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Foreign Language Accent Acquisition

Step one: speak your native language with a funny accent
  (+19, -1)(+19, -1)
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In learning a foreign language, there are many skills to acquire, not the least of which is the mastery of an authentic native accent. The brain can bog down easily when searching out the correct syntax, vocabulary, cadence, and accent all at once. To relieve this strain, perhaps it would be beneficial to learn the characteristics of the accent before learning the language, itself.

An entertaining exercise would be to listen to and imitate a native speaker of your target language who thoroughly murders English. Any difficulties presented by the foreigner in pronunciation of English would highlight the the sort of sounds you'll need to produce to speak the foreign language.

Once you can masterfully imitate (with or without mockery) the foreigner's English accent, go ahead and drown in grammar, vocabulary, and the like. Your attempts at authentic speech will be more fun, anyway.

ShaneSezWhat, Jan 03 2010

English https://www.youtube...watch?v=EAYUuspQ6BY
For [MaxwellBuchanan] [neutrinos_shadow, Oct 30 2013]

Now baked. http://www.youtube....watch?v=dovfYaQoPoY
Joey Barton (footballer) demonstrates why, for two centuries, the English have given up on foreign languages & just speak to foreigners slowly & loudly in English. [DrBob, Oct 30 2013]

[link]






       inglis^
Inyuki, Jan 04 2010
  

       Of course, if I choose to imitate someone who has a severe speech impediment, I just end up sounding like an idiot.
DrWorm, Jan 05 2010
  

       Why is it that every band sounds Canadian when they sing?   

       In school, I noticed that class clowns are better than nice kids at correctly pronouncing foreign words. The brainy kids would master grammer and vocabulary, but their pronunciation would be laughable. Perhaps they feel it would be rude to imitate native speakers, or unpatriotic to adopt alien phonemes. But the wise guys, who mock other peoples speech, have no inhibitions that stifle correct pronunciation.
tonybe, Jan 05 2010
  

       Peter Seller's fake French accent, as used in the Pink Pather films, was used as a suggestion to improve kid's accent for actual French at my school. I think the idea was to get us to go from dreadful English mangling of French to a more creative handling of the language. It did help.   

       Accents have always been tough. Even when I was in France the different accents were so diverse that I could not really copy a single accent. The best I achieved that I was mistaken for a French Canadian at times.   

       I found practising my "miller's curses" - sacre bleu and others - tended to warm me up for delivering French with plenty of nasal expression.
Aristotle, Jan 05 2010
  

       + I yike it. (oops, that's baby talk)
anyway, my story is that one time when I was in Jamaica, the locals were turning on the Patoi really heavy (on purpose) so as to make it difficult to understand them. then I found out that if I talked my american/new england/ slang really fast, they couldn't understand me either! (though I didn't do it on purpose, I'm just a fast talker.) it made me realize that we all have accents - to each other...
xandram, Jan 05 2010
  

       I've got a good ear for understanding what someone with a strong accent is saying in English and find myself slipping into their patterns of speech without meaning to because it becomes easier for them to understand me that way.   

       I always wondered if this knack would help if I tried to learn a new language.   

       My name is Amy Walker.
pashute, Oct 29 2013
  

       //we all have accents - to each other...//   

       You are, of course, not including people from the home counties. Just as the Greenwich Meridian passes, by happy coincidence, through Greenwich, so accents are all measured relative to the only accentless and correct language.   

       Other accents (and, indeed, other languages) may differ from RP English, but not vice versa.   

       That RP English is the reference point is quite easily demonstrated. The further you go, geographically, from the home counties, the more different the speech. Thus, a Birmingham accent is significantly different from that of a poor soul in Cornwall; Icelandic is very different from Sudanese; and so forth.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 29 2013
  

       //Just as the Greenwich Meridian passes, by happy coincidence, through Greenwich//   

       Actually, it's far from coincidence.   

       The name of the town was adopted in 1853 following a contest run by Punch magazine, where readers were invited to submit a suitable name for what was, at the time, little more than a barren slag heap. The winning entry—“Greenwich”—was selected both for its ironic quality (as, at the time, virtually the only thing one could grow there was bored), and to tweak the French.   

       The meridian, of course, was named after its discoverer, Philippe Grénoulliche, and was thus known as “Le méridien du Grénoulliche”. Thus, the decision was made to spell it “Greenwich”, but pronounce it “Grennich”, in the hopes that people would simply assume that the name of the meridian was the same as that of the town. The rest, as they say, is history.
ytk, Oct 30 2013
  

       [+] Ayuh, that's a wicked good idea!
Alterother, Oct 30 2013
  

       [ytk]: the meridian was invented, not discovered.
(The "invented/discovered" issue is a personal gripe of mine...)
And it has moved around quite a bit, including Paris, various Atlantic islands, and the Bering Strait.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 30 2013
  

       You are mistaken.
ytk, Oct 30 2013
  

       This is actually true. By learning how to speak English with a foreign accent, you are learning things about that language's rhythms and tones, not to mention phonology and sentence structure. When we went to Italy, I was complimented by native speakers on how well I spoke - even though I only had a rudimentary command of the language itself, I had a better command of the *sound* of it.
smendler, Nov 02 2013
  
      
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