Tips to Improve Your Pronunciation From Expert @hadar.shemesh (2)
even when you repeat it, it's a strategy.
That's what I have done.
I just drilled sounds to be able to build those habits.
But then if I want it to be faster than what I need to do is to also focus on
speaking or repetition or shadowing.
Thinking about those sounds.
And when I do or I'm more focused and I'm directing my tongue and
mouth and lips to go into the direction that I want it to go.
And then there is an overall strategy that I think is important
is to understand what sounds are important for the specific speaker.
'Cause not all sounds are equally important.
For example, the flap T may not be as critical as someone who is re
replacing the R and the L, right?
So if you pronounce the L instead of an R, that is more critical than the flap T.
Let's say if you pronounce it like a true T, like a "Tu"
sound, Betty instead of Betty.
So it's not equally important because one will affect your clarity and the other is
just, you know, you sound more American.
So that is also important to understand.
And, and yeah but there are English speakers who say, Betty.
So I mean it's not...
and exactly, it's an allophone, so that's not even critical.
But let's say, let's take the R.
Let's say I say "right" instead of "right"or "right".
I use the ... then people at some point would get it.
Of course, it affects clarity.
It's important to work on it, but people will understand it.
But if you say "light" instead of "right", then it's gonna be critical and it will
for sure affect your, uh, intelligibility.
So intelligibility of course is sort of the, the minimal condition
and then the ultimate is to be almost taken for a native.
How close can people get?
And does it depend on the individual?
I think it depends on the individual, the time invested, their willingness
to, to get into that character.
Because a lot of times there is resistance.
I just had a conversation with students of mine that said when they use the
English sounds instead of their native sounds, they have this voice that says,
oh, why are you trying to be so fake?
It sounds fake.
It feels fake.
So also being able to let go of that voice and understand that while it
might feel fake at the beginning, you can make it your own with, you
know, just like repetition and using it enough times until you own it.
Uh, you know, that's a very good point.
Um, I'm, I'm reminded of my father who was born in Czechoslovakia, well became
Czechoslovakia Austro-Hungarian Empire.
And in Canada there's a province called Nova Scotia.
There's even a Bank of Nova Scotia, he would always say Bank of Nova Scotia.
Uh, he can say the "shu" sound.
He had a wonderful command of English, you know, vast vocabulary.
But he would always say Nova Scotia.
At some, at some level, he didn't want to say Nova Scotia.
You know, it's like in Czech, this would be Nova Scotia,
therefore it should be Nova Scotia.
There is a level at which people simply don't want to.
So I, I I think that, you know, or they don't enjoy, you know,
basically becoming more native-like, so it, it's also a choice.
I think to some extent.
It's absolutely a choice, and I think it really is all about the experience
of the learner with the language, with the speaker, the native speakers of
that language, and, um, And I think it's, it's also having the right
strategy and technique 'cause it does require commitment and repetition.
It's not enough to listen to pronunciation lesson and accept or, and not expose
yourself to the sounds of English.
And expect yourself to just use it naturally and spontaneously
without thinking about it.
It just doesn't work that way.
You know, uh, I will leave a link to your website, to your, uh, YouTube channel.
And, uh, I agree with what you're saying, and it begins with perception.
But then we need, if we have a specific goal, then we need to work towards it.
And you obviously have some excellent techniques based on your acting,
uh, experience and, uh, your experience with developing your
wonderful North American accent.
So, uh, you know, uh, I don't want to cut it off.
Sometimes it seems like I cut off these discussions that we could go on for
another, you know, half hour or so.
But maybe we could leave it there because I think we've hit, you have hit on
some very important points and I would encourage, uh, my listeners to go to
your YouTube channel and, uh, Hadar, uh, Accent's Way if they are interested
in improving their pronunciation in English or really the, I'm sure the same
principles apply to other languages.
And we're gonna
also have an interview with you on my channel where you shared a lot
of interesting, um, facts and more information about language learning so
we can invite them to watch it there.
And, and one final point that you made in our discussion that is there
may be areas where people who have different opinions, even people
who are interested in languages.
And I think that's the wonderful thing about language learning.
It's an individual journey.
People do what they wanna do.
They can listen to a variety of opinions, some of which may
agree, some of which may disagree.
Although I found in our discussion that mostly we agreed.
I think so too.
Okay, Hadar, thank you very much.
Thank you, Steve.
Thank you, you very much.
And I look forward to talking again sometime.