Are some accents easier according to native language?

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Curiossso
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Are some accents easier according to native language?

Beitrag von Curiossso »

Hi,
Recently I've seen this discussion in other forum and it seems really interesting. The idea is if some English accents are easier to get to people according to the phonetics of their mother tongue. E.G., which accent is understood easily by German people (in general)? Because of a phonetic similairy or just because they are more exposed to it? Do you suppose that, let's say, Chinese people get easier Australian accent and Swedish people get easier south England accent?




tiorthan
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Re: Are some accents easier according to native language?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

You'll always have less trouble understanding the dialects you are in contact with the most. In Germany, the pronunciation taught in school is usually received pronunciation (or some bastardization of the teacher's). That's usually good enough to allow them to understand pretty much all major dialect groups, after only a short period to acclimatize.

Phonetic similarity isn't really a good indicator though. It always depends on what kinds of similarities there are. A language can, for example have similar phonemes, but different allophones for them. In that case the similarity can actually make it harder to understand because you would sometimes not be able to hear the difference between words.
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Curiossso
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Re: Are some accents easier according to native language?

Beitrag von Curiossso »

The allophones thing is a good point! Of course, if you're in touch with a dialect, is easiaer to get familiar with it, but I was thinking in a more "natural" happening. The issue is that people from inner São Paulo state rolls the R like English people; even other Brazilian people can feel it. That's why I was thinking about that.
Thanks a lot!

tiorthan
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Re: Are some accents easier according to native language?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

The problem I have with really answering the question is two-fold. I don't know how much influence native language has on learning the phonotactic rules of a new language (the rules that govern what kind of words a language can form). Allophones are only a small part of the picture and I am not aware of any dialects of two foreign languages where the whole set, or even significant parts, of the phonotactic rules are similar enough to not cause some form of confusion.
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writingmetier
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Re: Are some accents easier according to native language?

Beitrag von writingmetier »

I agree that it's easier for people from the same regions to understand each other.
Because, usually (it's only my opinion) when studying foreign languages, people from the same countries have similar accents.
That's why when we are listening to others, the accent helps us to understand better people from our regions.
:big_thumb:

ClayGlover
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Re: Are some accents easier according to native language?

Beitrag von ClayGlover »

The people living in a country always hold up to the accent used there. The pronunciation instilled in schools is majorly the ones that are opted by the children, and they grow up with that accent. The native language does influence the brogue as the people from the same country have the corresponding accents as compared to people of other countries because they share the same mother tongue, and their tongue rolls out in proportion to that.

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