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  1. #21
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: can someone help me with reducing my asian accent

    A conscious effort to pronounce clearly is not the same as normal speech IMO- that would fall under the second part of what I said.

  2. #22
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Default Re: can someone help me with reducing my asian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by waikchow View Post
    However, when i talk to friends, i never get such positive comments.
    There is a difference between talking spontaneously and recording some passage for assessment. Accent reduction is like cleaning a huge dump site: it looks cluttered. One way to attack is to divide the task into manageable subtasks, some of which are taught by all accent reduction coaches: minimal pairs; stress patterns; types of intonation; connected speech and/or reductions. And the students who graduated from such programs are usually disappointed by the fact they still have accents. So, what's going on? These students entertain the naive assumption that whatever subtasks they have managed to learn is enough to clean that dump site.

    First and foremost, you have to take such a course (one on one). Once you graduate from such a course, you can think about issues clearly. Next, avoid concepts that are underspecified: breathing (instead of fricatives); speaking freely; tongue stress; point of resonance; etc. Just master things listed in some standard course: for instance, Accurate English A Complete Course in Pronunciation Rebecca M. Dauer 246p_0130072532 for AmE.

    Then, there is another naive assumption foreigners entertain: acquiring an accent is same as putting articulators in a certain configuration, so that they can speak like a native. This assumption has led many self-learners to acquire all bad habits: I see such folks in many conference calls at my work. Articulatory configuration is helpful for those who want to do voice impressions (VI), since these VI folks are not L2 speakers. Piotr on youtube has a series of lessons on how to change the configuration of vocal tract, etc.

    More knowledge, the better. Knowledge is the cure. That's the case in singing as well: 90 percent is the knowledge; 10 percent is the execution.
    Last edited by raindoctor; 27-Apr-2012 at 20:55.

  3. #23
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: can someone help me with reducing my asian accent

    Please don't ask separate questions in one thread. I have moved the last question to a new thread.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #24
    waikchow is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: can someone help me with reducing my asian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Please don't ask separate questions in one thread. I have moved the last question to a new thread.
    Sorry, I didn't know that. I thought I pressed preview somehow or something.

  5. #25
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: can someone help me with reducing my asian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by raindoctor View Post
    So, we are left with no other choices between these two extremes! Not many believe in that hypothesis, though.

    For instance, Karl Marldot and Charles-James Bailey came up with a book for English pronunciation, which includes many heuristics from Old, Middle English, etc. So, I don't need to argue further about the importance of whatever I said earlier.

    Their book is: Grundzuge der englischen Phonetologie: Allgemeine Systematik
    I find this kind of argument arrogant and very rude. You're leaving the other discussant with a title: "Read this and leave me alone. I'm right." The book may be in German or Old Church Slavonic and available in one library in Brunei -- does it matter? It's not your business to make sure the other person can find and understand the book.

    Does the book make a claim that certain patterns in English spelling can't be recognized or are more difficult to recognize without knowing the historical processes that led to them?

  6. #26
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Default Re: can someone help me with reducing my asian accent

    Even though the book is in German, the crux of it is available in English version. And that book was published by Summer Institute of Linguistics. The title is: English Phonetic transcription by Charles-James Bailey.

    In the first place, I was responding to the OP. If the original poster wanted to take the matter further, I would have continued the discussion. I am not here to convince moderators and other teachers, who can do their own research.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: can someone help me with reducing my asian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by raindoctor View Post
    In the first place, I was responding to the OP. If the original poster wanted to take the matter further, I would have continued the discussion. I am not here to convince moderators and other teachers, who can do their own research.
    I hope that all of us who respond to questions are here to help the many people who read these threads - one minute ago, when I checked, this thread had been viewed 622 times. Most of the hundreds of people who come to this forum do not have access to the books that are mentioned, so it seems to be reasonable to give some idea of what is said in any book we mention. Merely saying, "Karl Marldot and Charles-James Bailey came up with a book for English pronunciation, which includes many heuristics from Old, Middle English, etc" does not give us any helpful information.

    There is also the point that most of use who respond to questions also come here to learn. Many teachers of English (both native and non-native speakers) do not know a great deal about phonetics. I feel that they have as much right to a response in this forum as any other member.

    Could you not perhaps tell readers of this thread one or two things these people said that is relevant to this thread and the original question?
    Last edited by 5jj; 03-May-2012 at 06:42. Reason: addition
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  8. #28
    lifehacker00 is offline Newbie
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    Default There is a solution: Use technology effectively - smartphones

    Ka:

    A short story (shorter version):
    * There was a young gifted athlete who wants to become a pro boxer
    * Unfortunately, he had a bad coach and his punches look really inefficient and dangerous
    * He practiced 1000+ hours incorrectly, so whenever he went to a tournament, he did not do too well.
    * What made it worse was that he did not even know that he has bad form, technique.
    * His lack of a good foundation became his limiting factor - good cardio, toughness did not help
    * Fortunately, this young boxer found a new master
    * The new master immediately new that he needed to fix his foundation, and
    break the old habits and create new good ones.

    * Instead of putting him in the ring to spar with other boxers, the master took him to the
    dancing room full of mirrors.
    * The youngling complained - however, the master ordered the young boxer to work on his basic only.
    These were his drills all day:
    Look in the mirror and execute 1-2 basic but more fundamental punches. Always looking in the mirror!
    When posture was off, master was giving instructions.
    Soon the student knew how proper technique should look in the mirror and was able to correct himself.
    * Self realization of proper technique was important.
    Now the student could train and correct his own mistake by watching himself in the mirror whenever he
    trained.
    * So he trained day and night.... 100+ hrs... and replaced his old bad techniques with the new proper one.
    * He fixed his bad habits, and became a great boxer...

    How is this relevant?
    * boxer is you
    * bad posture / foundation is your accent that you want to fix
    * bad instruction / teacher -> lack of proper training, or bad instruction
    * new master - any qualified ESL teacher who can give you good feedback
    but can not be with you 24-7.
    * boxing match, sparring partners:
    presentations, interviews, coworkers, or English speakers in your environment
    * MIRROR : YOUR FEEDBACK SYSTEM - THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR TRAINING
    (besides sparring partner and coach, but that is material for another story~)
    A mirror is always objective - it will not lie, and it will be with you whenever you train,
    even if your coach is not with you.

    So what is this Feedback system for accent reduction then???
    * Its an audio recorder or a variant!

    That's it? No, not really.
    With a standard audio recorder, you need to click 4 buttons for each iteration.
    REC/STOP/PLAY/DELETE - for each feedback loop.

    Imagine a mirror that you need to wipe completely for 2 seconds
    to see yourself doing punching for 10 sec.
    Wiping the mirror would take away the focus from training, and completely demoralize you.

    What is the solution?
    Well, when I started my journey 2 years ago, I could not find one.
    So I built my own. I experimented with several prototypes, and a lot of them were failures.
    However, I think I managed to build the correct tool for speech training.
    It can not replace a good teacher. But think of it as a special mirror that accentuates your
    bad posture so you know what is wrong.

    The iPhone/Android app that I built is called EchoHacks Speech Trainer.
    You can download the free version on your smart phone.

    If you don't have access to a smart phone, at least try to use an audio recorder and work with
    the feedback. That is the fastest way to improve one's accent in my opinion.

    Good luck,
    Last edited by lifehacker00; 10-Jun-2012 at 23:38. Reason: clarity

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