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Thread: How do I sound?

  1. #1
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default How do I sound?

    This may be an odd place for this question, maybe I should have posted this under Pronunciation and Phonetics, but since English teachers hang out mostly here, I though this would be the appropriate place (and also this question is primarily aimed at teachers).

    I've been trying to learn the "received pronunciation" for some time, and I'm curious to what degree I have succeeded. If you could attach a percentage to my accent, ranging from 0% to 100%, obviously 100% corresponding to the degree of proficienty to that of a native speaker.
    If a native speaker (altough I welcome everyone to leave a response), preferably from England could listen to this audio clip and share his or her views, I would be very grateful.

    Here's the text I read: Deductive reasoning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And here's the audio file: Download Deduction2.mp3 - Kiwi6.com Mp3 Upload

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Could you perhaps post a sound file with you talking about something naturally? Reading a text for a first or second time, you can't produce the natural rhythm of speech, which makes the evaluation more difficult and less precise.

  3. #3
    tzfujimino's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Wow... You have done a great job!
    I'm not sure about the accent or intonation...but your pronunciation is definitely British.
    Without the 'Member Info," I would have thought you were British (or at least educated in the UK).
    Keep up the good work!

    I tried putting down your introduction ...for my listening practice.

    Hi, uh...thank you for...uh... listening to this...uh... sound file.
    Uh... the purpose of this, ?????? for me to find out to what degree I sound like a native speaker from England(s?).
    I('m) very curious about that. So, I'm gonna read this...uh... text from Wikipedia.
    Um...This entry is on deductive reasoning. So...uh...here it goes...

    I couldn't catch '??????' part...
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 20-May-2012 at 18:47.

  4. #4
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    I tried putting down your introduction ...for my listening practice.

    Hi, uh...thank you for...uh... listening to this...uh... sound file.
    Uh... the purpose of this, audio clip for me to find out to what degree I sound like a native speaker from England(s?).
    I('m) very curious about that. So, I'm gonna read this...uh...a text from Wikipedia.
    Um...This entry is on deductive reasoning. So...uh...here it goes...

    I couldn't catch '??????' part...
    I filled in the blanks. Thanks for your comment.

    @ birdeen's call

    I'll try to record a more spontaneous sample of my speech, though I don't think it's going to be much different from my reading voice.

    Anyone from the UK care to comment, or should I really record a sample of my non-reading voice?

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    I agree that speaking naturally is better than reading- it can make a difference to the intonation and gives a clearer picture of natural speech with its hesitations, changes of thought, etc. Hearing it cold, I would guess that you had travelled around a bit- the rising intonation at the end of statements is more commonly associated with Australian English, though it is growing among younger BrE speakers. Some of your sounds remind me of Birmingham speakers- you say find almost as foind. Quite a lot of it does sound like BrE to me. I'd be interested to hear some unscripted speech.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I'd be interested to hear some unscripted speech.
    Thanks. I didn't know that the rising intonation is more commonly associated with AE, but I did notice that the way I pronounce the ou-sound, as in "sound file", is kind of reminiscent of Australian English.

    Here's the unscripted recording. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

    Download Unscripted Recording.mp3 - Kiwi6.com Mp3 Upload

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    tzfujimino's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Hi!
    Again, I tried to put down everything you said (just for my listening practice) :


    ...Right. So, thank you for listening to my previous recording. This one is going to be different in that I'm just gonna talk about something spontaneously. So, I'm gonna talk about my experiences of learning English.
    I began learning English ????? was about twelve years of age. Around that time I became familiar with the English language literature. However, I didn't start paying attention to the correct pronunciation until I was about sixteen, I guess. Um...
    I really became fascinated by different kinds of accents because there's such a variety of English accents. And none of them are quite alike, so I really wanted to learn one, or several, but I think I have my hands full with just one. So..I chose the most neutral accent spoken in the United Kingdom, which is the...um...received pronunciation. Prior to...um..learni...um..prior to starting to learn English, I was already proficient in two.... our? different languages because I was raised bilingually, and so, I think this really gave me a head start. Right, so...that's all I wanted to say, and thank you for listening.


    P.S. I might have caught some of the words in the wrong way...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Thanks. I didn't know that the rising intonation is more commonly associated with AE, but I did notice that the way I pronounce the ou-sound, as in "sound file", is kind of reminiscent of Australian English.

    Here's the unscripted recording. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

    Download Unscripted Recording.mp3 - Kiwi6.com Mp3 Upload

    Thanks!
    Kudos on your perfect pronunciation and accent. If asked, I wouldn't be able to tell you from a native speaker. That makes me wonder, would the native speakers here recognize that English is not Chicken Sandwich's mother tongue?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hi!
    Again, I tried to put down everything you said (just for my listening practice) :


    ...Right. So, thank you for listening to my previous recording. This one is going to be different in that I'm just gonna talk about something spontaneously. So, I'm gonna talk about my experiences of learning English.
    I began learning English ????? was about twelve years of age. Around that time I became familiar with the English language literature. However, I didn't start paying attention to the correct pronunciation until I was about sixteen, I guess. Um...
    I really became fascinated by different kinds of accents because there's such a variety of English accents. And none of them are quite alike, so I really wanted to learn one, or several, but I think I have my hands full with just one. So..I chose the most neutral accent spoken in the United Kingdom, which is the...um...received pronunciation. Prior to...um..learni...um..prior to starting to learn English, I was already proficient in two.... our? different languages because I was raised bilingually, and so, I think this really gave me a head start. Right, so...that's all I wanted to say, and thank you for listening.


    P.S. I might have caught some of the words in the wrong way...
    The words you couldn't catch is "when I (was)". I played the record over twice, I didn't find any words that you might have caught in the wrong way. Well done!
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    It sounds more Brummie/Midlands than RP to me, but even knowing beforehand that Chicken's a non-native speaker, he didn't sound like a non-native. If you played this to native speakers, there might be some discussion about where he's from, but it would be which part of Britain and not which country IMO. Kudos to Chicken Sandwich, who shows it can be done.

  10. #10
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    I agree completely with Tdol. I would never have guessed you weren't from Great Britain if I didn't already know that. I would be unable to place you in a particular place in Britain though. I agree that this is not RP.

    PS: I actually spent some time in West Midlands myself, and your accent is indeed quite similar to that, but I would hesitate to call it Brummie. One clear difference in my opinion is that the Brummies I met often used [ʊ] instead of /ʌ/. You don't do it as far as I can tell.
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 23-May-2012 at 14:46.

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