Miguel   Sunday, February 15, 2004, 17:41 GMT
Hi all,

I'm not a native speaker. I'm from Spain. I've got the feeling that American is much easier to learn (especially with respecto to the accent point) for Latin-derived languages (like Spanish, Italian, and so on). Does anyone agree with me? I'd like to hear your comments regarding this issue.
Miguel   Sunday, February 15, 2004, 17:42 GMT
Sorry, I should say 'for speakers of Latin-derived languages'
Jacob   Sunday, February 15, 2004, 18:49 GMT
Easier compared to what?
Paul V   Monday, February 16, 2004, 15:14 GMT
The pattern of stress or accent in American English seems pretty regular.
Generally you alternate stressed and unstressed syllables until you get to the end of the word.
Tom   Tuesday, February 17, 2004, 01:15 GMT
Regular my foot.
Sara   Tuesday, February 17, 2004, 09:35 GMT
I am precisely learning phonetics of British English and I'm having a hard time, especially with the vowels because there are so numerous. I compared them with the American ones and realised I had probably chosen to learn the hardest English ! In American, the vowels are less numerous, easier to distinguish and to reproduce.
Choosing British English costs you more efforts.
Jacob   Tuesday, February 17, 2004, 14:15 GMT
>Regular my foot.

Tom, your mastery of idioms is uncanny.
Paul   Tuesday, February 17, 2004, 14:32 GMT
I wouldn't say every multi-syllabic word falls into this pattern, but especially in American pronunciation a lot of words fall into this rather regular pattern. Normal Vowel sounds are reduced to Schwa forms to make unstressed syllables.
And as I said before it is the norm to
alternate stressed and unstressed syllables until you get to the end of the word.
Some unstressed syllable starts the pattern of alteration.
Regards, Paul V.
?   Wednesday, February 18, 2004, 12:36 GMT
"Regular my foot"??

Could anyone explain to me what this phrase means?
mjd   Thursday, February 19, 2004, 00:52 GMT
"My foot" is an idiomatic expression. It negates what was originally other words, Tom was scoffing at the notion of A.E. stress being regular.


John Doe: "Steven is a very talented writer. This story he wrote is excellent."

Jane Doe: "Talented my foot. This story was plagiarized from a magazine."
?   Friday, February 20, 2004, 13:26 GMT
Thanks, mjd.

There's a similar expression in my native language (Thai) as well. So, if I translate "my foot" into Thai, I'll get its meaning easily. But such an expression is very rude and completely inappropriate for a discussion like this. Maybe it's less rude in English?
Jacob   Friday, February 20, 2004, 16:07 GMT
"My foot" isn't rude at all.

A stronger version of Tom's statement would be, "Regular, my ass!". The effect is humorous in informal situations, but not suitable for formal ones.
Lavoisel   Friday, February 20, 2004, 16:56 GMT
The statement seems to be widely used in the world...
The French version of 'my foot' is 'mon oeil' (= 'my eye').
It is also interesting to note that the French slang version is litteraly the same: 'mon cul' (= 'my arse').
Funnily enough, both English and French language seem to see this part of the anatomy as the most blatant proof of doubt...

Anyway, back to ?'s question, I don't think 'my foot' is a rude phrase, unless you regard a straitforward disagreement as rude of course.
mjd   Friday, February 20, 2004, 20:21 GMT
It's pretty much a euphemism for "my ass/arse" [U.S./British].