Accent Sample... Shogo

Shogo   Thursday, January 22, 2004, 15:44 GMT
Hi everyone I'm new to this forum. Nice to meet you all!

Right now I'm working on this accent reduction training at school, and in order to improve my accent I posted my speech sample to this speech archive website. I wonder if you could tell me where my English is standard and non-standard, where I should improve and any further comments/advices will be appreciated.
You can listen to my speech sample at the following webpage:

I've also recorded a British English one... although this is not the way I normally speak. So can anyone check this too please?


mjd   Friday, January 23, 2004, 00:44 GMT

Your American accent isn't bad at all. I can detect an Asian accent on you, but that is no big deal. Your accent sounded a bit nasal at times...kind of "Midwest" American.
Jim   Friday, January 23, 2004, 03:39 GMT
I'm sorry to inform you that you've been duped. There is no such thing as "accent reduction". Everyone has an accent. What you've gone in for is accent change.

The accent change schools don't go around selling what they have on offer as "accent change" because it would remind people that having an accent is not only fine and normal but necessary if you're going to speak. They call it "accent reduction" to make you believe that you have something undesirable, called an "accent", to shed. That would be a false belief.

I'd also be careful of such notions as "standard" and "non-standard". English is not like Japanese: there is no dialect that most native speakers could justifiably recognise as "standard". Each of us has a different accent none is better than any other.

I'm not suggesting that you stop working on pronunciation but I honestly doubt the worth of putting on some accent that doesn't belong to you. Let you accent say who you are rather than who you wish that you were ... yes, to me if someone to whom an American accent doesn't rightly belong sounds American, what I'd think is that they just want to be American.
Jim   Friday, January 23, 2004, 03:40 GMT
Typo: "Let your accent ..."
Shogo   Friday, January 23, 2004, 05:40 GMT
Thanks for your reply. In fact I don't go to an accent changin school but this American teacher offers a class for listening comprehension and speaking. I decided to take his lessons because I got really shocked that people didn't really understand me/I didn't really understand people when I visited the US for my friend's ceremony a few years ago. I can't afford to go to any of those schools for pronunciation anyway...

Thanks for your comment:) Is there any words that sounded kind of strange or anything? and what's the characteristic of asian accents? how is it different from other accents in general??
Shogo   Friday, January 23, 2004, 05:43 GMT
"go to an accent changing"

and the American teacher is at my high school.
Antonio   Friday, January 23, 2004, 11:26 GMT
Your British is very good, Shogo. I guess you got the intonation right, mostly.
For a Japanese you speak an extremely good English.
Boy   Friday, January 23, 2004, 16:13 GMT
What sort of methods are you using to remove your natural accent and to adopt an American one?
Boy   Friday, January 23, 2004, 16:13 GMT
What sort of methods are you using to remove your natural accent and to adopt an American one?
Alice   Friday, January 23, 2004, 21:20 GMT
I can easily understand you, but there are places where the accent sounds a bit contrived. My advice to you if you want to be understood is just to speak slowly and articulate distinctly, and not worry too much about your accent. I have a freind from Japan who has a fairly thick accent, but whom I can always understand. It's actually kind of charming, it gives his speech character. Don't worry about trying to speak in a manner that's unnatural for you, as long as people can undestand you with out too much difficulty, that's all that really matters.
Shogo   Saturday, January 24, 2004, 03:16 GMT
Thanks for your comment:) I recorded the american one ages ago(like several months ago) and the british one's quite new, so I personally think the british one is better myself.

My original accent wasnt quite Japanese anyway... my dad(who passed away when I was a little boy) was canadian, so my accent has been kind of different from many Japanese people because I spent my childhood speaking english with my dad. I basically use the listen-and-repeat method, and because my teacher explains some phonetic symbols, so I learned how to pronounce each vowels and consonants. Thanks for asking:)

Thanks for your advice. I'll try to speak slowly and articulate my speech from now on:)