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Requesting feedback on my recordings - new recording added after 8 years


Kenny同志
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I agree with gato. :)

There were a few parts that I thought were very difficult to understand, but then I'm not a native English speaker either. On the whole, I think that you speak too fast (few natural "mini pauses", dropping syllables from long words) and that the overall pitch is a little too "flat" (English speakers generally use a lot more intonation over the sentence). Intonation/melody/rhythm are quite hard to pick up, though -- do you listen to stuff like BBC News or NPR? I personally found doing so tremendously helpful when learning English.

Specific things:

I think that sometimes your "commit" has an extra "r" -- like "crommit".

"Easier said than done" sounds a little like "Either said than done" -- I think this is quite symptomatic of the speaking "too fast" thing: the three syllables sound like two syllables.

Things I could not understand:

?? in some kind of skill

all sorts of schemes and ?? (sounds like "assertations" to me)

they always result in ?? (sounds like "finner" to me)

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I agree with the others. This recording is much better than the last one.

Still, there is a lot more work to be done to polish your speaking skills to make yourself more easily understood by native English speakers.

This is what I could make out from the recording.

what Kobo could discern from Kenny2006woo's recording:

Crease(?) Do not agree that the tony(attorney?) has good point when he said that “at the moment, as a nation we simply don’t have the spare cash to be spending it on people who have choose-en to flaunt the society’s rules”. As any hardened criminal with the say, if you commit the crime, you have to be prepared to do the time. No, I’m (Aphrodite that I dough agree?). Look. To keep someone who has committed a minor offense behind bars provides no benefit to anyone. It’s enormously expensive and counterproductive. Surely, it would be much better to put this person to work where they could compensate the society for the damage they had done (whilst they’re learning some kind of a skill?) that they could put to use when they leave(?) prison. For so many, prison is just a revolving(?) door. But, all this is easier said than done. Over the years, we’ve had all sorts of schemes and the-cert-ta-sheens(?) from people who have had the best intentions. They always result in failure. And we always return to the look-and-the-kay-solution(?).

If you could give us a transcript for your recording, then we could help you with the parts that I wrote question marks around. Those are the bits that were garbled and I couldn’t decipher what you were saying.

Keep up the good work. Jia you!!!!!

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Kenny, come find me on Weixin and I can give you some specific advice through 語音. As others have pointed out, you need to work on pronouncing specific sounds correctly, as well as finding a pitch and rhythm for your voice.

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Many thanks, everybody; I appreciate your help.

@yonglin and Kobo Dashi

Thanks for going into detail. Here is the transcript:

quoted from DailyStep English owned by Ms Jane Lawson

– Chris do you not agree that Tony has a good point when he says that at the moment as a nation we simply don’t have the spare cash to be spending it on people who have chosen to flaunt society’s rules. As any hardened criminal would say, “if you commit the crime you have to be prepared to do the time”.

- No, I’m afraid I don’t agree. Look, to keep someone who has committed a minor offence behind bars provides no benefit to anyone. It’s enormously expensive and counterproductive. Surely it would be much better to put that person to work, where they could compensate society for the damage they had done whilst learning some kind of skill that they could put to use when they leave prison. For so many, prison is just a revolving door.

- But all this is easier said than done. Over the years we’ve had all sorts of schemes and suggestions, from people who have had the best intentions but they always result in failure and we always return to the lock and key solution.

@tooironic

Thanks for your offer to help. I will send you a private message. :)

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  • 8 years later...

Really great job, reading aloud is difficult:

 

note words lacking clarity in pronounciation, eg.

'chosen'

'afraid'

'put to use' ( /juːs/ rather than /juz/ - you may have meant this, but it sounded a bit off to me at least)

'failure'

 

Must be quite motivating to see progress over the years - I think I'll commit to doing something like this reading in Chinese.

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Thank you for the feedback 司馬湯姆. My speaking didn't really improve until two years ago when I started shadowing, an effective method for anyone who wants to speak any foreign language fluently. 

 

By the way, how's my speaking overall? And what does my accent sound like? 

 

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On 1/5/2022 at 10:38 PM, Tomsima said:

I think I'll commit to doing something like this reading in Chinese.

Good idea. It can be frustrating when you start off but if you didn't give up, it would be very motivating as you could actually see the progress every few weeks. 

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On 1/5/2022 at 6:10 PM, 889 said:

The accent sounds like you've been shadowing 1930-40s British movies and newsreels.

 

That would be a luxury problem unless his circle of friends are California surfer dudes 😉

 

(at least in Germany, whenever a foreigner has a bit more of a formal accent and a non-mundane vocabulary, it makes him sound smarter and even more endearing IMO)

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On 1/6/2022 at 1:10 AM, 889 said:

The accent sounds like you've been shadowing 1930-40s British movies and newsreels. Comes across as rather formal.

Thanks for the feedback, 889. This is not too much of a prolem for me as long as my English is clear and easy to understand. As a matter of fact, the material that I used for shadowing was from about 10 year ago rather than 80 years ago. It's a bit odd that I have such an accent. 🙂

 

 

On 1/6/2022 at 3:27 AM, Jan Finster said:

That would be a luxury problem unless his circle of friends are California surfer dudes 😉

 

(at least in Germany, whenever a foreigner has a bit more of a formal accent and a non-mundane vocabulary, it makes him sound smarter and even more endearing IMO)

That's good to know. I hope people won't find me strange when I travel to the UK or America. 🙂

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  • Kenny同志 changed the title to Requesting feedback on my recordings - new recording added after 8 years

You sound exactly like you're going for the earlier era accent in the video 889 linked to. Your accent is very good(maybe sounding a bit affected? But then it's not your native language and I'm not a Brit).

 

I would consider your English to be high level but, yes, you still have a foreign accent. I don't have much experience with hearing HK or Singaporeans speaking English, but if I heard you blind I'd guess that was where you were from. Or, a Chinese speaker who has a very high level of English.

 

You speak very clearly, nobody will have trouble understanding you and I don't see why you would need to "improve" your accent further.

 

Just on my quick listen though there are several phonemes mispronounced, some words with wrong stress, and I hear a few random /r/ sounds strewn in. 

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Thank you for the detailed feedback, Summit. It's very helpful. 🙂

 

I didn't intend to develop an old-fashioned accent but apparently I've ended up with one. As a matter of fact, this doesn't bother me much. By improving my accent, I actually mean I need to work more on my pronunciation rather than my accent. All I've ever wanted to do is to make sure I say each word and sentence correctly and clearly. My aim, after all, is to be able to speak like a well-educated native speaker.    

 

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On 1/5/2022 at 8:38 PM, 889 said:

Ah! That's no doubt why they rolled out the red carpet for Chamberlain in Berlin.

 

Times have changed somewhat, but I do believe there still is a generally positive bias towards such accents (not just in Germany). You find this cliche in movies where the intelligent guy speaks RP-ish UK accent. It is the whole My Fair Lady / Pygmalion story (and the same applies for other aspects of appearance, such as having better chances in job interviews when you show up shaved and in an ironed shirt (except for maybe Silicon Valley where this may be a turnoff)). I know in the UK there is this major trend that makes Eton-educated people hide their posh accent and fake a Cockney or working-class accent to "fit in". To me Kenny goes more in the direction of David Attenborough and many people pay a lot of money just to listen to him (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64R2MYUt394&ab_channel=Netflix).

 

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On 1/6/2022 at 12:44 AM, suMMit said:

You speak very clearly, nobody will have trouble understanding you and I don't see why you would need to "improve" your accent further.

 

I agree. Clear and easily understandable. Those were always my main goals in studying Chinese. To my ear you now sound like a well-educated English speaker who has mastered English as a second language. I don't think the "slightly foreign" accent will ever vanish without special diction coaching like star actors sometimes are given by their studios (at large expense.) 

 

It took me about 10 years to relax about my accent when speaking Chinese. A wise teacher finally pointed out that most native Chinese speakers also have an accent, be it a Sichuan accent or a Shanxi accent or a Dongbei accent or whatever. 

 

You have improved a lot and should be well pleased. 

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Quote

Times have changed somewhat, but I do believe there still is a generally positive bias towards such accents (not just in Germany). You find this cliche in movies where the intelligent guy speaks RP-ish UK accent. It is the whole My Fair Lady / Pygmalion story (and the same applies for other aspects of appearance, such as having better chances in job interviews when you show up shaved and in an ironed shirt (except for maybe Silicon Valley where this may be a turnoff)). I know in the UK there is this major trend that makes Eton-educated people hide their posh accent and fake a Cockney or working-class accent to "fit in". To me Kenny goes more in the direction of David Attenborough and many people pay a lot of money just to listen to him (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64R2MYUt394&ab_channel=Netflix).

Thanks Jan. I’m aware of both the positive bias towards southern accents and the trend of hiding one’s posh accent. I don’t really want to sound posh because of my social status. But if I do, I wouldn’t be bothered.  On the other hand, the fact that more and more young people from the upper class have been hiding their posh accent to fit in is disappointing.  I wonder whether it’s because of political correctness.

 

 

 

Quote

To my ear you now sound like a well-educated English speaker who has mastered English as a second language.

That’s great to know, abcdefg. 🙂

 

Quote

I don't think the "slightly foreign" accent will ever vanish without special diction coaching like star actors sometimes are given by their studios (at large expense.)


I agree and I am aware of this. The fact is that I have started to enjoy the process of accent development. This happens to many learners, I suppose, as soon as their progress becomes noticeable. So in short, It’s now kind of a hobby for me.

 

Quote

It took me about 10 years to relax about my accent when speaking Chinese. A wise teacher finally pointed out that most native Chinese speakers also have an accent, be it a Sichuan accent or a Shanxi accent or a Dongbei accent or whatever.


That’s so true. I can honestly say that I’m not ashamed of my accent.

 

Quote

You have improved a lot and should be well pleased.


Yes, thank you abcdefg. My efforts finally paid off. 🙂

 

PS: I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you guys but I was prevented from posting by a glitch...

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