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  1. #1
    Squirrel_3110 is offline Newbie
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    Post breathe with diaphragm

    Thank you for some of your advice that I should use diaphragm to breathe to improve my voice. I also learn from many resources found on the internet that we should use many muscles in our singing and speaking process, not just throat. The problem is I don't know how to feel all the muscles working while I speak English?What is the signal that they are working and I am doing the right things?And how can I keep breathing in this way and talk and they don't disagree with each other? In other words, should I speak when I inhale or exhale?

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: breathe with diaphragm

    Don't think about breathing as you speak. It will make it almost impossible. However, speech is done on exhalation of breath, not inhalation, so before speaking take a deep breath.

    Practice your breathing by reading out loud. Punctuation is essentially a guide to where you need to take a breath. A full stop indicates a longer breath than a comma.

  3. #3
    Squirrel_3110 is offline Newbie
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    Re: breathe with diaphragm

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Don't think about breathing as you speak. It will make it almost impossible. However, speech is done on exhalation of breath, not inhalation, so before speaking take a deep breath.

    Practice your breathing by reading out loud. Punctuation is essentially a guide to where you need to take a breath. A full stop indicates a longer breath than a comma.
    Thank you very much for your advice. You are native speaker, so breathing while speaking seems natural. As for me, because I always feel that I am heavily short of breath while speaking English, so the my voice seems very weak. As a result, practicing to have a proper breath is so important to me. Do you think so? What do you think of breathing with diaphragm? Is long breath and deep breath important?

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: breathe with diaphragm

    What are you doing when you speak your own language? There should be no difference between that and speaking in any other language.

    Your problem seems to stem from hyper-concentration on the technique of breathing and speaking. Relax by taking two or thee deep breaths before speaking.

  5. #5
    Squirrel_3110 is offline Newbie
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    Post Re: breathe with diaphragm

    I find all your advice about breathing with diaphragm useful to me and I'm trying to practice it. But another problem has arisen for me: I have to hold lots of breath when I speak and when I finish speaking, I feel great short lack of breath and uncomfortable. How can I talk loudly without having to hold breath a lot? What should I do?

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: breathe with diaphragm

    Seriously, stop thinking about it.

    You can train yourself by reciting poetry or scenes from a play. Start with pieces in your native language, and then move on to English pieces.

    Yoga breathing techniques can help in controlling breath expulsion. Well worth learning them.

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    Re: breathe with diaphragm

    I have studied singing for over 10 years and have taught ESL and I have never had someone ask me about this. It is an interesting question. When you speak a different language, especially if it is quite different from your native language as English is quite different from Vietnamese, the new language should definitely feel different when you speak it. The tongue, jaw, and lip positions for sounds that are not in your native language might feel strange at first when you do them correctly. For this it is good to practice the sounds repeatedly with a mirror so you can watch your own mouth to make sure you are doing these new foreign sounds, and not something more like your own language (which will feel more familiar/comfortable).

    As far as breathing, I agree with Angelika that it is not something you should think about too much. When you speak Vietnamese, do you take big breaths before you speak in normal conversation? I would guess not. The same is for English. I would think that if you are taking big breaths before you speak a sentence, that irregular breathing is probably why you are feeling uncomfortable and out of breath at the end of a phrase. I have studied many foreign languages for singing and I really feel that English should NOT feel different in your breathing, only in your mouth/tongue/jaw. Everything I have learned about breathing while studying singing is NOT something I would ever apply to speaking in normal conversation, only something like theater.

    I have made a website related to this topic, with video How-Tos on all the Sounds of American English. You might find it helpful to work through some of the sounds: RachelsEnglish.com.

    It's hard learning a new language! I am sure your hard work and attention will help you a lot along the way!

    Rachel

  8. #8
    Squirrel_3110 is offline Newbie
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    Post Re: breathe with diaphragm

    Your advice is of great help to me. Thank you very much. By the way, can I ask you another question about Final Consonant sounds in English? I know that pronouncing final sounds in English is very important because it helps the conversation understandable. But is it necessary to pronounce every final consonants sounds in every communication? Because when you try to pronounce every final consonant, the speech may be slowed down, and in some case, it isn't good at all. Moreover, I have watched many English films, especially American English films. In fact, in many cases, I don't hear people pronounce final consonants at all? Is it true? Or only American English is used in that way? When are English final consonants not pronounced or weakened? I will be highly grateful if you give an answer. Thanks very much!

  9. #9
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    Re: breathe with diaphragm

    As an ESL teacher, I can tell you that it is a problem MUCH more often that my students under-pronounce final consonants than that they enunciate too well.

    It is true that native speakers don't always enunciate final consonants completely, but the sounds are not dropped altogether. The tongue will take the position of the consonant to stop the vowel sound. I say in these cases the consonants act more as a stop than a separate sound, something that a non-native might not be able to pick up. But if someone drops that sound altogether, it sounds incorrect, whereas simply pronouncing the sound sounds correct.

    This is related to a blog entry I recently posted: here. This is a long blog and I address this at the end, but the T at the end of a word/syllable often takes on this "stop" quality, which I explain towards the end of the video blog entry (when I am describing the TN sound).

    Also this point is illustrated in an entry I did on the word 'at' (final T!) Find that entry here.

    Hope this helps!
    ______
    Rachel
    www.RachelsEnglish.com

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