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Old 08-27-2013, 09:53 PM   #16
sundialsvcs
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Coming from the other side of the "language fence," I am a native English speaker who always wanted to learn Spanish. I even spent time in Puerto Rico (an American protectorate in which Spanish is the native language, but the Dollar is American and the post-office will happily mail a letter to Minnesota ...), but still couldn't manage to order a pizza. It was very frustrating, although the pizza-makers (who became marvelous friends ...) enjoyed practicing their English on me.

I have finally made some headway by turning on Spanish-language radio stations (and Internet radio sites ...) in the background while I work. (Talk radio works well.) Although "the front half of my mind" is busying itself with whatever-it-is that is currently paying me money , "the other half of my mind" is actually listening. Perhaps in the way that a baby's mind "listens to" things. (I don't know.) What I do know is that some part of my cranium, lately, seems to "think in Spanish." I seem to be gaining the ability to "simply recognize" a Spanish phrase without "thinking about it." (Which, naturally, is vital: you don't "stop and think about" what people say to you in 'your native tongue,' whatever it is.)

I do remember one other experience, though, quite vividly. Many years ago, I happened upon a Chinese person in a company lunchroom who was positively in tears about ... an English lesson. "It doesn't make sense! Mandarin is extremely logical!" (Uhh, I'll have to take your word on that ...) "... but English follows no rules at all!" Uhh... you're definitely right on that. Who would have designed a language in which the word "door" is pronounced completely differently from "poor?"

... the English language was quite-shamelessly "borrowed from" pretty-much everybody "else."

... but, then again, doesn't your 'native tongue' have the same ... "oddities?"

... say hey, we're all humans, right? Warts 'n all.

If you want to learn a language, listen to it. Constantly. "In the background." Disengage 'your analytical mind' and simply "let the words flow through and around and right past you." Don't try to "measure" your progress. (Instead, your progress will surprise you.)

Your 'non-analytical mind' is "listening" to everything.

"Don't '(stop and ...) think!'

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-27-2013 at 09:55 PM.
 
Old 11-27-2013, 11:09 AM   #17
AnanthaP
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Now learning spoken english is available on mobiles (feature phones will do). These are launched by British Council India and you can read more about it at:

http://www.thehindu.com/features/edu...cle5383453.ece

The box in the paper version gives the URLs of the sites referred to:
www.englishonmobile.in and
www.englishstrokes.com

The englishonmobile web page also has a "pronunciation practice" rubric.

OK

Last edited by AnanthaP; 11-27-2013 at 11:11 AM.
 
Old 11-28-2013, 04:44 AM   #18
nigelc
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Quote:
Who would have designed a language in which the word "door" is pronounced completely differently from "poor?"
Well, I was born in New Zealand and I have lived half my life in Australia and I pronounce both words almost the same.
 
Old 11-28-2013, 05:23 AM   #19
aus9
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+1 nigelc

And being Australian with so many Friends from across the trench, I have noticed we are shortening our vowels just as the kiwis do.

so to Anisha Kaul

which country do you hope to visit?

Your answer might persuade you to speak British English versus American English.

for example

semi-trailer is sem ee trailer in aussie/british but sem ii trailer (I believe) in US

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ritish_English

######

But even worse locations can be very confusing even to us aussies

Albany in WA is al (uh lll) ban ee while others pronouce it All ban ee

Slightly off topic because I am trying to show how British do things

http://www.cockburn.wa.gov.au/

can not be pronounced as how you would pronounce the 2 words you see.

Instead British speakers must say Co (as in go) burn
 
Old 11-28-2013, 05:26 AM   #20
aus9
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speaking more appropriately I just thought you might like the idea of watching either
British news readers who are trained to pronounce "correctly" but British

versus US news readers who equally are trained but to do it US style.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/bbc_world_service
needs flash player

or streaming for vlc
http://media.on.net/radio/237.m3u

###########

US streaming radio

http://www.usliveradio.com/

Last edited by aus9; 11-28-2013 at 05:34 AM.
 
Old 11-28-2013, 05:29 AM   #21
odiseo77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
"It doesn't make sense!... Who would have designed a language in which the word "door" is pronounced completely differently from "poor?"
I sort of agree with that It's not only the pronunciation, but also phrasal verbs may be a headache for us non-native speakers (at least for me). Take for instance the verb "to go"; if you say "go up", "go down", "go out", "go away", etc., it's logical and makes sense, but then you have "go off" (meaning to explode) which doesn't relate at all with the idea of going somewhere or the idea of being off (it's rather the opposite of being off). So if you're not a native speaker and don't know what "to go off" means, you will have to look it up in a dictionary... Well, at least English doesn't conjugate verbs for each subject (except for he/she/it in the present).

That said, all languages are arbitrary beginning from the fact that words don't have a natural relation with the things they refer to; they are just arbitrary sounds agreed to mean something. And of course, every native speaker of each language will say their native language is the most logical language in the world, even if all languages have their load of oddities, as you say.

Last edited by odiseo77; 11-29-2013 at 04:21 AM.
 
Old 11-28-2013, 03:22 PM   #22
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelc View Post
Well, I was born in New Zealand and I have lived half my life in Australia and I pronounce both words almost the same.
You can't easily nest quotes here but I, too, pronounce "door" and "poor" almost the same. I think, though I don't pay attention to it, that RP English does the same?
I'm English, by the way, though my accent isn't RP.
 
Old 11-28-2013, 07:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
You can't easily nest quotes here but I, too, pronounce "door" and "poor" almost the same. I think, though I don't pay attention to it, that RP English does the same?
I'm English, by the way, though my accent isn't RP.
They are pronounced the same because the only difference is the P and D the "oor" is pronounced exactly the same. Infact poor (not rich) , pore (minuscule hole in the epidermis), pour (a liquid into a receptacle) are all said exactly the same way as well. English is not that hard, there are "rules" that tell people what letter combinations make what sounds and learning to speak English merely requires understanding these "rules".
 
Old 11-28-2013, 08:29 PM   #24
Xeratul
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What about Ekiga VOIP Chat room? ##english
 
Old 11-29-2013, 06:52 AM   #25
chrism01
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If I might just point out Esturine => Estuarine (from estuary ) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/estuary .
Apologies if that was just a typo

@OP: definitely listen to BBC Radio or TV if possible; this is (as much as there is one) the 'official' pronunciation, although its less correct/formal than it used to be eg a little regional accent is not unknown these days.

I certainly agree with the above that English is a mongrel language and the grammar/spelling could drive you mad if you're not a native speaker eg American English has different spellings for some stuff eg they like to drop the 'u' in such words as colour, neighbour, harbour etc ...
 
Old 11-29-2013, 03:26 PM   #26
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01 View Post
If I might just point out Esturine => Estuarine (from estuary ) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/estuary .
Apologies if that was just a typo
I'm a lazy speller when it's not a technical discussion, I wonder if you're slow though cause that post was done over 3 months ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01 View Post
I certainly agree with the above that English is a mongrel language and the grammar/spelling could drive you mad if you're not a native speaker eg American English has different spellings for some stuff eg they like to drop the 'u' in such words as colour, neighbour, harbour etc ...
American spelling is more "phonetic" than the rest of us. They removed letters that were not really needed ages ago merely through establishing their own language conventions. Another example of that is gaol compared to jail. Even this is not really a problem, if the learner has a grasp of the "rules" of English reading and pronunciation (not going anywhere near accents cause that's a minefield) aren't really difficult. The big thing I have found with helping NESB speakers is learning vocabulary and nothing helps with that more than actual immersion. Rote learning rules of letter/sound combinations enabling reading and pronunciation means nothing unless the individual has a vocabulary they can use in conversation.
 
Old 11-29-2013, 03:44 PM   #27
sycamorex
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I think the confusion stems from the fact that the word 'poor' can be pronounced in two ways (at least in BrE).

1. pɔː(r) - Exactly like 'door'
2. pʊə(r) - which A LOT of people who learn English as a second language (including myself at the beginning of my English journey) mispronounce as 'poo' + r.

Last edited by sycamorex; 11-29-2013 at 05:47 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2013, 05:14 PM   #28
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
I think the confusion stems from the fact that the word 'poor' can be pronounced in two ways (at least in BrE).

1. pɔː(r) - Exactly like 'door'
2. tʊə(r) - which A LOT of people who learn English as a second language (including myself at the beginning of my English journey) mispronounce as 'poo' + r.
I do know people who pronounce poor "poo-er"* but they also pronounce door "doo-er"* and it's the same with with "floor" also. I think it's a Lancashire thing though I seem to recall there's somewhere else that does the same.

*Or thereabouts, I think those who've heard it will know what I mean and those who haven't will get the idea.
 
Old 11-29-2013, 05:34 PM   #29
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I do know people who pronounce poor "poo-er"* but they also pronounce door "doo-er"* and it's the same with with "floor" also. I think it's a Lancashire thing though I seem to recall there's somewhere else that does the same.
I know what you mean - I have heard it many times in London too but that's more like the second pronunciation I provided.
 
Old 11-29-2013, 05:44 PM   #30
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
I know what you mean - I have heard it many times in London too but that's more like the second pronunciation I provided.
Sadly I don't understand the phonetic alphabet but it will be very similar if not the same. I wouldn't really call the "poo-er" correct English though in the same way I technically mispronounce "butter" because I use a true "u" sound instead of the correct pronunciation which, to my ear, is closer to "batter".
 
  


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