Which language is difficult to tell if a speaker learned it as a second language?

General discussion about learning languages
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thevagrant88
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Re: Which language is difficult to tell if a speaker learned it as a second language?

Postby thevagrant88 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:42 pm

So, maybe I’m the one whose wrong here, but I’m almost positive most of the responses are completely misunderstanding the question. If the OP wants to jump in and tell me I’m mistaken then I reserve the right to be corrected.

It seems that OP is wondering what pairs of languages have such similar phonology that the learner does not have to learn the much if anything in the way of new pronunciation. I’m not the best at explaining things so hopefully some examples will elucidate my meaning:

Greek <—>European Spanish
Vietnamese <—->Cantonese
European Portuguese <—> Polish/Slavic Languages
Japanese <—-> Maori/Hawaiian
Somali <—> Arabic

So with these languages pairs, both the phonemic inventory and syllable structure (let’s just throw phonotactics in there as well) share a tremendous amount of overlap that a learner would, in theory, have only a slight if noticeable accent at all. Obviously this is contingent on achieving an advanced command of the language.

Anecdotally, I’ve spoken with both Spaniards and Greeks and they’ve basically told me the same thing; Greeks almost never struggle achieving a native-like in Spanish accent and visa versa.

As I said, maybe I’m the one misunderstanding initial question, but I hope I didn’t haha.
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Kraut
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Re: Which language is difficult to tell if a speaker learned it as a second language?

Postby Kraut » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:18 am

Baroness Stuart of Edgbaston is a Bavarian-born member of the House of Lords, who came to Britain aged about 20. I wonder if a native can find hints pointing to her English being L2.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhfZzEf87wY

You can still hear the Bavarian accent in her German, which no longer comes naturally.
https://www.facebook.com/hartaberfairAR ... 501249147/
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dampingwire
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Re: Which language is difficult to tell if a speaker learned it as a second language?

Postby dampingwire » Fri May 07, 2021 10:04 pm

Brad wrote:Hector Bellerin is a Spanish footballer who plays for Arsenal. He's 25 now but came over when he was 16. Not only does he speak perfect English but he has a definite London accent. If you didn't know who he was then I think he'd certainly pass for a born and bred Londoner.


This guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaMuq5u6poE? That's Sarf London ... like 500 miles sarf :-) (I mean he's good, but he's clearly not native.
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新完全マスター N2聴解 : 94 / 103新完全マスター N2読解 : 99 / 177
新完全マスター N2文法 : 197 / 197TY Comp. German : 0 / 389

mokibao
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Re: Which language is difficult to tell if a speaker learned it as a second language?

Postby mokibao » Fri May 07, 2021 10:44 pm

thevagrant88 wrote:So, maybe I’m the one whose wrong here, but I’m almost positive most of the responses are completely misunderstanding the question. If the OP wants to jump in and tell me I’m mistaken then I reserve the right to be corrected.

It seems that OP is wondering what pairs of languages have such similar phonology that the learner does not have to learn the much if anything in the way of new pronunciation. I’m not the best at explaining things so hopefully some examples will elucidate my meaning:

Greek <—>European Spanish
Vietnamese <—->Cantonese
European Portuguese <—> Polish/Slavic Languages
Japanese <—-> Maori/Hawaiian
Somali <—> Arabic

So with these languages pairs, both the phonemic inventory and syllable structure (let’s just throw phonotactics in there as well) share a tremendous amount of overlap that a learner would, in theory, have only a slight if noticeable accent at all. Obviously this is contingent on achieving an advanced command of the language.

Anecdotally, I’ve spoken with both Spaniards and Greeks and they’ve basically told me the same thing; Greeks almost never struggle achieving a native-like in Spanish accent and visa versa.


Can confirm for European Portuguese/Slavic languages. Add French/Hebrew to the mix
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