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  1. #1
    Azera is offline Newbie
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    Could you rate my American accent? And also my written English.

    I read a lot that it's impossible to adopt the accent of a secondary language, unless you're situated in that specific country and fully immersed, but I want to prove this wrong.

    Anyway, here's a short story about me:

    I'm an 18-year-old student from a little town in Sweden. I don't really consider myself way above average intellectually, but I would like to believe I have an ear for languages, specifically accents, phonetics and pronunciation. The thing is, I have never set a foot in an English-speaking country, and I haven't really been in contact with an English-speaking population, yet I seem to be able to adapt to many various accounts, mainly the American ones such as the neutral midland accent, but I'm also capable of adopting the typical non-rhoticity Boston accent, and also the usual movie-esque Texan accent. I don't really know why, so I'm creating this thread hoping someone will shed some light on the subject.


    First off, my written English:

    "Why do we place social stigmas on petty criminals?



    When I say petty criminals, I'm not talking about the minor acts of fare-dodging, shoplifting and illegal parking. I'm talking about those who, for example, smoke and sell marijuana to relieve stress or provide for their family. Those who do not harm anyone but are still labeled the scrapings of society. Why do we stigmatize anyone who strays from the current social norms? This could happen to just an average Joe whose harmless intentions and acts are magnified by the media, seen as defilement, pointed out as just another lawless scum by the product of an imaginary perfect society. Yes, this happens in our imaginary ideal utopia full of saints. Our so called perfect cloister of individuals with exemplary characteristics. In our society where any crime regardless of its magnitude, be it murder or smoking naturally grown herbs, is perceived as a wicked sin. But why?




    Many would think it's based on psychological factors, but it's actually the product of society, the current paradigm and the sociological behavior of humans. We have been disciplined into a world view that is the exact opposite of what reality really looks like.


    We've always been told that drug addicts and drug pushers who sell drugs to provide for their families are the lowlife outlaws of our society, while we equal the political hypocrites with saints when they donate stolen money in the name of the government and call it solidarity. Any person who tries to avert such a barbaric fascism is a lawless loser, while the police are viewed as nobel knights when they want to incarcerate - what they call criminals - whoever tries to oppose their fascist agenda. Looking at society from this point of view, I feel trapped, and all I see is a dictatorship, inaccurately called democracy.




    We are born into a world with already established laws and rules, written on a piece of paper to claim physical existence, yet being just another abstract entity. The existence of such a thing baffles me, and as soon as we're born into this world, we instantly lose our freedom. We are unwillingly forced to live in a world where rules are already set, and if we do not follow them, we have to take the consequences. Why should I take the consequences of laws I never reconciled with from the very beginning? Can someone show me the social contract that I, or anyone else, have signed in agreement that show our reconciliation for these consequences? Of course not. All of this is just black ink written on a piece of paper.
    The word criminal used to be a word for anyone who harmed another person. Today it's a collective term for those who do not reconcile with, and abide by, the thousands of laws and orders issued by a parasitic criminal class. To us, the word crime is also synonomous with sin, which implements that our laws must be of divine descent, of Godly heritage, when they in reality are more related to corruption, filth and death.


    We glorify this criminal class as legislators och claim there is no lower form of life than someone who breaks the law; a criminal. But to me, those who break the law, without violating their moral responsibilities, are people who dare opposing the current regime and the politicians; unsung heros. But to other people, they are lowlife scum. Lawless criminals just like those who freed the slaves from the cotton plantations, just like Schindler who helped jews escape from the war machine in the Third Reich, just like the freedom fighters who stood against the oppressors with picket signs and courage and were crushed by the tanks in Tiananmen square.


    The comparison:


    It's almost unbelievable how a law can turn a lethargic person with bad habits into an untouchable saint, while at the same stigmatizing people who, for example, smoke some marijuana to relieve themselves of stress. Yes, I'm talking about morbidly obese people vs pot smokers. Let us make a comparison here, I think it might be interesting.




    In our society it is fully normal to publically scorn, mock and look down on those who commit minor offences, but overweight people are off the limits, even though they immorally ram down tens of thousands of calories down their throats every day, as opposed to the calory intake of a starving child, which would be around 250 calories per day.
    These gargantuan bags of lard being pushed around in wheelchairs by their slavishly devoted..."

    I didn't finish it yet, but I wrote this essay some days ago for my English class. I haven't been to any classes so I was on the verge of failing, but my teacher told me I just had to prove myself worthy of an A, so I wrote this text touching an, to me, important subject.

    This, however, is all formal English, and I know when speakin too formally, you may pass off as a nonnative which gives you away. The weird thing, for me, is I have a good understanding of different sayings, pop culture references, expressions, wordplay and slangs... I'm going to guess I adopted this from excessively watching TV series and movies as a youngster, but a lot of it also derives from my interest in rapping, lyricism and writing my own lyrics. This way I challenge myself, and I am basically forced to use wordplay, expressions, sayings, metaphors and an extensive vocabulary.

    Anyhow, I am not trying to brag, I am just trying to give you a profound idea of who I am.


    My spoken English:

    https://soundcloud.com/azera-1/just-a-test

    https://soundcloud.com/azera-1/sylvia-plath-cut


    If you need more material, just post it in a comment.

  2. #2
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Could you rate my American accent? And also my written English.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azera View Post
    I read a lot that it's impossible to adopt the accent of a secondary language, unless you're situated in that specific country and fully immersed, but I want to prove this wrong.
    Those people are wrong. You can learn an accent, even if you are not a native speaker. In fact, I learnt to speak with an English accent many years ago. My native language is Russian, my second language is Dutch and I began learning (or rather absorbing) English at the age of 10 - 12. Since you are interested in acquiring accents, you may wish to listen to my accent here and read the views of native speakers here. Also, you are probably familiar with the Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård, who's presently a big star in Hollywood. I can name many other people, but you get the point. It's not impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azera View Post
    My spoken English:

    https://soundcloud.com/azera-1/just-a-test

    https://soundcloud.com/azera-1/sylvia-plath-cut


    If you need more material, just post it in a comment.
    Well done! Perhaps you could post an unscripted recording of your American English accent? I've listened to both recordings once and I couldn't find any mistakes or unusual things, but I am not a speaker of American English. Your accent sounds flawless to me.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 13-May-2013 at 15:00.

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Could you rate my American accent? And also my written English.

    I think it's great. I'm an Aussie, and you could have fooled me that you were American.
    There's too much mike noise on the second. You're too close to it or something. I couldn't listen to it. What I heard was very good though.

  4. #4
    Azera is offline Newbie
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    Re: Could you rate my American accent? And also my written English.

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll record when improvising an interview with myself later!

  5. #5
    americanenglishuniversity is offline Just Joined
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    Re: Could you rate my American accent? And also my written English.

    I have worked with many many students who have been able to learn an American Accent. One of the most important strategies is to speak with as many native American English speakers as possible - if you speak with them enough your mind will start to pick up their inflections and manners of speech. I think it also incredibly important pay attention very specifically to how you pronounce the letter "E". So many non-native American English speakers get this wrong, but once they have mastered that one vowel "E" then they are able to speak more effectively with an American Accent. Good luck in your journey.

    Sara Jennings
    Instructor
    American English University | English Pronunciation - American Accent Training

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