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  1. #1
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    Question My pronunciation stinks

    I stumble over the simplest phrases. Certain words are almost impossible for me to say, like 'butter' for example (or 'schedule'). I speak Spanish, I gather the difficulty with the 't' has something to do with my native language, just like Americans have trouble rolling their 'r's.
    I'm 22 and after studying English for 9 years I finally got around to the pronunciation part. Late, I know, but I'm an expert at procrastination. I'm reading a book called 'Better English Pronunciation' (book that I've owned for 4 years, hence the procrastination bit ), it comes with a cassette full of listening-repeat exercises. I'm working on the /v/ and /f/ sounds. I have to admit, I'm sort of excited.
    My question is, am I wasting my time? I'm not delusional, I know native-like pronunciation is next to impossible at my age. But, will I be able to at least be somewhat fluent?
    Abby

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My pronunciation stinks

    Quote Originally Posted by Abigail
    I stumble over the simplest phrases. Certain words are almost impossible for me to say, like 'butter' for example (or 'schedule'). I speak Spanish, I gather the difficulty with the 't' has something to do with my native language, just like Americans have trouble rolling their 'r's.
    I'm 22 and after studying English for 9 years I finally got around to the pronunciation part. Late, I know, but I'm an expert at procrastination. I'm reading a book called 'Better English Pronunciation' (book that I've owned for 4 years, hence the procrastination bit ), it comes with a cassette full of listening-repeat exercises. I'm working on the /v/ and /f/ sounds. I have to admit, I'm sort of excited.
    My question is, am I wasting my time? I'm not delusional, I know native-like pronunciation is next to impossible at my age. But, will I be able to at least be somewhat fluent?
    Abby
    a) How did you learn English without speaking for 9 years? Pronounciation is part of a language.
    b) Why is native like pronounciation impossible? My husband speaks German like he is from a small village in the Bavarian Alps while I blend in in Alabama just fine.
    c) If you expect hear that you are right and everything is stacked against you - in US it is called a pity party. Get moving!!!

  3. #3
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    Lightbulb Re: My pronunciation stinks

    Twostep,
    a) Yes, speaking is a part of every language, Saussure would fully agree with you. But, I never had anyone to practise with and while I do speak aloud to myself in English, what I hear and what natives hear might not be the same. What I thought it was ok, now I'm finding out it is not ok. That and I read a lot. That's how I learned 90% of the English I know now. You don't need to speak to read, do you?
    b) Maybe you and your husband are two of the lucky people who find pronunciation easy. I'm certainly not. Maybe you practised a lot (that's one of the things I would've liked to know).
    c) Actually, what I expected to hear were the experiences of other ESL students. If they started at a later age, when did they notice a positive difference in their pronunciation? Stuff like that.
    If all you could see in my post was that I needed guests to my 'pity party', then I must've not expressed myself correctly. All I wanted was an exchange experiences, that's all.
    Abby

  4. #4
    Vibovit is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: My pronunciation stinks

    Honestly, I don't believe you can ever get rid of your native accent.
    And I also underestimated that problem until my first contacts with "real" English, I mean communication with people whose mother tongue it was.
    One's pronounciation difficulties probably vary depending on where they are from - the set of sounds that your first language consists of, determines which bits of English will be difficult to you.
    Personally I think that intonation is very important, too - another thing which I underestimated in the past - it plays a great role in getting accross, and fortunately, it's much easier to be improved (in my opinion).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My pronunciation stinks

    I think you make it too complicated. Get this "I have to sound native" out of your system. Set your mind to "I will do the best I can and then a bit more". There is an old saying - a watched pot never boils. I talk for a living as recruiter and that in a non-native language in a country.

  6. #6
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    Talking Re: My pronunciation stinks

    I think there's been a small misunderstanding here.

    Get this "I have to sound native" out of your system.
    My original post read:
    I'm not delusional, I know native-like pronunciation is next to impossible at my age. But, will I be able to at least be somewhat fluent?
    I state exactly the opposite of what you said. Fluency was my main concern not native-like pronunciation.

    Personally I think that intonation is very important, too - another thing which I underestimated in the past - it plays a great role in getting accross, and fortunately, it's much easier to be improved (in my opinion).
    Thanks for the tip, Vibovit

    "I will do the best I can and then a bit more".
    That's the way I'm approaching this

    Abby

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My pronunciation stinks

    Language is a successful combination of both.

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