How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

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Sarafina
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby Sarafina » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:07 pm

Thank you for the advice. I struggled to implement it to a concrete action plan. I got overwhelmed with how much I needed to do and hoped I would pick it via osmosis. Unfortunately I am not one of those person that pick up a perfect French accent just by listening.
I read some of the links provided but I didn't work how to transfer the knowledge in straightforwards steps that I actively take.

It's not just my accent that's wack but my pronunciation as well. I'll know the word but I don't remember the pronunciation so I just vomit out a weird approximation. It's not so bad if I'm reading from a text but when I'm having a conversation, every now and again my pronunciation just goes out of the window.

I thought of trying to upload clips of me speaking French on a regular basis. But I would get demotivated by how awful it sounded and how in every other sentence there was something that either doesn't pronounced right or correctly or naturally or something. On one hand, I appreciated the detailed feedback but it would feel like I'm just been learning French wrong all this time. Uploading those clips felt like I was trying to drain the sea using a tea spoon.

I pronounce correctly the sounds/letters in isolation after hearing someone say it. But in a conversation, it just flies out of the window. Maybe I need to reinforce it more. I had a tutor that was really useful and helping me a lot of my major issues. But because of exams (and it costs a lot), my speaking stagnated. I've been trying to have regular conversations for the summer holidays but my language exchange partners don't correct me enough/give sufficient feedback (which is completely understandable).

I'm going to resuming 2-3 Italki lessons each week soon. I plan on devoting at least one lesson to just sorting out my pronunciation/reduce my accent.

But I can't rely on just Italki lessons once a week.

I have 'Phonétique Progressive du Français (débutant)' from Clé International that I should probably finish before I start my Italki lessons.

I don't know what else to do besides it.

Should I also go through 'The FSI French Introduction to Phonology' as well?

I am also trying to go through this video to improving my pronunciation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDEkmMR_jAk

I keep saying that I'll practice shadowing of 1-2 minutes of French dialogue. But I never get around to doing it. How useful is shadowing in reducing one's accent and improving one's pronunciation.

Should I just bite the bullet and get back to uploading more clips of me speaking French asking for detailed feedback? I still have a bunch of clips of me speaking French that I never posted anywhere.

I would appreciate practical steps I could take e.g. go through a three lessons of Phonétique Progressive du Français each day and record yourself repeating the sounds/words/phrases and upload it on Lingora.
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby rdearman » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:03 pm

http://workaudiobook.com/

Download the app above for your PC. Find mp3 of native French speaker. This program will let you repeat one sentence over and over. Chorus this sentence a hundred times or until you can say it exactly like the native. Same prosody, same accent, same everything. Find another sentence and repeat. Do 2 or 3 sentences each day for one month.
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby smallwhite » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:27 pm

Sarafina wrote:
I pronounce correctly the {1} sounds/letters in isolation after hearing someone say it. But in a {2} conversation, it just flies out of the window.

So {1} is easy for you and {2} is hard. If you had to list out 10 activities between {1} and {2} from easy to hard, what would they be? Can you practise doing them?
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby Hashimi » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:42 pm

rdearman wrote:http://workaudiobook.com/

Download the app above for your PC. Find mp3 of native French speaker. This program will let you repeat one sentence over and over. Chorus this sentence a hundred times or until you can say it exactly like the native. Same prosody, same accent, same everything. Find another sentence and repeat. Do 2 or 3 sentences each day for one month.


This method may be very boring, but it will save her thousands of hours. Very close to the method of Dr. Olle Kjellin.
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby smallwhite » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:47 pm

With all the listening that you do yet you say your pronunciation and speaking (exam) are still poor, it sounds like you're mostly listening to difficult stuff and not much to comfortably-comprehensive stuff.
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby eido » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:51 pm

Just here as solidarity. I had good Spanish teachers, but they didn't teach me pronunciation at all. They kind of just threw us into class hoping we'd learn.

I still pronounced the Spanish 'e' like 'ey' in 'way' and if I'm reading I subvocalize things completely wrong, which turns into speaking wrong. Like, for instance, we get the pure 'a' as 'uh' or like the 'a' in 'cat' or any other anglicized mess. The pure 'i' is pronounced as the short 'i' of English or even a schwa. I had to work on how to pronounce the R, which I noticed by myself was different. I noticed it was a bit breathy, could get cut off. Same with other letters or sounds. They never talked about this in class. Not that I'd expect them to - they can't cover all dialects or variations in a simple introductory class meant to cater to the masses. But a little bit on how to sound like a native or even just on how natives sound would help.

That's why I'm paranoid I'll be teaching kids wrong as a Spanish teacher. At this point my mistakes are so fossilized it's painful to pronounce it different, and sometimes I can't even detect differences in native content because it's colored by the veil of error.

I'll try to see what I can do about my accent, too. I wish you luck.
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby kulaputra » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:49 pm

Sarafina wrote:Unfortunately I am not one of those person that pick up a perfect French accent just by listening.


Are you sure? You noted in the OP that you picked up a bad accent listening to your Anglophone peers. If you listened to French for many hundreds of hours, it very likely will improve your pronunciation.

eido wrote:I still pronounced the Spanish 'e' like 'ey' in 'way' and if I'm reading I subvocalize things completely wrong, which turns into speaking wrong.


This was only ever a minor problem for me so the following advice may or may not apply, but what I did to avoid this was to pick a character/actor from one of my favorite Spanish TV shows (who has a very pleasant voice) and read everything in his voice, internally. Like I would either imagine he was there reading to me or imagine that I literally was him. I'm of the opinion that language learning and method acting have a lot in common. Hopefully this will help you too.
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby Sarafina » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:10 am

smallwhite wrote:With all the listening that you do yet you say your pronunciation and speaking (exam) are still poor, it sounds like you're mostly listening to difficult stuff and not much to comfortably-comprehensive stuff.


My listening is higher than my speaking. Probably because I spend more time listening to stuff in French and not that much time speaking in French. However I would say that most of what I listen to I find to be fairly comprehensive. I noticed
a massive improvement in my listening when I ditched the easy French podcasts aimed for French learners and started listening to native material which gradually became more and more comprehensive.

I wonder if this problem is because of how my brain process things, I understand Yoruba perfectly yet my speaking isn't great at all.
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby Sarafina » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:26 am

smallwhite wrote:
Sarafina wrote:
I pronounce correctly the {1} sounds/letters in isolation after hearing someone say it. But in a {2} conversation, it just flies out of the window.

So {1} is easy for you and {2} is hard. If you had to list out 10 activities between {1} and {2} from easy to hard, what would they be? Can you practise doing them?


From easy to hard
1) Repeat random sounds of letters after hearing it pronounced by by a native speaker
2) Repeat random phrases that don't have many 'r' after hearing it spoken by a native speaker
3) Reading common phrases out loud
4) Reading out loud a fairly straightforward text
5) Having a conversation using phrases/words that I am already confident on my pronunciation of and can say it with fluidity as it's now become automatic for me
6) Repeating words that have tricky pronunciation or have bits that end with things like "+reuil" even after hearing a native speaker pronounce it
7) Reading out loud words that contain words like 'écureuil' without checking the pronunciation before hand

(I couldn't think of what to put down for 8 and 9)

10) Having a conversation where I try to pronounce a word that I know but have a rough idea of how it's pronounced
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Re: How can I reduce my accent when speaking French

Postby Sarafina » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:27 am

rdearman wrote:http://workaudiobook.com/

Download the app above for your PC. Find mp3 of native French speaker. This program will let you repeat one sentence over and over. Chorus this sentence a hundred times or until you can say it exactly like the native. Same prosody, same accent, same everything. Find another sentence and repeat. Do 2 or 3 sentences each day for one month.


Thank you for the link.
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