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  1. #1
    siva_2008 is offline Newbie
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    Default Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    Hi,
    As part of my job, I am having regular calls with UK people. I have a serious issue now as I am not able to understand their accent. Basically English is my second language. I tried to watch English movies, but unless until I follow subtitles, I could n't able to understand.

    what should I do now? This is really urgent, please help me out.

    I can easily follow BBC and CNN news.

    regards
    Siva

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    Quote Originally Posted by siva_2008 View Post
    Hi,
    As part of my job, I am having regular calls with UK people. I have a serious issue now as I am not able to understand their accent. Basically English is my second language. I tried to watch English movies, but unless until I follow subtitles, I could n't able to understand.

    what should I do now? This is really urgent, please help me out.

    I can easily follow BBC and CNN news.

    regards
    Siva
    Hi Siva,
    I am English and I have lived in India. Are you working in a call centre? You say that you have no problem understanding the BBC, the thing is that people who work on BBC World speak (mainly) unaccented standard English, well articulated, whereas, if you are dealing with average English people from different regions and with different eductional levels it will not be the same.

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    Quote Originally Posted by siva_2008 View Post
    Hi,
    As part of my job, I am having regular calls with UK people. I have a serious issue now as I am not able to understand their accent. Basically English is my second language. I tried to watch English movies, but unless until I follow subtitles, I could n't able to understand.

    what should I do now? This is really urgent, please help me out.

    I can easily follow BBC and CNN news.

    regards
    Siva
    Welcome to the forums.

    The problem with many Britons is that they are sloppy in their pronunciation, speaking quickly and often losing the consonants. If you are having a problem, say to the person, "I am sorry, but I did not catch what you said. Could you repeat it slowly and clearly."

    Keep on watching the films - it can help to watch the same film several times [boring, but you will find that you will start to hear what is said].

    It might also be helpful to listen to tapes or the radio so that you are not distracted.

  4. #4
    siva_2008 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    No I am not working in call centre. I am working in a software industry, where most of our projects come from UK. Most of the times, we will be having calls to discuss the issues, status etc. So, I could able to understand some of the voices very cleary. but some times I am lost and could n't able to follow.
    Please suggest, what should I do?

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    As Anglika suggested you could try this;

    "If you are having a problem, say to the person, "I am sorry, but I did not catch what you said. Could you repeat it slowly and clearly." Anglika

    Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    Quote Originally Posted by siva_2008 View Post
    No I am not working in call centre. I am working in a software industry, where most of our projects come from UK. Most of the times, we will be having calls to discuss the issues, status etc. So, I could able to understand some of the voices very cleary. but some times I am lost and could n't able to follow.
    Please suggest, what should I do?
    I'd single out two major problems that we face in auding: phonemic hearing and operational memory.
    1. By phonemic hearing I mean the ability to split the flow of speech into words-syllables-phonemes and identify those phonemes-syllables-words. Sometimes we can't understand a sentence because a certain fragment within it sounds to us like an undivided flow of sounds, or we can't choose between two or more phonemes that could occur in the same position (bed-bad, sick-thick, live-leave).
    2. Operational memory is something essential for understanding a foreign language and it should be trained. It sometimes happens that while a person is speaking you understand his every word, but the moment he has finished you can't say what he was talking about. The fact is that the volume of your operational memory is good enough only for a short sentence, like 'His brother is a student'. When an utterance goes beyond those limits you just can't keep track of it, because to understand it you have to keep in mind the whole information block, which your memory room doesn't allow to.

    One of the ways to deal with these problems is listening to tapes and reproducing aloud every sentence you play (making pauses for that). Little by little try to make the speech fragments for reproduction longer and longer. You'll feel you are progressing in a few months.

  7. #7
    beascarpetta's Avatar
    beascarpetta is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    As Anglika,bhaisahab and Clark have already said

    Do try to put yourself through yet another round of watching DVDs , listening to BBC radio channels ...
    It's just a matter of time before it'll all fall into place.

    My non-native speakers have assured me time and again that this is the only way to get tuned in.

    godd luck.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    If you're using VOIP and recording is allowed, why not record the calls?

  9. #9
    siva_2008 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    This is a really a good advice. I can try this out. but only thing is as part of my job, I don't want let others know that I am weak in this.

  10. #10
    curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Urgent - not able to follow UK English accent

    I can see your dilemma. However, if you do not understand some callers then you can't answer there queries and sooner or later someone will ask to speak to someone else. Then your secret will be out and probably in a less favourable light. Is there no one you can talk to at work? perhaps a counsellor or someone with that capacity? You may find you are not alone and that there is help at hand.
    The best advice is to ask the caller to speak slowly and clearly to enable you to understand and help them with there question. Most people will be happy to do this.

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