How to Acquire the Perfect Accent – Confessions of a Language Teacher forever – Birds on the Blog

How to Acquire the Perfect Accent – Confessions of a Language Teacher forever

A lot of my students of eagerly ask me the magic secret to acquiring a perfect accent. They feel self conscious when they try. Let me tell you a story.

Some years ago a tall handsome man appeared at the classroom door. He looked exactly like an aristocratic Italian, in his sun-glasses and cream coloured jacket and trousers, and said hello to me in the most beautiful Italian accent. I looked at him in surprise as it was the beginner’s class.

“That’s lovely Italian”

“That’s lovely Italian,” I said, “but you must be in the wrong class, you sound like a native speaker to me.”

He looked bashful and reverted to English with an accent somewhere from round the East Midlands Download The Seumter.

“It may sound beautiful, but I wish I knew what on earth I was saying.”

I asked him how he had acquired such a beautiful accent, did he spend hours listening to the radio? Was he married to an Italian? Had he lived in the country?

None of those.

He simply shared an office with an Italian who was on the phone all day long.

You may think this man was in a uniquely fortunate position, but in these days of video conferencing from all over the world you might find yourself in his position too Download SimCity4. We also have unprecedented access to all sorts of listening material for free on the web, and you can even pick which accent you want to learn in any language. So how do you learn a foreign accent. The answer is surprisingly simple. Listening, over and over, and over again. Songs are particularly helpful, with choruses that repeat. And I would say if you can hear in your head what something should sound like, you can most probably pronounce it correctly.

But accent is a strange beast, some people are natural mimics and pick up other people’s accents like a duck to water 히토미 뷰어. They glide from Australian, to American, from Scottish to Welsh, hardly aware they are doing it, usually echoing the accent of the person they are speaking to. But this ability seems unconnected with intelligence. One of my most gifted students, who had an incredible range of vocabulary and understood every tiny nuance of the language, still sounded exactly like an English Duchess (which she was) in Italian, although she was married to an Italian, and lived in the country for over thirty years.

Everyone as a student might aspire to have a completely native accent…

but I have words of comfort for you if it does not come easily to you Discovery of Love. There are disadvantages. One of my students who completely unconsciously echoes the accent of the person he is talking to, ended up with a black eye from someone who thought he was making fun of them. Another of my students is French, and she has two daughters, both brought up in this country. The older one speaks excellent French but has a slight English accent, but the younger one sounds completely French. It is the younger one who is at a disadvantage. But because she wasnt born in France, when people speak to her she often doesn’t understand jokes, or references to what is going on in France, so people think she is a little odd Self-esteem.

I personally think there are several factors at play in acquiring an accent and a strong one is someone’s willingness to be accepted in society. A foreign accent marks you out as different, so most children in particular, will copy the accent of their schoolmates, and perhaps revert to a different accent when they are home, talking the local dialect. But there are times when it is quite convenient to hang on to your own accent. I tripped off to Philadelphia as a girl in my twenties, straight after Oxford, and soon learned to exaggerate my English accent Download Fake Talk 3. After being invited out to dinner on numerous occasions just so that people could listen to the way I spoke, I decided this was one asset I would cling onto hard. When I came back home after six months in the States, I probably sounded more English than when I went out there. We had a French next door neighbour who had the most incredibly sexy accent. Men were transfixed. I would swear she ramped it up a bit though, because I heard her chatting to her husband when no-one was around, and you would have thought she was born and bred in London 백구 게임 다운로드.

But there are other factors to accent

… apart from psychological ones, physical ones. I have read that it is very difficult to change your accent after the age of about twelve because your vocal chords alter and there are certain sounds that are not within your range. The English “th” for example is very difficult for many non-English speakers and in French for example it is pronounced like the English letter ‘t’ 미니탭 무료. So the word for tea that you drink would be written thé in French, but pronounced tay. It is also quite difficult for people to hear the difference between different sounds. French people might struggle to hear the difference between the long ee sound in English and the short i sound. This can be embarrassing. The word beach, can become bitch, and I’ll leave you to work out how a French person might pronounce sheets.

It is possible though to acquire a perfect accent in another language as an adult, and the key to it is to spend hours and hours listening and speaking Download seismic wave.

I was surprised at first when French people refused to believe I wasn’t French. But then I thought of the many thousands of hours I have spent listening to the language, playing recordings over and over in class, it began to make sense. It is something that actresses and singers are trained in too. A friend of mine is an actress who is half Italian, and she works dubbing films. She explained that vocal coaches can work for hours with actors repeating lines, so they learn how to pronounce them correctly. An impressive example I can think of is Texan actress Renee Zellweger who plays posh Bridget Jones working in a publishing house in London. I don’t think her accent slipped once and apparently she spent several weeks shadowing a girl in a publishing house to perfect this animation. I was even more impressed to hear Michael Macintyre move seamlessly between five accents on stage in a real tour de force.

So don’t be daunted by pronunciation

Why not give language lessons a try? We all have the ability to learn a foreign language, and it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Susan Isaacs will be running a series of language courses for online City professionals starting at the end of September 2020. Students can and do participate from all over the world. Courses are all held online via zoom. There are courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced speakers of French, Spanish and Italian as well as beginner and intermediate students of Portuguese and German. See her website for full details of fees, dates and times.

About the Author Susan Isaacs

Susan has been running language courses in the City for the past thirty years. The languages include Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese. The classes are currently being held online though have predominantly up until January 2020 been based mainly near Moorgate, Barbican, London Bridge and Canary Wharf. Clients include students from Norton Rose Fulbright, HSBC, Linklaters, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Herbert Smith, Simmons and Simmons, the GLA and the Bank of England. Susan started teaching languages in the City, over thirty years ago, and has been hooked by the buzz of teaching brilliant people ever since. She writes specialist articles on languages for lawyers, which are used in CPD courses, and also gives lectures at the City Business Library. See her blog, "Confessions of a Language Teacher" on LinkedIn.  She gained an MA from Oxford and loves discussing everything from how to chat someone up in a foreign language, to analysing world news. After leaving Oxford she was asked to tutor a group of stockbrokers in French, the brokers became avid students, and all their friends wanted to join the party too. Susan decided that the City was the place to be, and has stayed there ever since.

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