Accent samples - Brazilian Guy

Tom   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 12:01 GMT
chloe   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 12:04 GMT
I can clearly understand what you are understanding even though you have that accent.
chloe   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 12:06 GMT
sorry about that message i meant to say I can clearly understand what you are saying even though you have that accent. lol
Tom   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 12:11 GMT
Wow, "stircase"... Were you trying to imitate Ryan?

Your "r" is very impressive.
Your [o:] ("lost", "saw") and [e] ("breakfast") is a little off.
You would sound more native if you pronounced "her" [..r] instead of [h..r].
Your "staircase" sounded like "stirkeess", actually.

I wonder if your pronunciation is that good when you're reading a text that you haven't heard.
albert c   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 17:02 GMT
You pronounce your [e] just like my father does, that's more like @. My father's an immigrant from Korea.

Anyway, you do speak very clearly.
mjd   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 17:21 GMT
You have a Brazilian accent, but it's not very heavy at all. You speak very clearly.
Ryan   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 17:58 GMT
Just for your info, Tom, most midwestern Americans consider rhyming "stair" with "air" to be difficult orally since one must open one's mouth immediately after making the "st" initial sound, which involves a hissing "s" and unvoiced "t" sound made with closed mouth. Therefore it comes out sounding more like how I pronounced it. In fact, if you look up "stairs" in both the Websters and American Heritage dictionary, /sterz/ is listed as a second pronunciation of the word. It is definitely not looked down upon in this country to pronounce it the way I have, and, in fact, the only people in the midwest who ever pronounce it this way are actors or newsreaders.

On the east coast is a different story, where vowels are much more differentiated and "Mary," "marry" and "merry" all have different pronunciations. In the midwest, all these words are pronounced exactly the same.

Have you ever visited the USA before and listened to real people before rather than just watched CNN or American movies? You have a lot of knowledge of English as a whole but I'm not sure you know much about regional colloquialisms.

Ryan   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 18:09 GMT
Brazilian guy,

You seem to pronounce the "r" in staircase more forward in the mouth than most Americans pronounce it. It's good that you put that sound in, though, rather than leaving it out.

When you say "breakfast," it sounds more like "brakfast." Americans pronounce it with a definite short "e" sound, like "brek." You have good use of the American "schwa" sound in the second syllable of the word, though.

You have a unique sound for "aw" in the words "thought," "saw" and "off" It's like you say it with more of a rounded mouth than we do.

You have the Brazilian intonation to your sentences that starts out low, goes up high and then comes back down again. As I've said before, the American accent is much flatter.

You sounded very well, though, and were quite understandable. Good job on your accent.


Ryan   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 18:11 GMT

Sorry for a *triple* post, but what I meant is that the only people in the midwest who pronounce "stairs" the "standard" way where it rhymes with "air" are actors and newscasters, usually.

Tom   Wednesday, August 20, 2003, 23:28 GMT

Yeah, I've been to the US (East coast). I realize people speak differently in different parts of the US. I just assumed Brazilian Guy is interested in speaking the "CNN accent".
albert m   Thursday, August 21, 2003, 00:08 GMT
My dad pronounces "mary", "marry", and "merry" all with the same @ sound.
Ryan   Thursday, August 21, 2003, 01:32 GMT
Yeah, albert. I think this is the way most Americans pronounce it. But on the east coast there is much more differentiation of sounds. Another example of this is the word "bury," which east coasters pronounce more with a "u" sound and midwesterners pronounce as a homonym of "berry," rhyming with "marry," "Mary" and "merry."

I don't know how people in other parts of the country pronounce such words, but I attended university around a bunch of east coasters and we used to argue about stuff like this sometimes. I never listen to CNN closely enough to know which they use, although I don't think they pronounce "marry" the way east coasters do, or I'm sure I'd notice it.

Ryan   Thursday, August 21, 2003, 01:34 GMT
Tom, what did you think of the way East Coast people pronounce words? Did you notice the difference between their speech and the way words are pronounced on CNN?

Julian   Thursday, August 21, 2003, 01:35 GMT
I used to think EVERYONE pronounced "Mary", "marry", and "merry" the same until I read otherwise in this discussion forum.

I also pronounce "Don" and "Dawn" the same and thought everyone else did too. But one day, I got reamed by a former boss from Staten Island who was expecting a call from "Don" but took a call from "Dawn" (whose call he was avoiding) instead. He yelled at me, "That was DAWN, not DON, DAWN!!!" I responded, "That's what I said, 'Dawn."' It was a ridiculous argument. He was in MY home turf (LA); I wasn't about to change to an East Coast accent just so the bastard could understand me.
Julian   Thursday, August 21, 2003, 01:50 GMT
>>He was in MY home turf (LA)

Correction: "He was *on* my home turf (LA)."

See, even we native speakers have trouble with prepositions!