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  1. #1
    Bernard is offline Newbie
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    How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    How bad accent do the artists below have?

    Biting Elbows – Control (Russia) https://youtu.be/oIAND8Zwo-Y?t=10

    Survive Said The Prophet - Right and Left (Japan) https://youtu.be/_B6Pg5Ri7oQ?t=6

    Therr Maitz - Make It Last (Russia) https://youtu.be/HL8ODq9NTsU?t=29

    Tesla Boy – Compromise (Russia) https://youtu.be/iMXUmm_xBR0?t=32

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

    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.
    Retired magazine editor and native British English speaker - not a teacher

  3. #3
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    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    The first three were clear and easy to understand. I didn't detect much if any non-native pronunciation. The fourth was hard to understand but I suspect the difficulty is more due to poor quality recording than to accent.

  4. #4
    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.
    So, can someone of the four be considered by a native listener as 'listenable'?

  5. #5
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    A non-native accent is no reason to disparage or disqualify a piece of music in my opinion. To take just one of many possible examples, Edith Piaf occasionally sang in English. Her English had a strong French accent, but her music was nonetheless marvellous for that.

  6. #6
    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 probus View Post
    A non-native accent is no reason to disparage or disqualify a piece of music in my opinion. To take just one of many possible examples, Edith Piaf occasionally sang in English. Her English had a strong French accent, but her music was nonetheless marvellous for that.
    As a non-native singer in English myself, I'm happy to read the above, but I'm really not sure that every native listener has the same level of tolerance.

    Edith Piaf was, may I say, a genius. Her artistry, I think, compensated any inconveniences for 'native ears' that would may happen as a result of her accent. But less unique artists are a bit different, I guess.

    What about an accent of this Soviet singer of 80-es:

    Alla Pugatcheva - Through The Eyes Of A Child https://youtu.be/hBn_x6sUgVE?t=18
    Last edited by Bernard; 03-Dec-2020 at 20:39.

  7. #7
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: How do these non-native singers who sing in English sound to native speakers?

    That was a lovely piece of music, Bernard, although the singer's accent made it a bit hard for me to follow the lyrics.

    Returning the favour, here is one of my favorites. I can't recall or find, offhand, the name of the backup singer, but I think her slight accent does not detract at all from her beautiful singing.

    https://youtu.be/KU3Soe1LXsQ

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

    A beautiful song! I heard a couple of songs of Natalie Merchant in mid 90-ies. Those were more like indie rock. But this is a lovely folk song!

    A backup singer is Karen Peris (née McCullough). She sounds amazingly innocent and honest. And I've just found her band on Youtube. Fortunately, she is still active and her voice has remained almost the same.

    https://youtu.be/_RT5tZtCAD0?t=70

    P.S What accent does she have?
    Last edited by Bernard; 04-Dec-2020 at 09:11.

  9. #9
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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
    P.S What accent does she have?
    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.

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

    Follow-up: Research indicates that Karen Peris is originally from the area around Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There are a lot of Amish people there who speak Pennsylvania Dutch in addition to English. I hadn't previously been aware that the English there has a very slight but unique accent.

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