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Slavic accent correction


Vlad123 7 | 204    
12 Feb 2013  #1
Could somebody share experience of trying to speak English
without an accent?How much did you succeed?
What is the best method of accent correction?
Wulkan - | 3,255    
12 Feb 2013  #2
Which slavic accent? because there is a lot of them
OP Vlad123 7 | 204    
12 Feb 2013  #3
Native English speakers are usually convinced that Czech,Polish,Russian
and Ukrainian accent sound the same for them.This is what I undestood
from forums and personal communication with them.For example my
accent was sometimes mistooken for Polish and some guy told me that
he knows very well how Polish people speak.Though my native language
is Russian, but Russians say I`ve got some Ukrainian accent which they
also mistake for Belarussian.But I do not care which axactly type of accent.
How does it matter? Any non-native speaker has this problem even if he
speaks in Bengali.Is there different methods of accent correction for different
type of accents?I guess methods should be the same.I wonder if there is one
person on forum who trained himself to speak English without an accent?!
Is it possible to do when you are adult?
Lyzko    
12 Feb 2013  #4
Presumably, Vladtepes, the experiences of a Slav in this case trying to speak English without an accent are much the same as that of your run-of-the-mill "foreigner" (in my case, an Anglo-Gemanic native speaker!) trying to speak, say Polish, without any perceptible interference. It's possible, but highly UNlikely:-)

First of all, English, i.e. American English, (even more than Russian), has oh-so many schwa sounds and mutations in pronunciation such as lopped of final letters etc., that it's ten times harder for a Pole, for instance, to acquire an adequate to excellent English pronunciation, than for a reasonablt talented Anglo to learn a good Polish pronunciation. We're not even addressing the issue of morphology or syntax her, just the phonetics of a language such as Polish, Italian or even Turkish vs. a phonologically/orthogaphically challenged one such as English:-)

This is indeed an exhaustive subject on which to post.
OP Vlad123 7 | 204    
12 Feb 2013  #5
Personally,I find English one of the easiest foreign languages to practice,it is much easier than
say French or German both in pronounciation and especially grammar, the problem for me
is not to unerstand and be understood but speak without accent which would be remarkeable
to people.Some people believe - Russian accent is hard accent.But how people could train to
pronounce it correct?Especially I`m interesting in vowels.They seem to be most difficult to
pronounce completelly correct.Russian has fewer number of vowels than English.So we are
trying to simplify English set of vowels.Did you ever hear Russian accent?What exatly features
of it is most remarkeable to you?What`s wrong with vowels?
Lyzko    
12 Feb 2013  #6
Oh, you're just saying that to make the rest of us feel better:-)
Is Romanian your first language, by the way?
lol
OP Vlad123 7 | 204    
12 Feb 2013  #7
Oh, you're just saying that to make the rest of us feel better:-)

Why?

Is Romanian your first language, by the way?

No,why should it be?
AmerTchr 4 | 201    
13 Feb 2013  #8
Where are you Vlad?

Vlad, I could tell there was a missing post somewhere and finally found it.

You probably don't want to go through dealing with speech therapy and I'm much more the expedient sot of guy anyway.

My advice to you is to sing as much as you can.

The thing is that you have to be the one who brings the discipline and perseverance to your project.

You want a simple program which should begin showing results in about a month if you have that discipline and determination to make it happen?

1. Pick 2-3 male singers in your approximate tone range and reflecting the "accent" you want to move towards. See below on selection.
2. Select 3-4 songs from each and burn yourself a CD or put them in a folder on your MP3 player.
3. Go to one of the lyric websites and print out the lyrics of the songs.
4, Spend as much time as you feel you should put into your project singing with them as loud and strong as you can do without bothering anyone or hurting your voice.

5. Do this for a month and then assess your accent for changes.

Advice on selecting singers and making it work.

1. Go for single or dominantly voiced songs. Avoid duets or ones with lots of different vocalists coming in and out of the piece.
2. Select music which uses real words rather than street slang or over-focused on drugs or sex. I really recommend the country-western genre and folk ballads although some of the classic rock works well too. Regardless, you should pick music you will enjoy. Making your project fun helps you devote the time and energy to it that will change your voice. PM me if you want the singers I recommend to students who really want to make this work.

3. Make sure you are singing the right words, don't make up sounds that you hope are right. Refer to the printed lyrics until you have the song memorized.

4. Sing WITH the singer and remember, this is work, but have fun.
5. If you have a word that you have done your best on but just cannot quite hit correctly, seek out the plainest speaking friend you have and have them describe tongue placement/movement, air flow and pay attention to the stresses they are using. Repetition (over several days) is your best bet until you can get it out clearly and consistently.

It's up to you.

Good Luck!
Lyzko    
13 Feb 2013  #9
No, Vlad. It "needn't" be, only that "Vlad" is a Romanian given name, since the nick name for "Vladimir" would be "Volodya", NOT "Vlad"

:-)

Vlad, what I meant earlier (half-jokingly, which you might not have picked up on:-)) is that it's often considered so ultra-cool for foreign speakers to claim English is "so much easier" than their somehow impenetrable mother tongue, they're willing to exaggerate slightly the proven difficulty of English, even for native ENGLISH speakers!
OP Vlad123 7 | 204    
13 Feb 2013  #10
No, Vlad. It "needn't" be, only that "Vlad" is a Romanian given name, since the nick name for "Vladimir" would be "Volodya", NOT "Vlad"

Vlad is originally Slavic name in any form,Romanians borrowed it,I guess.
Currently Vlad is popular short form of some names in Eastern Slavic countries,especially short of Vladislav.
Commonly short form of Vladislav used to be ``Slavic`` or ``Slava`` and short form of Vladimir - Vova.
But now such short forms became less popular now and even serve metter of jokes.For example is somebody
say his first name is ``Slava`` somebody will joke ``Slava KPSS`` (glory to communist party of USSR).
And some other names also could use Vlad as short form.
Lyzko    
13 Feb 2013  #11
"Sław-" as a root means "famous" in Polish and other related tongues. A popular Polish male first name of the last two generations was "Sławomir", such as Sławomir Mróżek, the Polish playwright:-)

Your English isn't half bad, by the way. I realize one's skittishness regarding whether or not to reveal one's country of origin here on the forum. You needn't be embarrassed though, anymore than I'm frank about the fact that I'm from the States and learned Polish as a fifth language!
Paulina 9 | 1,453    
13 Feb 2013  #12
Could somebody share experience of trying to speak English
without an accent?How much did you succeed?

I basically speak without an accent.
Also, if I focus I can fake more or less the British and American accents.

What is the best method of accent correction?

Well, I don't know, but I guess listening to someone speaking English and trying to repeat the sounds. Something recorded that you could rewind and play forward. Put your headphones on, listen and then repeat to check if you're saing words in the same way.

Vlad, when did you start studying English?
zetigrek    
13 Feb 2013  #13
AmerTchr

May I do that with declamation of poems? Does the declaimer have to be the same gender as me?
AmerTchr 4 | 201    
13 Feb 2013  #14
You have audio of a model speaker whose accent you like?

Should work although you're going to want more than one reading. Can you assemble 10 or so that are from 3 different readers you like? Are scripts available so you know the word being spoken?

I've never heard of anyone doing poetry but it should work. Might be a bit slower since the timing and accents won't have the music pulling you along.
zetigrek    
13 Feb 2013  #15
Ah, so songs are better.
I'm asking because there is a particular actor I like and he did a lot of audio readings of the classical poetry. I've even tried to exercise my speech with them but he speaks too fast.

What about the gender: won't it be a problem that I imitate a male, or is it important only in songs (due to voice scale)?
AmerTchr 4 | 201    
14 Feb 2013  #16
I had told Vlad to choose male singers since I assumed he was male.

If you're female, by all means go with female. It isn't like you're going to magically begin growing hair on your knuckles or chest but I'd stick on the right side of the gender line if it were me.

I don't know which actor you have heard but someone like James Earl Jones had a remarkable voice with clear enunciation and a very pleasant accent (IMO).
zetigrek    
14 Feb 2013  #17
AmerTchr

Thank you for the advices. They are invaluable :)
OP Vlad123 7 | 204    
14 Feb 2013  #18
If you are English speaker and ever heard Russian accent,
what is most remarkeable about it to you?
Also,could you easily make difference between accents
from different Slavic countries such as Poland,Ukraine,Russia etc?
PennBoy 76 | 2,438    
14 Feb 2013  #19
Russian accent

Putting the Russian government aside, I like the Russian language.
Mykhaylo UA - | 56    
14 Feb 2013  #20
go through dealing with speech therapy

Do you think that it is important to get rid of an accent? When a person has mastered any language and has no problems as a speaker of this language but has an accent, why he/she should conceal his/her accent?
AmerTchr 4 | 201    
14 Feb 2013  #21
One situation would be the person has NOT mastered the language and the accent affects their ability to communicate OR is perceived to leave an "unprofessional"/unfavorable impression.

The second situation is strictly a personal preference to talk differently.

SO "should" they? See, situation #2. It's that individual choice.

Maybe there are people who "sell" this sort of service but I doubt they are successful except at some sort of elite level.
OP Vlad123 7 | 204    
14 Feb 2013  #22
When a person has mastered any language and has no problems as a speaker of this language but has an accent, why he/she should conceal his/her accent?

Do you peronally like when somebody speak your native language with heavy accent?Personally I feal unpleased to communicate with such people.
Mykhaylo UA - | 56    
14 Feb 2013  #23
As far as I hear people speak here Ukrainian or English with an accent all the time (sometimes very much correct Ukrainian or English but with an accent: Chinese, Polish, Nigerian etc. students, local Russians who have switched to speaking Ukrainian, tourists etc) I got used to it as I got used to snow in winter. I have even never thought of an accent as something negative. Moreover, I find it even funny!

That is why I asked this question.
AmerTchr 4 | 201    
14 Feb 2013  #24
Do you peronally like when somebody speak your native language with heavy accent?Personally I feal unpleased to communicate with such people.

It's not that simple. heavy and light don't say anything about the ability to be understood or express positive or negative situations. I know people with heavy Irish and Scottish accents who were understandable as well as people with light Azeri and Russian accents who could not make a sentence.

Many people try to make the word accent mean something negative. In fact, it is neither positive nor negative.

OH MY GOD, did you hear his Polish accent?

I think she has a sexy Russian accent!

Go to the party and find the tall man wearing an expensive suit and speaking with an Azeri accent.

A person can have a horrible accent or a pleasant accent. Saying someone speaks with a Russian/Polish/Azeri/whatever accent says nothing positive OR negative. It is merely information unless someone puts positive or negative adjectives or adverbs in the sentence with the word..

.
She communicated poorly due to her German accent.

His thoughts were all confused by her seductive French accent when she spoke English.

I could barely understand him due to his pronounced Scottish accent.

This (your misconceptions) is what happens when you try to take neutral words and read positive and negative meanings into them.
Mykhaylo UA - | 56    
14 Feb 2013  #25
Do you peronally like when somebody speak your native language with heavy accent?Personally I feal unpleased to communicate with such people.

By the way, the most popular speaker of Ukrainian with an accent is Yulia Tymoshenko. I had heard her speaking many times both live (she had visited Lviv several time to speak to the public) and on TV; she had spoken with a noticeable accent (the Ukrainian word "povidomyv" she would pronounce as "pavidomyf" = Russian way of pronouncing "o" in an unstressed position + reducing final sonants to voiceless consonants - not the case in Ukrainian), and: I had never noticed that anybody would make a negative remark about her accent: People here like, no - love her.

Mr. Yanukovych speaks Ukrainian, I would say, roughly with the same level of accent, but, in contrast, there are remarks all the time, both regarding the content and the accent. Here he enjoys no popularity.

So, concerning us in Lviv, we are exposed to hearing people speaking both Ukrainian and English with an accent continuously. And an accent seems to have become as much a norm as no accent.
crochetbitch88 2 | 83    
14 Feb 2013  #26
Do you peronally like when somebody speak your native language with heavy accent?Personally I feal unpleased to communicate with such people.

I like it. There's a difference between poor language skills and the accent, it might be difficult to communicate with someone who struggles to express themselves, but foreign accents I personally find cute :)
grubas 12 | 1,392    
14 Feb 2013  #27
Also,could you easily make difference between accents
from different Slavic countries such as Poland,Ukraine,Russia etc?

They can't.Also,there is no such thing as Slavic accent.
OP Vlad123 7 | 204    
14 Feb 2013  #28
Putting the Russian government aside, I like the Russian language.

Why do you like it?
Lyzko    
14 Feb 2013  #29
Grubas, while you're correct in observing that there's no such thing as a "Slavic accent", ALL Slavic languages have certain charactaristics in common, much as do all Germanic and Romance languages etc. You mean of course that there's going to be considerable variation within specific circumscriebd boundries of both grammar as well as pronunciation, noticable when any group of Slavic speakers independent of each other speak in a foreign language, such as English. A Bulgarian, a Slovene, a Russian, a Croat, a Serb along with a Czech or a Slovak will each sound vaguely "Slavic" to the average ear. The better trained the ear, of course, the easier it will be to detect a Pole from a Ukrainian, a Czech from a Montenegran etc...

As ridiculous to a serious linguist as it would be to utter, "You speak with a typically Scandinavian accent!", for instance, even a generalist who has traveled a bit might catch the drift of the comment, although far off the mark.

Common Slavic, as an example, has related points from which one might generalize: extreme palatalization of certain consonants, difficulty in distinguishing long from short vowels, the absence of English-style articles and a host of miscellaneous charactaristics!
grubas 12 | 1,392    
15 Feb 2013  #30
You mean of course that there's going to be considerable variation within specific circumscriebd boundries of both grammar as well as pronunciation, noticable when any group of Slavic speakers independent of each other speak in a foreign language, such as English

Of course this is what I mean.

A Bulgarian, a Slovene, a Russian, a Croat, a Serb along with a Czech or a Slovak will each sound vaguely "Slavic" to the average ear.

This is what meant saying "They can't" because to average US person all East/Central Euros sound Russian.BTW, the nicest thing I ever heard about my accent came from a Lehigh Uni girl who told me that I sound like Roger Federer and she likes it.


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