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If you hear Vitória's voice:
It is very clear and separate.
All three words are very clearly pronounced "ela é uma".
Yes, "uma" may be sounding a little "owma", that doesn't sound unnatural. Some people may unintendedly "pass that way" in the transition from "é" to "u", since we don't really stop our voice or try to define a limit between the vowels.
What may sound unusual in this voice is it's slow speed.
If you hear Ricardo's voice:
It's our usual normal to fast speed.
The vowel that gets suppressed is "a", and the sentence sounds like "eléuma".
Both sound pretty good, nothing weird about them, being Vitória slower than usual.
I like the first one better :)
Impressive, both are pretty good.
- Your first audio is good for normal speech
- The second is good for emphatic speech: "but she IS a girl"
No, I can't tell you're English from that sentence, no way. But maybe I could if there were things like "pão", "homem", "sim", "agora", "raio", "garfo" and "Australia", typically hard ones for English speakers, exploring exactly the key differences. Try saying "sim, agora o homem come pão com um garfo na Austrália" (yes, I'm being mean)
Hearing your audios I'd say you were a Spanish speaker, even though they're almost perfect. (Because you care about all vowels more than we do, and your "e" is very near, but not exactly "é".)
Curiously, I've never thought of it... I don't know if it's easy to distinguish Americans and British speaking Portuguese. It's easy to detect a few major languages such as English, Spanish, French and Chinese.
I don't think I have experience enough to talk about other accents.
That's precisely why the first one is better. (We don't really care about the weak vowels, they may sound faded, and when in presence of strong vowels, simply vanish or get very indistinct)
The difficult sentence gathers most American evident sounds, but you sounded very different from what I expected (well, you're not American). I couldn't define where you're from, perhaps I simply don't know British accents...
- The "m" ending, you did it very well. We don't close them, but English speakers do. (Com um would sound like comum but you escaped that)
- The nasal "pão". (I find it interesting that they don't realize they've got nasal sounds in their language, which they pronounce naturally, but don't apply them to "pão". Your "homem" was pretty nasal, for instance)
- Two kinds of "r" sounds. The rolled/tapped R (agora and Austrália), the aspired R (garfo). Being British, your aspired R is very soft and not evident, but Americans would make it pretty "enrolado" (garbled), as we call it.
- Some weak "o" and "e" vowels, that you also pronounced correctly.
You scored 3 out of 5 in overcoming the traps :D
http://vocaroo.com/i/s0RcPzU3VmZm I promise this is the last one I'll torture you with. It's a bit slower and I tried to roll my rs, is it better speaking slower or worse? Btw, as you said you don't know British accents, see how much of this British TV talk show you can understand. I understand about 90%, if you understand most of it you are truly fluent in British!
'All three words are very clearly pronounced "ela é uma"'
Maybe to you mate! This is me saying the sentence if I didn't know how it's supposed to be said, if you get me.
To me, that's clearly pronounced. But I know no-one speaks like that in any language, apart from maybe the Queen.
Here's me trying to copy phonetically what's on the audio.
Would a native speaker understand either of those sentences? Which sounds worse?
They say it's better to speak slower and be understood, than to try and speak at a native speed and sound a garbled mess.
Btw Vitória? Do you know her? :D
Haha, the first one is just great. We can notice it's not the natural flow, but in terms of clearly saying words, it's just great. With that you can actually make people think you're good, but you're intentionally stressing things.
(PS: many people say "minina" instead of "menina". I think the first thing one would notice is your very clear "me")
The second one can be understood. (The first one sounds better). But maybe the "é" should be clearer. In that transition, the "é" is the strongest one and the one that must be very well defined. If I didn't know what the sentence was, I might have thought it was meant to be "ela ama memina".
If you want to reach that goal of speaking it fast, you may try doing the same thing you did in the first one, but now removing the limits between vowels.
Here an example:
- Clear limits between vowels
- Still slow, but limitless, round transitions
- That "a" may be removed in fast speech
- The "u" may be shorter
The secret is keeping the "é" clear.
Haha, no, I don't know the robogirl Vitória. But that's her name :p
Normally, we pronounce this lone "e" like we pronounce our "i". In English, a short "ee".
The "é" is an open sound, that can be found in "cell", "have", etc.
The "ê" is a closed sound, found in "way", "may", etc.
A non accented "e" may have any of these three sounds, depending on the word. The "i" sound goes at the end of the words if the final syllable is weak. The other two are random.
Thanks a lot. It's because another Brazilian told me he struggled to understand a lot of it, & I didn't quite believe him. :D It's interesting why Brazilian & Portuguese speech has diverged so much more more than English diaspora speech has,as it would it never happen that I couldn't understand Americans or Australians, particularly if they were educated people like those two are,or even if their accents were very different.
In the first 1:30, I lost about 7 words.....but it wasn't natural to understand the others. It took sometimes a few seconds of "processing" to decode the sentence.
When they started talking in the field (around 1:30), I was able to say "whaaat" to an entire group of 4, maybe 5 sentences. Zero understanding.
After that, about 3 words until 3:00.
Yes, it's hard to understand them. The trainer speaks slower and clearer than the reporter.