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    #1

    Question Perfecting my British pronunciation - an audio clip to rate

    Hello everyone


    My goal is to perfect my pronunciation as to be indistinguishable from the one of the native speakers. I have recorder a 2-minute excerpt from a book to let you listen. I want you to be as harsh as you can, pinpointing any flaws you find, preferably patterns that I can work on.


    https://soundcloud.com/szymon-krzemi...-potter-page-1


    I also wonder what's the overall impression on you.


    Thanks for any feedback!
    Szymon

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Perfecting my British pronunciation - an audio clip to rate

    I don't mean to discourage or dissuade you from your quest, and I haven't listened to your clip, so this is just a general comment.
    I really think that it is almost impossible to reach actual native pronunciation level if you're an adult learner. Near native would be a much more realistic possibility, and even that would take a long time and a great deal of effort.

    I do think that clear pronunciation is important, but so are other aspects of learning a foreign language. I say this here as I note that your grammar can be improved too.

    Good luck!

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Perfecting my British pronunciation - an audio clip to rate

    Hello Szymon:

    Having listened to your clip I must say that you don't sound at all like a native speaker. The number of discrepancies is so great that I can't focus on any in particular. There are errors in the sounds of some consonants, and intonation as well.

    Having said that, I strongly disagree with Teachar. I know for certain that it is possible to achieve fluency in a foreign language sufficient to convince a native speaker, for I have known people who have done so. One such hoped to become a simultaneous translator at the UN and studied at a special college for people who aspire to that occupation.

    In fact, I'm not very far off the mark myself. My French is not perfect, but it is sufficiently good to get French people scratching their heads about where I am from. So your goal can be reached, and I urge you to keep trying.

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    #4

    Re: Perfecting my British pronunciation - an audio clip to rate

    Firstly, don't read a text if you want to show your pronunciation- it tends to be artificial when reading.

    You need to work on your intonation IMO.

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    #5

    Re: Perfecting my British pronunciation - an audio clip to rate

    @Tdol: I agree I wanted to sound a bit posh and have realized that after the recording
    @probus: Your opinion is way more harsh than I'd expect but if that's the truth then I embrace it wholeheartedly and thank you for that. What could I do in order for you to be able to pin point the discrepancies you mention?

    Having said that, I'll take a closer look at my intonation as I see a pattern there.

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Perfecting my British pronunciation - an audio clip to rate

    I am unqualified to advise you about how to sound posh in BrE. Why don't you go for the accent I call CNN? You would have an unlimited 24/7 source of material to learn from, and when you have mastered it nobody will be able to place your accent.

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    #7

    Re: Perfecting my British pronunciation - an audio clip to rate

    Quote Originally Posted by krzemian View Post
    @Tdol: I agree I wanted to sound a bit posh and have realized that after the recording
    @probus: Your opinion is way more harsh than I'd expect but if that's the truth then I embrace it wholeheartedly and thank you for that. What could I do in order for you to be able to pin point the discrepancies you mention?

    Having said that, I'll take a closer look at my intonation as I see a pattern there.
    As a native BrE speaker I would have to agree with probus, unfortunately your accent did not sound like a native BrE speaker to me, I am unable to explain to you how to improve, but the intonation on certain words and phrases like "craning" "tawny" and " proud" were wrong. There are, as probus says too many little discrepancies to go through the whole excerpt and pick them out.

    In particular the pronouciation of the name Dursley is wrong to my ear as well, but that is probably as it is repeated several times.

    However having said that it was perfectly understandable and would stand you in good stead here.

  4. mandrews01's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Perfecting my British pronunciation - an audio clip to rate

    Dear Szymon,

    First of all, well done on your ambition to sound native. As a dialect coach and author of various accent eradication courses, I fully understand and appreciate just how hard it can be to 'get rid' of your native accent when speaking English. It can be done, with the right guidance, coaching and hard work.

    For a native Polish speaker (which I assume you are, correct me if I'm wrong), I think you have already done some good work. May I ask, are you currently living in the UK. I am asking, as I can definitely hear a Standard British influence on some words.

    It is incredibly hard for speakers of Eastern European languages (especially Polish, Czech, Bulgarian and Russian) to master a Standard British accent, so your effort is actually one of the better ones I have heard, given that you have probably so far only worked on it by yourself (for example by listening to the BBC or watching English/ American movies).

    Yes, there are quite a few giveaway signs as to what your native language is/ may be, however those can actually be fairly easily corrected.

    Examples are (in laymen terms): 'lived' (in the first sentence 'the boy who lived'). The /i/ is a short single vowel (also known as monophthong). However, the way you pronounced it, it sounded as if it was spelled 'leaved'- the vowel was pronounced 'too long'.

    The word 'who' (in the same sentence): try and avoid making -what I would call- the 'scratchy/hissy /h/' , ie. it should not be ccchhhoo/ kkkhhhoo (please excuse the transcription) but very little air should be used to make the /h/ sound. No air is to pass the palate, as this is what will give you the incorrect sound.

    Then there are more inconsistencies, for example sometimes you used a BrE (British English) 'silent /r/' (in 'four'- first sentence) and sometimes you appeared to use an AmE (American English) /r/ ('normal'- also first sentence).

    Please contact me if you have any questions or need further feedback.

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