How's my accent like?

Matt   Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:15 pm GMT
I'd love to hear from how's my accent like and possibly - take a guess at which country I'm from. Any comments are highly appreciated. Thanks a lot!

FYI: The first attached file is me speaking casually, whereas the second one is when I read.
RalphZ   Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:24 pm GMT
For me it's kind of Londoner accent or a standardized British accent, but i don't think u are a native speaker ooooooer are you?
Guy   Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:50 am GMT
You say /aIz/ for the word 'ice' so I think your first language devoices final consonants.

This includes German, Dutch and lots of others... overall I think your first language is Dutch.
Gator   Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:50 pm GMT
The intonation does not sound Dutch or German to me. More like Scandinavian. Danish?
Guest   Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:18 am GMT
German is the closest geographically-wise, but that's not it. It not a Scandinavian language either. Take another shot :)
Liz   Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:54 pm GMT
Are you Hungarian? :-)
K. T.   Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:38 pm GMT
Sometimes I think this forum is a school for spies (lol)...

Please give your nationality at some point, or your native language.

The speaking sample sounded much more native than the reading sample. In fact, I had trouble understanding the reading sample at first.
Matt   Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:49 pm GMT
Sure thing, K. T.
Nobody's got it right so far, so I'll spoil the fun ;) I'm Polish, hence mentioning geographical closeness to Germany.

By the way, do you have any tips so that I could improve my accent and make it sound more native-like? I did CPE in June and I have pretty much nothing to do now apart from working on my accent :)
K. T.   Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:35 am GMT
Thanks for sharing your sample. I'm glad I didn't guess. Is CPE the exam(s) for ESOL in Great Britain? I'm American, so perhaps...

I'll tell you what works for me: I get recordings by native speakers with texts. I listen as I read the text silently while mouthing the words (but don't speak them.) The next time I either speak along with the native speaker or I repeat. This works for me. I'm shocked at how well it works.

Your spoken English sounds nice and clear, but probably a native speaker of "English English" should opine now.

All the best,

K. T.
Matt   Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:11 am GMT
Yes, it's Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English. An extract from Wikipedia:

The Certificate of Proficiency in English or CPE (as it is usually referred to) is the most advanced general English exam provided by the University of Cambridge. The English level of those who have passed the CPE is supposed to be similar to that of a fairly educated native speaker of English.

BTW. Thanks for your tip, I'll try it out.