Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    19
    Post Thanks / Like

    Post Discussion about accent when speaking English

    Hi everybody ^^

    I've got trouble about trying to reduce my accent when speaking English. I have studied in Australia for one year and I can realize that my English speaking has improved a lot, but I have a feeling that it stops improving at the moment. I have researched about English pronunciation and accent and tried to study by myself a lot. However, people still don't understand what I'm saying sometimes. Is that because I reached my maximum abitlity or I need more and more time?
    I found some information that young children who are from non-English speaking countries can learn and speak English fluently like native English speakers. I have met many people who moved to English speaking countries when they were 10-13 years old, and I realize that they are able to speak their mother languages as well as English fluently without any accent. I also read some documents say that it isn't impossible for an adult to learn speaking English without accent if he/she studies speaking English correctly and tries hard. And in fact, in some countries like Sweden as I know, most people can speak both Swedish and English fluently like native English speakers.
    I wonder if there is anyone here who is from a non-English speaking country can speak English fluently like native English speakers when you study English. If yes, could you please share your studying experiences or methods to me as well as other English learners?

    Anyway, welcome anyone to discuss about learning speaking English fluently.

    Thanks for reading. ^^

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Discussion about accent when speaking English

    It's true that young children can pick up accents better than adults. Not many people who start learning a language when they are adults get to the stage where they can pass as native speakers, but it is very unlikely that you have reached a ceiling after a year beyond which you cannot go. In the early stages of learning, it is quite easy to measure your progress, but this becomes more difficult at advanced level and this can lead to some frustration, especially if you're comparing yourself with native speakers. You say that people don't understand sometimes; I'd start by trying to analyse these situations in some detail and trying to get to the causes and look for strategies to improve things. The short conversations and transactions we have, for instance, often don't give the listener much time to focus on an unfamiliar pronunciation, so if all the keywords are right at the beginning, they may not be understood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    19
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Discussion about accent when speaking English

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It's true that young children can pick up accents better than adults. Not many people who start learning a language when they are adults get to the stage where they can pass as native speakers, but it is very unlikely that you have reached a ceiling after a year beyond which you cannot go. In the early stages of learning, it is quite easy to measure your progress, but this becomes more difficult at advanced level and this can lead to some frustration, especially if you're comparing yourself with native speakers. You say that people don't understand sometimes; I'd start by trying to analyse these situations in some detail and trying to get to the causes and look for strategies to improve things. The short conversations and transactions we have, for instance, often don't give the listener much time to focus on an unfamiliar pronunciation, so if all the keywords are right at the beginning, they may not be understood.
    I understand what you said but I'm still a little confused about something. I'll try to figure it out, thanks for your opinion anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    19
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question Re: Discussion about accent when speaking English

    I am aware that any English accent is acceptable. However, as an English learner, I really want to learn and follow a specific accent when speaking such as British, American or Australian. I wonder which accent is the most popular for international communicating purpose.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Discussion about accent when speaking English

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Vu View Post
    I am aware that any English accent is acceptable. However, as an English learner, I really want to learn and follow a specific accent when speaking such as British, American or Australian. I wonder which accent is the most popular for international communicating purpose.
    Since you are in Australia, you are likely to be exposed mostly to the Australian accent. If you choose a different variety, you will not get the 'live' practice and feedback in that variety.
    Some Australian accents are very broad. You should try to copy people who have "cultured" Australian accents, such as most TV newsreaders.
    Also, when your friends don't understand something you say, make a note of it. You might notice that there is a pattern, eg. there might be a small number of fundamental mistakes that you are making. If you know what you are saying wrong, you are more likely to be able to change it.

  6. #6
    wace is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    353
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Discussion about accent when speaking English

    This one's for you Raymott:
    In which part of Australia do people pronouce 'dance' as /daens/ rather than /da:ns/? I've heard Australian speakers using either. I can tell an Australian accent from a British one, but I'm not that good at distinguishing regional accents (if any).

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Discussion about accent when speaking English

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    This one's for you Raymott:
    In which part of Australia do people pronouce 'dance' as /daens/ rather than /da:ns/? I've heard Australian speakers using either. I can tell an Australian accent from a British one, but I'm not that good at distinguishing regional accents (if any).
    "A 1995 survey by David Crystal of the usage of /aː/ ("long a") and // in the same words ("graph", "chance", "demand", "dance", "castle", "grasp" and "contrast", across five cities, found that /aː/ was generally strongest in Adelaide, where it was used on average 88% of the time, and weakest in Hobart at 39% "(Crystal, 1995, Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language).


    But it's more of a free variation, and not simply geographically determined. Most people in Queensland, including me, say /daens/.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    19
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Discussion about accent when speaking English

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "A 1995 survey by David Crystal of the usage of /aː/ ("long a") and // in the same words ("graph", "chance", "demand", "dance", "castle", "grasp" and "contrast", across five cities, found that /aː/ was generally strongest in Adelaide, where it was used on average 88% of the time, and weakest in Hobart at 39% "(Crystal, 1995, Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language).


    But it's more of a free variation, and not simply geographically determined. Most people in Queensland, including me, say /daens/.
    Oh, I didn't notice that you are in Brisbane, me too . Anyway, thanks for your opinion. I'll try to research about Australian English accent.

  9. #9
    wace is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    353
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Discussion about accent when speaking English

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "A 1995 survey by David Crystal of the usage of /aː/ ("long a") and // in the same words ("graph", "chance", "demand", "dance", "castle", "grasp" and "contrast", across five cities, found that /aː/ was generally strongest in Adelaide, where it was used on average 88% of the time, and weakest in Hobart at 39% "(Crystal, 1995, Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language).


    But it's more of a free variation, and not simply geographically determined. Most people in Queensland, including me, say /daens/.
    Many thanks Raymott.
    I first noticed that in the many renditions of your beautiful anthem 'Advance Australia Fair'. Most of the singers (including my all-time favourite Olivia Newton-John, who has retained her lovely Aussie accent)
    pronounce 'Advance' /advaens/ (sorry about the rather approximate phonemic transcription) and only a few /adva:ns/.
    Thanks again!!!
    wace

Similar Threads

  1. British English or American accent?
    By Anonymous in forum Frequently Asked Questions
    Replies: 230
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2010, 05:00
  2. How to learn an accent?
    By unfer in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: 15-Aug-2009, 15:43
  3. Learning "plummy" accent ???
    By j4mes_bond25 in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-Aug-2007, 08:34
  4. Celebrity learning English accent ???
    By j4mes_bond25 in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 24-Feb-2007, 22:42
  5. Why I am always nervous when speaking English?
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-Jan-2006, 08:38

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •