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Old 3rd June 2008, 07:02 PM   #61
Perro Callejero
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Originally Posted by yunouguaramin View Post
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 ?
The other person I was talking about was from Colombia. Lived there all his life, came here (with accent) and worked to get rid of it. He was successful.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 07:59 PM   #62
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I didn't say I won't try, I just readjusted my focus which I found a mental block in progressing with the language. People do tell me I have a Madrid accent when I speak, but I am not pushing it. As regards the "Rs" I have a problem with those in English, so it's not good beating my head against a brick wall. I will just get on with communicating and understanding the natives. But I will never make any difference with the way I pronounce "pero" or "perro". They sound the same whan I say them. Better to concentrate on what I can do.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 08:33 PM   #63
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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.
Please excuse me for not using the correct term of, minor.

Reading the rest of your well worded comment, I gather you agree that not everyone is blessed with anything special, apart from a brain.

Einstein wasn't bothered by his accent and I doubt that Mozart was either.

Here's another one for you to consider how much environmental exposure, synaptic pathways and stimuli gave this six year old child his savant like qualities, his heritage alone?
http://www.top40-charts.com/news.php...76&string=Play
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Old 4th June 2008, 12:11 AM   #64
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The other person I was talking about was from Colombia. Lived there all his life, came here (with accent) and worked to get rid of it. He was successful.
Colombia? Then yes, you can compare.

When I read ‘man from Britain’ in your post I thought you was referring an English native speaker from Britannic isles, UK and Ireland.
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Old 4th June 2008, 01:39 AM   #65
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Do accents really matter?

Isn't the command of a language enough?
In my opinion, accents really do matter. If you have too strong of an accent it won't matter how well your command of a language is because no one will be able to understand you except someone who speaks your native language. Communication would be difficult. Someone would still need to repeat what you allegedly said in your new langage. I wouldn't call that command of a language enough.
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Old 4th June 2008, 02:23 AM   #66
Perro Callejero
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Originally Posted by yunouguaramin View Post
Colombia? Then yes, you can compare.

When I read ‘man from Britain’ in your post I thought you was referring an English native speaker from Britannic isles, UK and Ireland.
Well, I worded it kind of confusingly. Oops. I was talking about 2 people, but I only mentioned that one was from Britain without going into detail about the other.

In a way however, I think comparing the British man would be more accurate, since I think it would be harder to get rid of an accent if the language is the same (English to English or Spanish to Spanish) because you've spoken the language all your life, your ways of pronouncing the words is that much more ingrained into your thought processes. Maybe not though. It just seems that by learning a whole new language, you are coming (presumably) with no preconceived notions on how something should be pronounced, and thus don't have the disadvantage of having said something one way all your life. It's more of a blank slate to start from.
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Old 4th June 2008, 02:39 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
Please excuse me for not using the correct term of, minor.

Reading the rest of your well worded comment, I gather you agree that not everyone is blessed with anything special, apart from a brain.

Einstein wasn't bothered by his accent and I doubt that Mozart was either.

Here's another one for you to consider how much environmental exposure, synaptic pathways and stimuli gave this six year old child his savant like qualities, his heritage alone?
http://www.top40-charts.com/news.php...76&string=Play
It's hard to say without knowing anything about the parents or the environment in which he is being raised.
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Old 4th June 2008, 05:30 AM   #68
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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.
My take on it is if italian, spanish, and portuguese agree on something, that something probably came from latin. Just the way linguists have been backing out proto-indo-european by triangulating amongst all the descendant languages.

An example? Well, there´s the fact that in spanish "ce" and "ci" are pronounced with a soft "c" but "ca", "cu", and "co" are hard "c". Italian does the same, except "soft c" in italian is english "ch" rather than english "th". So "amicitia" was almost certainly not pronounced "amikitia". Italian and spanish also tend to have pure vowels rather than dipthongizing everything; one imagines Latin had the same pronunciation features. One thing we can be sure of is that the UK pronunciation of Latin is a lot farther from what it actually sounded like than the spanish or italian pronunciation of same.
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Old 5th June 2008, 12:38 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Perro Callejero View Post
Well, I worded it kind of confusingly. Oops. I was talking about 2 people, but I only mentioned that one was from Britain without going into detail about the other.

In a way however, I think comparing the British man would be more accurate, since I think it would be harder to get rid of an accent if the language is the same (English to English or Spanish to Spanish) because you've spoken the language all your life, your ways of pronouncing the words is that much more ingrained into your thought processes. Maybe not though. It just seems that by learning a whole new language, you are coming (presumably) with no preconceived notions on how something should be pronounced, and thus don't have the disadvantage of having said something one way all your life. It's more of a blank slate to start from.
Cuando era estudiante coincidí un curso con 2 estudiantes argentinos recién llegados a Barcelona, eran de Buenos Aires y ellos remarcaban mucho que eran porteños. Para mí y mi acento castellano ‘normal’, el acento porteño está entre lo mas raro y diferente que se puede oír en español y ellos se deleitaban proclamando con su acento que eran argentinos y porteños además. En fin, muchos argentinos están supercontentos de haberse conocido a si mismos y darse a conocer a los demás, tienen esa confianza, cualquiera sabe porqué.

Hacían vida con nosotros (españoles) durante el horario lectivo y durante mucho del tiempo libre, y al cabo de no mucho tiempo, la mejor forma de hacerlos rabiar ( embromar? en Mex) era decirles con retintín ‘que acento porteño mas suave te ha quedado, apenas se nota’. La reacción era inmediata y el discurso sobre lo muy argentinos que eran pronunciado con el acento mas porteño posible era automático, mientras nosotros nos meábamos de risa.
El efecto pasaba en pocas horas y se les podía volver a embromar, pero ya se hacía cansina la cosa.

Aun sin quererlo demasiado habían cambiado su acento nativo de forma muy remarcable.
Hace poco me encontré a uno de ellos después de mucho tiempo, iba paseando al perro. Habla con un suave acento argentino y me dijo, y demostró, que puede hacerse pasar por español cuando quiere, ¡ y hasta habla catalán en casa de sus suegros !.
Al menos al perro le he puesto yo el nombre, se llama ‘pibe’, me dijo.


Discrepo un poco de tu teoría, pero no tiene importancia.
Tu objetivo me parece muy difícil pero nada mas, no es algo inaccesible. Y cuando algo es muy difícil y depende solo de uno mismo, lo mejor es dejarse de teorías abstractas y razonamientos ajenos e ir a por ello con todo tu entusiasmo y voluntad. Y el resto del mundo que diga misa.
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Old 18th June 2008, 09:44 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xan View Post
My take on it is if italian, spanish, and portuguese agree on something, that something probably came from latin. Just the way linguists have been backing out proto-indo-european by triangulating amongst all the descendant languages.

An example? Well, there´s the fact that in spanish "ce" and "ci" are pronounced with a soft "c" but "ca", "cu", and "co" are hard "c". Italian does the same, except "soft c" in italian is english "ch" rather than english "th". So "amicitia" was almost certainly not pronounced "amikitia". Italian and spanish also tend to have pure vowels rather than dipthongizing everything; one imagines Latin had the same pronunciation features. One thing we can be sure of is that the UK pronunciation of Latin is a lot farther from what it actually sounded like than the spanish or italian pronunciation of same.
Keep in mind that the Romance languages derive from ‘vulgar’, not the older classical Latin. There are great differences between the two.

There are several ways to reconstruct the ‘correct’ pronunciation of classical Latin, that is, the way it was spoken in Caesar’s age. That's exactly what Sidney Allen has tried to do in his excellent book Vox latina.

(Indeed, every Latin c should be pronounced as k, independent of its position in the word. So Caesar was kaisar, not seezer.)

The way Latin is taught at schools nowadays is (unfortunately) heavily influenced by ‘church Latin’, the way they speak in the Vatican. Although that pronunciation is very close to Italian, it's almost certainly wrong for classical Latin.
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Old 18th June 2008, 08:00 PM   #71
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In my opinion, accents really do matter. If you have too strong of an accent it won't matter how well your command of a language is because no one will be able to understand you except someone who speaks your native language. (...) I wouldn't call that command of a language enough.
Some Afrikaans-speaking South Africans have a very thick Afrikaans accent even though they speak English fluently. In my opinion, it doesn't sound aesthetically pleasing (no offense meant: Dutch has that same guttural, harsh sound) but to all intents and purposes these people are bilingual.
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Old 19th June 2008, 05:30 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
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.
I know a lot of English second language speakers and what I find is, the older the speaker, the harder they find it to shake the "foreigner" accent. I think the way of speaking just becomes ingrained.

For me, being young and having the time, I can't see why I wouldn't try to go the whole hog and have a good accent.

I was chatting to a Chilean the other day and out of the blue she stopped the conversation to tell me my accent was very Spanish. So maybe to a Spanish person I wouldn't be (definitely wouldnt be) but to some south americans I am already. Wait till my first vlog and you will all be saying "No, I would say you sound very much like a guiri."

Last edited by jonk; 19th June 2008 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 19th June 2008, 12:31 PM   #73
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we have lived in spain for all our daughters life . i speak only english and my husband only spanish to her. when we go to the US people are always commenting on how cute is her accent. so she is speaking english but with a spanish accent. i would have thought she would have picked up my accent. it must be that spanish is more dominant since we live here?

to comment on the original question: i asked some spanish people once what accent they like. i was told french and italian. i was told by other people that the american accent ( to them) sounds crude and harsh. maybe how americans find the russian accent? or at least me.

my favorite accent is french ( speaking english). my husband also loves the french speaking spanish. so my basic opinion is that i dont think spanish people are going to hear an american accent and think... oh how sexy.
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Old 20th June 2008, 01:01 AM   #74
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I think the most attractive thing is the... madridian accent ... I think... where they have the /th/ sound ... Cadi/th/ &c. and the double rr sound that's supposedly melts butter, or at least here in the US, where it is more rare to have someone able to do it off the bat. The least attractive would probably have to be .........when someone corrects me... no, just teasing...... when you have a palabra esdrujula... which I think is the one with the accent not at the end or at all.... where it's difficult to hear... as I'm now having to break down the words in my poems for spanish lit, it makes my accent really important, and having to hear the sing-songy-ness (or that's what I call it anyway) becomes really frustrating
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Old 20th June 2008, 11:14 AM   #75
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In my opinion, accents really do matter. If you have too strong of an accent it won't matter how well your command of a language is because no one will be able to understand you except someone who speaks your native language. Communication would be difficult. Someone would still need to repeat what you allegedly said in your new langage. I wouldn't call that command of a language enough.
I strongly disagree with that.
No matter how strong an accent is, if the speaker uses correct grammar and reasonable pronunciation, they can be understood, IMO.

There are exceptions!!!!!!!!!!

Back in the 60s, my boss employed a guy from the Gorbals in Glasgow.
His accent was so strong, his English was completely unintelligible to me, because he pronounced words as he had in Scotland.
It took me a few weeks tune in and manage a conversation with him!

I've asked many Spaniards if they are able to recognise different British accents and the majority tell me they all sound the same.

Last edited by Elvis; 20th June 2008 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 13th July 2008, 06:46 PM   #76
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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
Hi...this is my first post.

I think Elvis has a good point...what would a Spaniard find more annoying, irritating or stupid?...someone who has made no attempt to learn a few words of their language and so can't communicate or the person who can converse with them even if it does sound a bit strange or funny

Frank
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