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https://www.duolingo.com/arismartin

For everyone worried by the accent of Duolingo.

Well, it seems as a recurrent worry the issue of the accent and the differences between the Spanish language and ... the Spanish - mix (not mex) that people think they are learning here.

First. In Spain, there are many regions with its particular accent. And in each region also there are differences. As New Mexico and New York, or New Hampshire and Texas and so on. If you are worried by your accent, don't worry, if you speak to me in Spanish language and you ask to me for your accent I will say you... "You have an AMERICAN accent" ... Why? Because the own accent prevail. I, sure, don't notice if you have learned Spanish in Duolingo or in Trilingo.

Second. The differences in grammar or semantics, depends where you fall in Spain and who you talk with. It's possible that you understand better at one formal Mexican than at one Spanish farmer and vice versa.. When I listen to the voice in US language, I don't ask myself if that voice will be of a Texan o an inhabitant of New York... I already have enough problems understanding something as for worry myself by trifles.

For many of us, the main question is survival in a "hostile environment" TV series, News, music, internet... Some chat with a pretty woman and so on... And for this task, the best for survival is... go into rainforest for some years or, if it's not possible... Duolingo is the best alternative.

4 years ago

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/stinkstonk

What I have learned from Spanish speaking people is that they are so willing to help anybody who attempts to speak the language. I have never been afraid to get it wrong, you will always be pleased that I am trying. Thank you so much and thank you, Duolingo

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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I agree, in my experience Spanish speaking people are very kind. Even on livemocha.com the feedback by Spanish natives on my speaking exercises was complimentary, although my Spanish-speaking skills have a LOT of room for improvement (for instance, I still cannot pronounce "rr" correctly). (What I find when speaking Spanish is my mouth and lips have to be a lot more flexible, almost rubbery, if that makes sense. The vowel sounds are so much more precise than English.)

I live in California, which is very diverse with people who have moved here from all over the world, many who still have very strong accents. It would never occur to me to think badly of them for having an accent when they speak English, so why would Spanish speaking people think badly of us for having an American (or British or Australian or Canadian) accent? I think if we show respect by trying to speak the language as well as we can, our efforts will be appreciated.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pcampisi
pcampisi
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I totally agree. Many native speakers are more than willing to help out as long as you're kind, gracious, and make an attempt to learn their language/culture. When I was in Italy, as soon as I attempted to speak (my badly broken) Italian, their eyes would light up and they'd rattle off so many words I couldn't keep up! It was pretty funny but they were always kind and helpful.

The first words I try to learn in ANY language: slow down please

Even after I can read in the language, it takes a long time to get my ear adjusted to hearing the language, especially at full speed. I say that sentence more than any other.LOL!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LennStar

unfortunately slow down please is not included in the courses I know - at least not as a "sentence to learn", not to talk about early.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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"Despacio, por favor" ! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthurva
Arthurva
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That is a sentence you need to know. I used it lots in my recent South American trip - and I might get a smile - but the Spanish speakers have always slowed down and helped - and been amazingly intuitive to what I wanted to say!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth0

RosetaStone teaches another very helpful sentence to know: No le entendí, ¿puede repetirlo por favor? :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peremptor

German: "Sprich bitte langsam." Or as my boyfriend said to a foreign girl at the train station that was telling him something and he took some time to understand she was speaking English: "Speak slowly and use simple words." German: "Sprich langsam und verwende einfache Wörter." But, after all, most Germans speak English, it's only old ladies and turkish people who don't understand that (in Germany).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LennStar

Only works in West Germany. In the eastern part everyone above 35 has learned the language of the Great Soviets but not from puny USA ;) And of course in the west parts are a lot of "east people" working there. But is you ask someone in their 20s they should all be able to at least do basic english.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peremptor

Sorry, forgot about my parents ;-) They also learned the "language of the Great Soviets" and when my mom had English, she spent most of the time somewhere other than school rofl But she's now also at duolingo trying to get some English into her brain. Would've been easier when she was young.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b.rusnak

What the How did you get 106 days of streak?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yerrick
Yerrick
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One day at a time.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Best. Answer. Ever.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ivorygirl88

I can agree with you. I have had no one question the "region" of Spanish I a am trying to speak. Most are excited I have tried to speak Spanish at all. Anytime I speak inaccurately, my mistake is greeted with a polite and welcomed correction.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/weald_steph

Mine were greeted with gentle laughter and joking. Of course, these were co-worker and friends, and I seem to love learning the more impolite phrases. :-D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ivorygirl88

LOL! I learned one today! LOL! These are must haves.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/roodvuur

I agree, you will never get rid of your accent in your own country anyways. To really sound as a native you should truly immerse yourself for a month at least. I have spoken (well, read and written) English for some ten years now and watched enough television to be able to pronounce every word correctly. Yet every native English speaker will notice my accent immediately, no matter if I speak with an American, or a British accent.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stinkstonk

I think that somebody speaking your language with an accent usually sounds quite charming

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnHopkin

If you told me I had an American accent, I'd be very surprised - I'm from England. :)

But I do make some effort to listen as much as I can to Castilian Spanish because I'm much more likely to be going to Spain or meeting Spanish people in this country than any other variation of the Spanish language. I try to pick up the speech patterns, such as using a "b" sound for the letter "v", as well as words ("ordinador" instead of "computadora"; the use of "vosotros", etc).

Thanks for the reassurances. Maybe this is an aspect of learning that language that at my basic level I shouldn't be worrying about.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arismartin

I don't know why, I thought that it would have a few British people in this forum... Maybe because I have always thought the British are very conscientious of yours things, language, traditions and maybe they don't like much more the US variant for to learn Spanish...

By the way, I remember when I visit UK and in a little town. I was walking on a street and I found a house completely dedicate to a soldier that he was destined in India. I was amazing for me by the quantity of objects, great and little personal objects taking up the whole house as a little museum... In a town! It was the personality of a country that respects the people that have given your life for it. It's normal to honour (red line, honor in US... The corrective boss of the program :-)) the great men and women, but it is not usual do it with common people.

Return to the accent issue, at first I thought write BRITISH, but the course is English US, then, by prudence I decided to change the initial idea... But you, calmly, can change the item. However if you say "patatas" or "tomates" in your language I can guess if you are either a British or USA speaker... I am not vegetarian, but, these items are recurrent in all curses. I follow also another course, Busuu ... Total British.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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The differences between US and and British English are minuscule really. Anyone that gets emotional over them has bigger problems than their spelling. We don't even have to remember them anyway, because Duolingo accepts input in British spelling. Sometimes, an angry Brit comes in shouting about the flag; "English should have the Bri'ish flag! They usually miss the fact that the English flag is a red cross on a white background, and that the UK is a union of countries that speak different languages in addition to English.

As for me, I'm from the UK and I have been to Spain, but I prefer South American Spanish. Mostly because of the music, that I have heard on and off for a long time. I don't mind European Spanish, but I don't really know how to speak it, and my words never seem to miss anyway. Besides anything, I like it when I hear people talking English in their own accent, it tells me that they have come a long way and probably have a story or two to tell. So with that in mind, I am apathetic about trying to get a perfect foreign accent, it's a lot of effort for something that is not missed if absent. So I just do the best I can and aim for somewhere in the middle.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I was speaking in a group chat the other day on Verbling, and there was a girl in there speaking Spanish and I would have sworn she was American because of her accent. Then she said something in English and it was obvious she was English, not American. I was surprised! I guess an English accent is an English accent, when you're trying to speak Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hurdusaywah

I dunno. I am American and know a lot of Russians. They all speak with a "Russian" accent, but I have noticed not all of their accents are the same. I've noticed 4 or 5 distinct "Russian" accents when they speak English... several more if counting the Ukranians and Moldovans who also speak primarily Russian.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bill-Roca

@@@ if you speak to me in Spanish language and you ask to me for your accent I will say you... "You have an AMERICAN accent"

Ha, this is so true. When I try to speak French or Spanish to a waiter or hotel desk clerk they almost always reply in English ... they can pick up what country I am from just from how bad my accent is :) It's embarrassing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nihowdy

You're almost like "No!! Let me practice your language, please!" haha

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carolind
Carolind
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Can totally relate!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pistolpete420

The duolingo voice drives my spanish girlfriend up the wall!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LennStar

Then practice together. Very closely where no one else is. This does not only help the language :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carolind
Carolind
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Same problem here. My husband is learning my mother tongue on Duolingo. Horrid! Luckily we are living in Brazil now and he has a more varied input.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuerraAmanda

Omg dudes HJDGASHJDASGDKSHGDSJHGDS

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/keepelaine

I have just joined here and was abit concerned about this.. so thank you for your post and I agree with your view... it comes down to the attempt that you make and not so much how you say it!...lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/diwrnod

Speaking personally, as a Welsh speaker I find people speaking our language (with another accent) fascinating, as it so rarely happens. Few visitors bother to learn any of the language, or so it seems, so it's exciting to hear someone from abroad speaking Welsh!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
idshanks
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What do you think of the accent of a Scot speaking Welsh - have you heard it? I wonder if it's funny sounding; I'm interested in all of the Celtic languages and I'm definitely going to try my hand at Welsh some day. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuerraAmanda

You know, I just found out about Welsh language xDD I'm Brazilian and I didn't know you guys don't speak English x))

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/weald_steph

I remember standing in line for the bathroom at the mall, talking about how i was learning Welsh. Suddenly, the lady next to me said very excitedly "I'm Welsh!". So of course I had to check my pronunciation, and learn a new phrase. It was so cute and awesome how excited we both were! A good example of why learning lesser spoken languages can be worthwhile.

Unfortunately, I've pretty much lost what little Welsh I had, except I seem to default to "diolch yn fawr" no matter what language I'm playing with.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/afrivmb

haha, great idea. I'd like to try out a rainforest for a few years!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nonamodnar

A German friend once told me: "Don't be afraid of your accent. It shows who you are, where you come from, what you have experienced in life." Coincidentally I watched a video on accent today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGZz71V07t8

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carolind
Carolind
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Good video. Mostly accurate. One thing, though: dialect = pronunciation + grammar + vocabulary. They left out specific vocabulary, but they also change according to dialect. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moramajama

This is a fabulous response. On the other hand, I enjoy the challenge of being able to speak with the proper (or "reference accent") accent of the language I'm learning.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
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Thanks for the tip! This applies to my Italian, although I have done a fair bit of Spanish on the side. I used to always wonder, "How hard could it be to learn to speak Italian with a native-quality accent?" I've now realized this would be very hard. So hard in fact, that it's basically impossible. I accept the fact that even if/when I attain fluency, Italians will hear my obvious American accent.

Haces bien con inglés, por cierto, es una lengua extraña.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Erik_Bishop

In my opinion, I have a better hispanic accent when speaking Spanish than I do speaking English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elsa5315

I think that when we type that we shouldn't necessarily HAVE to have the accent marks but when we write it out I think it is definetly important to have it. :) Luckily on duolingo you don't get docked points for not having the accent marks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
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Yeah. Though I highly recommend turning on the US International keyboard (or another region if you don't use dollar signs). This allows you to type things like é, è, ê, ë, ç, ñ, very easily.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuerraAmanda

Yeah, it's too important, words use to change meaning and spelling when you don't use the proper accent marks...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
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Yes. A great example is "Tu papá tiene cuarenta años." which means "Your dad is forty years old." but if you leave out accents, you get "Tu papa tiene cuarenta anos." which means "Your potato has forty anuses."

So... yeah.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuerraAmanda

Another great one is from Portuguese xDD "A sábia sabia do sabiá" --> "The wise woman knew about the sabiá" [uff, can't translate, it's a species of bird xD]

4 years ago