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Old 27th May 2008, 06:35 AM   #41
lenox
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I do better on the 'phone when the caller can't see me and may assume that I'm Spanish. One look at me though - and it's obvious that I'm a furriner.
Also with age - goin' a bit deaf - specially in noisy bars. The other day, someone assumed I coundn't understand him (I couldn't hear him) and tried me in English (which I also couldn't hear).
My sign language though... no accent there!
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Old 2nd June 2008, 05:54 AM   #42
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Accents are very interesting to me. My best friend is from Costa Rica and he has such a muted accent that sometimes I cant´t even hear his accent. His girlfriend´s accent is nonexistent and if I didn´t know she was from Costa Rica I would have thought she were from the US. My friend says that my accent sounds a tad bit Spanish, but that is because all they teach in the schools here is Castellano, and since that is the only kind of spanish I was taught until I met my Costa Rican friend, I spoke with a more Spanish accent. It was funny because some of the words he said when he came to the states to study were very Brittish sounding because that is what he was taught in school. He´s since lost his Brittish accent, but girls in college seem to like his slightly latin accent!
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Old 2nd June 2008, 10:02 AM   #43
eldeano
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Uh oh, use of the 't' word!
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Old 2nd June 2008, 11:03 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenox View Post
I do better on the 'phone when the caller can't see me and may assume that I'm Spanish. One look at me though - and it's obvious that I'm a furriner.
Also with age - goin' a bit deaf - specially in noisy bars. The other day, someone assumed I coundn't understand him (I couldn't hear him) and tried me in English (which I also couldn't hear).
My sign language though... no accent there!
Pardon, it's aurally challenged these days!

Me too, especially in those situations, with music entering one ear, a TV blaring in the other, the usual Spanish bar chat level, well worn eardrums and a long term problem with Valencianos speaking Castellano!

On Saturday night, I was trying to hold a conversation with a middle aged guy from Albacete. With surround sound music and his weird accent, I was completely lost until his wife came to help with her more easily understood accent.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 07:13 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by eldeano View Post
Uh oh, use of the 't' word!
What's the "t" word?
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Old 2nd June 2008, 07:21 PM   #46
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What's the "t" word?
The one before the words 'bit Spanish'. I come out in a rash.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 07:35 PM   #47
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Tad, a well known and often used word that crept into the English language many years ago. To my knowledge, well before the 60s, but doesn't appear in my 1976 edition of the Concise Oxford D.
Many people decry it's use, mostly English language snobs.

http://www.google.es/search?hl=es&q=...car+con+Google
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Old 2nd June 2008, 07:47 PM   #48
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Aaaarrghh!!!
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Old 3rd June 2008, 12:47 AM   #49
eventer289
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Originally Posted by eldeano View Post
The one before the words 'bit Spanish'. I come out in a rash.
Lol, well I'm from midwest US where we say "gals" and "y'all" as well.

I looked in the Oxford English Dictionary, and this is its definition.

Quote:
3. A small amount; freq. used advb. in the expression a tad, a little, slightly.

1940 Amer. Speech XV. 448/1 Tad, a very small amount. ‘I want to borrow a tad of salt.’ 1969 L. MICHAELS Going Places 159, I tried to smile. ‘You come back later, baby. I'm a tad indisposed.’ 1976 Time 27 Sept. 39/2 ‘Pull 'er up a tad, please, mister,’ said the nonchalant teen-ager pumping gas. 1977 Time 14 Mar. 28/3 White House watchers also think they can glimpse a tad of arrogance showing through the good ole boy pose. 1977 Globe & Mail (Toronto) 15 Dec. 8/2 Things are a tad hectic. 1979 D. ANTHONY Long Hard Cure xv. 116 Why don't we sit here on the veranda? There's a tad of breeze. 1980 N.Y. Times 12 Aug. A18/1 The Mayor's pitch is a tad exaggerated both on the law's certainty and on the roominess of New York's prisons.
If it appears in the OED, I would think it's safe to call it a word.

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Old 3rd June 2008, 02:17 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepino View Post
I should make a short recording of myself speaking and play it back to myself to get a full grip on how I´m improving or not.
I think this is the key to improving one's "accent" (and I quote because it is all relative to who you want to sound like).

You can treat learning a language like learning a musical instrument; that is, if you want to learn to play the trumpet like Miles Davis, you listen to tons of Miles and emulate him the best you can. Eventually, with enough hard work and listening back to recordings of yourself (learning from your mistakes!), you will come closer and closer to that Miles sound and improve your own sound. What usually happens is that in the process of trying to sound like one of your heroes, you find your own musical voice (with a little hint of those masters in there).

I think the same thing can happen with learning a language. You pick an accent you want to sound like; inundate yourself with it; try to copy it; and track your improvements with recording yourself.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 03:59 AM   #51
Perro Callejero
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There's a bunch of stuff. It's a long road. But keep your vowels pure and master "r" and "rr" and the locals will have trouble placing you as an anglophone, although they'll certainly know you "talk foreign".
Eh, I don't think that's necessarily true. While it takes time, and lots and lots of hard work, eliminating an accent to the point of not even realizing that someone "talks foreign" is possible. Several of my friends have done so, and no, not all of them are young either! One is a fully grown, (dare I say older gentleman? ) man from Britain who now lives in the US. He consciously tried to rid his accent, and has done so successfully. I had no idea he was not American until he told me!

I think mitchellcardenas has got it: it takes conscious effort of emulating the style you wish to reflect, and with enough work, it can be done.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 11:40 AM   #52
Elvis
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Do accents really matter?

Isn't the command of a language enough?

Two fair questions to consider before spending too much time modifying one's accent, IMO.

I don't think anyone has ever told me that my accent is weird since my cousin in Coventry said, "Ooh, daunt yew talk foony."
That was a long time ago!
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Just for Eldeano:
tad

informal
adverb (a tad) to a minor extent; somewhat.
noun a small amount.
— ORIGIN originally denoting a small child: perhaps related to TADPOLE.

http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/tad?view=uk
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Old 3rd June 2008, 03:00 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perro Callejero View Post
Eh, I don't think that's necessarily true. While it takes time, and lots and lots of hard work, eliminating an accent to the point of not even realizing that someone "talks foreign" is possible. Several of my friends have done so, and no, not all of them are young either! One is a fully grown, (dare I say older gentleman? ) man from Britain who now lives in the US. He consciously tried to rid his accent, and has done so successfully. I had no idea he was not American until he told me!

I think mitchellcardenas has got it: it takes conscious effort of emulating the style you wish to reflect, and with enough work, it can be done.
I don’t think you can compare the effort and work that has to be done to accomplish talking English with US accent starting from English with UK accent than from a foreign language like Russian or Spanish.

I’m sure that with a few hours of practice I can talk Spanish with any latin American accent.
And I’m not sure that with a few lifetimes of practice I could talk English without nothing of my Spanish accent.
I think about Spaniard people like Pau Gasol or Antonio Banderas who have been living in the USA for some years, how do they speak English ?
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Old 3rd June 2008, 03:09 PM   #54
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I know a guy who after 30 years of living in Spain speaks fluent Spanish with a south Essex accent. He is a school Headmaster. His example has stopped me from trying to cultivate a real "Spanish" accent, which I probably will never acheive this late in life anyway, and concentrate on LEARNING THE WORDS. That seems to me to be the more important aspect in learning any language.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 05:40 PM   #55
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Why not consider Latin?

The way it's taught and spoken in the UK with and English accent, cannot be anywhere near to how it was originally pronounced, but because nobody knows for sure, that's the way we do it.

My take on it, is that it should probably be spoken with a Romano / Italian accent, but who knows.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 05:46 PM   #56
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Defeatist attitudes. One of the best orators of the english language was a Puerto Rican actor by the name of Jose Ferrer.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 05:54 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by ValenciaSon View Post
Defeatist attitudes. One of the best orators of the english language was a Puerto Rican actor by the name of Jose Ferrer.
Name another 2?

There was a Japanese lad aged 8, who could play the concert piano and there have been many people over time, throughout the world, who were able to perform extraordinary feats.

It proves nothing, nada, rien, zilch.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 06:00 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
Name another 2?

There was a Japanese lad aged 8, who could play the concert piano and there have been many people over time, throughout the world, who were able to perform extraordinary feats.

It proves nothing, nada, rien, zilch.
Sure it does. With will and effort, it can be accomplished. There is nothing physiologically different in these individuals to view this as a uniquely unattainable skill.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 06:14 PM   #59
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Tell me how an infant found the will and effort to become a concert pianist by the age of 8 years?

Was it normal, or did he have a gift that often gets mentioned in passing?
Do you believe that anyone is capable of attaining such a level at that age?

Why are some people blessed with amazing vocal chords, but most of us aren't, is that something anyone can achieve?

I don't think so!

Where and when do we decide that we're all the same, but different?
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Old 3rd June 2008, 06:20 PM   #60
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Well infants aren't 8 years old.

Genetics plays a part, so does the environment the individual is exposed to while the synaptic pathways' development are heavily influenced by the stimuli they are exposed to. Then there are those with savant-like qualities because they nay indeed have a difference in their cerebral development. I don't think it takes a Mozart or an Einstein to successfully adopt an accent that blends in with the natives.
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