllables can get reduced.


    The first vowel in "order" doesn't sound right. In your speech, it is an unrounded low back vowel; Indians tend to use that vowel in words like order, boy, toy, etc.

    You used a flap or d sound in contract.

    Mimicking is good if you got all tools handy. These tools include: articulatory phonetics; ability to hypothesize what vowels are produced; phonology (how sounds are patterned); rhythm (timing); chunking; pitch variation; some software to slow down the speech so that you can mimic that fragment; observing cheeks, lips, teeth of the speakers that you want to mimic. Many aspiring actors, esp those who want to do accents, get training in these areas. Many voice over actors do not wanna tell how they trained themselves; they wanna make it something innate. I heard one of simpsons vo actor took training from Daws Butler.

  6. #6
    kollol is offline Newbie
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    Re: Improving and identifying my accent

    Quote Originally Posted by raindoctor View Post
    It doesn't sound Indian. Nor does it (as a whole) sound Native: sure, you can find a few words sound native. One aspect of native accents is this: tempo changes how native speakers chunk when they speak; in every chunk, there is at least a nuclear pitch accent (or nucleus and/or tonicity in British schools)--this is where the speech appears slower even in faster tempos. Then, there are reductions as long as that chunk contains more than a syllable--this is where the speech appears faster than the foregoing. The other thing is: not all stressed syllables get accented (pitch change); in some cases, even stressed syllables can get reduced.


    The first vowel in "order" doesn't sound right. In your speech, it is an unrounded low back vowel; Indians tend to use that vowel in words like order, boy, toy, etc.

    You used a flap or d sound in contract.

    Mimicking is good if you got all tools handy. These tools include: articulatory phonetics; ability to hypothesize what vowels are produced; phonology (how sounds are patterned); rhythm (timing); chunking; pitch variation; some software to slow down the speech so that you can mimic that fragment; observing cheeks, lips, teeth of the speakers that you want to mimic. Many aspiring actors, esp those who want to do accents, get training in these areas. Many voice over actors do not wanna tell how they trained themselves; they wanna make it something innate. I heard one of simpsons vo actor took training from Daws Butler.
    Thanks a lot for your advice. I have tried to practice by mimicking the English spoken as it sounds in movies, and also listening to the way the computer pronounces a word or a sentence (for example typing in google translate and clicking the "listen" button). I wish to work hard on identifying the "chunks", the "pitch accent" and then the reduction part. Also, I find it difficult to identify which words have their syllables stressed and which do not. I think it depends on listening and practicing more and more of it.

  7. #7
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Improving and identifying my accent

    If you want to get closer to some major English accents, I would recommend some work on your consonants. There's much less variation in the pronunciation of consonants across the English-speaking world than in the pronunciation of vowels. Your consonants are largely fine but some striking oddities do come up.

    The first sound in "glad" is [g], and not [k]. In "speaker", the "s" isn't silent. You also seem to labialize the first sound in "rid", which is not done in most accents.

  8. #8
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Re: Improving and identifying my accent

    Well, why reinvent the wheel? Pure listening doesn't work unless one is told what to listen for. Find a book/material on stress patterns, spelling to sound correspondences, how vowels change in various dialects, etc.

    I always tell people (esp adults) to work with a dialect coach first; then, use other resources, tools, etc, to improve further. It is like going to a gym: first one has to know how to use all equipment, thats why a personal trainer is needed; later, they can use videos to do whatever they want.

    Otherwise, people end up forming bad habits, etc.

  9. #9
    alshimaa abd elrahman is offline Newbie
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    Re: Improving and identifying my accent

    I think you should improve your listening skills and also study phonetics

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