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Thread: How do I sound?

  1. #11
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    I never doubted whether or not something like this can be done. However, I sometimes doubt if the effort and time invested is worth it. I mean it's nice to sound like a native, but to what purpose? Unless my pronunciation was hard to understand for natives and non-natives alike. Then not only would it be worth the effort and time, it would be necessary to invest them into making myself sound better. In my view, I'd rather try to master the other aspects of language (mainly vocabulary) and if I felt nothing more can be done about them, then I'd start trying to make my accent sound native-like.
    Last edited by CarloSsS; 23-May-2012 at 14:05.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    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.

    Awesome, thanks! It's really nice to hear that I've succeeded , considering that I've never been to the UK in my entire life.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    I never doubted whether or not something like this can be done. However, I sometimes doubt if the effort and time invested is worth it. I mean it's nice to sound like a native, but to what purpose? In my view, I'd rather try to master the other aspects of language (mainly vocabulary) and if I felt nothing more can be done about them, then I'd start trying to make my accent sound native-like. On the condition that my pronunciation was accurate enough for other native and non-native speakers to understand me.

    I just did if for fun. Also, I wanted to prove people wrong, because most people say that if you don't learn a language prior to the age of 10-12, you wil always have a foreign accent. I wanted to show that this is in fact not true. It depends, everyone is different. It's not impossible, I think.

    I really haven't spend that much time practicing, but I do listen a lot to podcasts, tv shows and movies. I never use subtitles (occasionally I do use English subtitles if the audio is of poor quality). Listening has been for me the the way to learn all aspects of English, including grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. I do read a lot, but nothing beats listening, because that is how children learn languages as well. I don't know how I would have learnt English without the Internet.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 23-May-2012 at 14:11.

  3. #13
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    In that case, I guess you just have a natural aptitude for mastering accents and pronunciation. Do you have a musical ear? I hear that people who have a fine ear for music can do better at learning things like these. Although I've been trying to sound as native-like as possible, I'm nowhere near as good as you are.
    Last edited by CarloSsS; 23-May-2012 at 15:31.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  4. #14
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Awesome, thanks! It's really nice to hear that I've succeeded , considering that I've never been to the UK in my entire life.
    A few decades ago, I met a speaker I was sure was a native speaker until they mis-pronounced one word. They too had never set foot in an English-speaking country. It's interesting given the age you started, so there may be something in your bilingual background, but congratulations however you did it. I'm learning a language where ng can come at the beginning of a word- being comprehensible will be enough.

  5. #15
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    I don't know how I would have learnt English without the Internet.
    It really is a whole new quality, isn't it? I started learning English when I was eleven, which was more than forty years ago. Some fifteen years later, I thought I knew as much English as any regular native. I could read any book! Well, it turned out this isn't exactly how it works. I think I've learned as much English during the last ten years as during the previous thirty.
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 23-May-2012 at 15:19.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    I never doubted whether or not something like this can be done. However, I sometimes doubt if the effort and time invested is worth it. I mean it's nice to sound like a native, but to what purpose?
    I think too many people worry too much about sounding like a native, but if that's what you are interested in, then go for it. All credit to Chicken Sandwich for managing it.
    I'd rather try to master the other aspects of language (mainly vocabulary)
    Apart from the accent, which I, like the others who have posted here, could not distinguish from that of a native speaker, the vocabulary and structure were those of a native speaker.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  7. #17
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Apart from the accent, which I, like the others who have posted here, could not distinguish from that of a native speaker, the vocabulary and structure were those of a native speaker.
    Awesome, thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    Do you have a musical ear?
    Yes, in fact in my free time I play the piano, but mostly I work on composition. I do a lot of solfège ( Solfège - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ). I definitely see the similarities. In order to be good at solfège, you need to be able to "imagine" the sounds in your head. The same goes for composing. A good composer can "imagine" music in his or her head, and translate it to paper, without the aid of a musical instrument. The same goes for language production. When you have a handle on the correct pronunciation, you know exactly how a word sounds, without actually sounding the word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    A few decades ago, I met a speaker I was sure was a native speaker until they mis-pronounced one word. They too had never set foot in an English-speaking country. It's interesting given the age you started, so there may be something in your bilingual background, but congratulations however you did it. I'm learning a language where ng can come at the beginning of a word- being comprehensible will be enough.

    Two weeks ago you would have
    definitely "caught" me, if I were to say the word privacy. In fact, I only recently found out, while watching a movie, that privacy is pronounced "/ ˈprɪvəsi " in the UK. I always, incorrectly assumed that the American and the British pronunciations were the same.
    I'm assuming you're learning Filipino? Must be tough. Completely different from English.

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    It really is a whole new quality, isn't it? I started learning English when was eleven, which was more than forty years ago. Some fifteen years later, I thought I knew as much English as any regular native. I could read any book! Well, it turned out it isn't exactly how this works. I think I've learned as much English during the last ten years as during the previous thirty.
    Yes it is. When I got into learning English, I already had a broadband internet connection. Checking out podcasts was really benificial, because when I listened to English, I learnt (everyday) Enlgish on a much deeper level. Within no time, I could actually actively use all the new expressions and words I learnt, something I never managed to do by just reading Dickens.

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