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  1. #11
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    None of those singers in post #1 have what I'd describe as a 'bad accent'. When you say 'bad accent' I imagine you're referring to their pronunciation anyway, not their accents. All four of them have very good pronunciation.

    I also love Karen Peris' voice, by the way. She doesn't use that accent in her normal spoken voice—it's put on for the songs. I guess that she's trying to sound slightly Irish, to add to the folky, Celtic sound of the music. I don't know.

  2. #12
    Bernard is offline Newbie
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    None of those singers in post #1 have what I'd describe as a 'bad accent'. When you say 'bad accent' I imagine you're referring to their pronunciation anyway, not their accents. All four of them have very good pronunciation.
    But you hear that they all have an accent of a foreigner, don't you? If you do, does it distract you to some degree from a song itself? Doesn't a singer with an accent of a foreigner appear as some obstacle between a message and a listener?

  3. #13
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    Doesn't a singer with an accent of a foreigner appear as some obstacle between a message and a listener?
    Not to me, unless the accent is so strong that it becomes dfficult to make out the message.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  4. #14
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    I've met Amish people who speak English with a distinct German accent because their first language is Pennsylvania Dutch, a German dialect. I don't think non-Amish people around Lancaster do that.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #15
    Bernard is offline Newbie
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterCW View Post
    The first one sounded quite clear with an obvious east European accent. The singer had either learned English from an American source was was trying, unsuccessfully, to sound like an American.

    The Japanese act had very clear English with a slightly American flavour.

    The other two were both indistinct and may have been singing the words phonetically without any understanding.
    Does the fact that the last two singers in post #1 are 'indistinct and may have been singing the words phonetically without any understanding' make you feel uncomfortable when listening them?

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    Not really- it's singing, not conversation.

  7. #17
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    I can't identify her accent, nor even be quite certain it's a non-native accent. All I can say with certainty is that to me there seems something ever-so-slightly off in her pronunciation. Maybe other users can identify it.
    She does not sound like a native speaker to me, but I can't identify her accent.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #18
    Bernard is offline Newbie
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    So it seems that English-speaking persons don’t mind a foreign accent in singing so much. (Maybe Mr. PeterCW has a different feeling, but, alas, he doesn’t answer.)

    https://youtu.be/0rmOg4_8wD0?t=73

    This is a tribute band from Moscow that covers songs of ‘Chicago’. And I’ve read the following comment on their Facebook page from their American fan:

    I have been following them for at least a year and am continually amazed at how they reproduce these songs note for note. Every nuance is there and they always sound incredible.

    The only criticism I have is that some of their vocalists sound like they are singing phonetically and that their English is limited or non existent but they are Russians so not a real big deal! Glad that you enjoy them!

    That fan expressed a criticism very similar to what PeterCW wrote regarding the singers in the post #1.
    Last edited by Bernard; 04-Dec-2020 at 19:52.

  9. #19
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    But you hear that they all have an accent of a foreigner, don't you?
    I have a very acute ear for detecting accents but I wouldn't have identified that the singer of Biting Elbows was a non-native speaker.

    If you do, does it distract you to some degree from a song itself?
    No. It adds to it. Unless of course the accent is distracting in itself in some way.

    Doesn't a singer with an accent of a foreigner appear as some obstacle between a message and a listener?
    No. I don't really know what you mean. Does it to you? Could you explain how that is?

  10. #20
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    She does not sound like a native speaker to me, but I can't identify her accent.
    Karen Peris is a native speaker. It's just that she has a rather unusual delivery in her singing voice.

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