Accent Sample

Cio   Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:42 am GMT
Hi everyone,

Could you please analyze my accent sample and tell me what you think about it. I will give you more information about me after I get your first impressions. I am trying to avoid misleading you. Your comments will be highly appreciated.I would really be interested to know what Tomasz thinks. Thanks in advance
Alex   Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:14 am GMT
I hate to disappoint you but the link doesn't work. Perhaps if you could set up another one (which actually works) you'd get more comments. :)
Cio   Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:26 am GMT
Thanks. There it is again.
lala   Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:26 am GMT
It sounds to me like you're trying to put on an American accent but I can't work out what other accent you have under that.
Cio   Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:34 pm GMT
Thanks Lala, do you think you can help me point out what makes it "unauthentic american"?
lala   Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:10 pm GMT
Partly because at time it sounds like you are trying too hard. The way your voice occasionally wavers when you have to make the tone of a word lower I'd say you are trying to talk using a range of sounds that are too low for your voice. It could also be this that is giving you a slightly artificial nasally sound.

Occasionally you make a 'd' sound instead of 'th'.

Mostly though I think you need to work on your vowel sounds. Sometimes you just have the wrong sound, others it seems a little harsh or short.

Other than these relatively small things which just happen to add up thats not a bad attempt.
Cio   Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:10 pm GMT
Thanks Lala. You are right I am learning the American accent. Your comments are very helpful and professional. Do you make a living out of this?

I will keep working on it and would appreciate more comments from others. Thank you all in advance.
lala   Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:08 pm GMT
You're welcome. No I don't make a living out of it... I don't make a living yet - I'm still studying at sixth form. Just love accents, they're facinating.
G_DANS   Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:51 am GMT
I think you sounded slightly too nasal for an American. I also would like to comment on people learning British English especially the RP accent sound too 'upperclass' when speaking. From exprience some of these people sounded 'robotic' and so unnatural to an extent when they were just making fools of themselves.

I think the accent you have as a result of your native language is no biggie but as long you are understood by native speakers. In other words I still don't understand why should people go to those accent classes when learning the English language is enough.
Boy   Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:16 am GMT
<<In other words I still don't understand why should people go to those accent classes when learning the English language is enough. >>

The thing is that foreign accents are not understood by Americans during spoken English. They are only exposed to one way of accent and that is their native accent. This was the reason I was told by one of Anne Cook's accent reduction administartors on the phone. He would charge me $100 for one hour assessment of my current accent and suggest me tips how I can learn an American accent. He told me that when Americans say that they don't have any problems in understanding foreign accents in fact they are being polite and the reality is the opposite. They have a hard time in understanding other foreign accents and that's why there are so many on-line American accent adoptation programs/classes.

It's a complex situation for me as a student who wants to continue studies at one of American universities. What utter awful situation would be for me to listen to 'sorry' or 'pardon me' expressions over and over again. My older brother's employees are some of native American girls and I had a chance of speaking with them on the phone. They understood me to some extent but they had told me that the majority of Americans would have a hard time in understanding me. That's why I am so depressed these days. Atleast they didn't keep me in the dark. I don't know what to do except watching American sitcoms and learn American pronunciation of words like "Toffee" as "t@ fee" rather than "To: fee"
Arturo Mendoza (mexico)   Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:49 am GMT
Hi Cio.

What I can tell about the accent of your voice is that it is good enough to me.

BUT.. it sounds like you are trying to hard to give a good impression of the way you speak and also that you need to work a little bit more on vowels.

I donĀ“t know if you were reading the rainbow passage I guees yes.. and it happend that when you are reading your voice sounds a little different than when you are speaking in a conversation.

On the other hand as you were reading the passage (if you were reading it) seems to me like you put to much effort in your vocal cords as you read.

Words sounds so different by isolation than were you are having a conversation with friends.

I hope this cal help you Cio.
american nic   Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:50 am GMT
Boy, what that person who you talked to on the phone was not telling the truth. Because English is such a diverse, world language, many people with many different accents are heard by other English speakers, and unless your accent is extremely strong, you will be understood by most other speakers most of the time. Don't waste that much money on 'accent reduction'! Just try speaking with native speakers whenever you get the chance, and your accent should become more natural. Also, particularily if you are planning on going to a university, there are many non-native speakers at universities. People will accept you and try to help you. Don't give up!
Delia   Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:23 am GMT
Well, if your objective was to sound American, I'm afraid that you didn't succeed. But I understood you perfectly and I thought you sounded fine. Lala already mentioned that you need to work on your vowel sounds, but you also need to concentrate on the final consonant sounds of your plurals. For instance, I distinctly heard /s/ in words like "friends", "floods", and "rays", while with "rainbows" I heard an /s/ at one point, but when you said it again you gave it the correct /z/ sound.
Cio   Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:19 am GMT
Thanks to G_dans, Arturo and Delia for all your comments. They were very helpful. Arturo, yes I was reading the rainbow passage. Find below a recording I just did, speaking not reading. Are there any additional comments you have to help me achieve my goals. Please do not tell me I don't need to speak like an American. Thanks everyone.
Tiffany   Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:59 am GMT
<<The thing is that foreign accents are not understood by Americans during spoken English. They are only exposed to one way of accent and that is their native accent.>>

That's funny. I married a man with a heavy Italian accent. Do you mean to say that he's been trying to tell me something else all these years?! I shall have to go recheck our wedding vows. I could swear he said "I do".