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Thread: Far Eastern People...

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    Far Eastern People...

    I've always wondered, and I know this is a really weird thing to ask, but why is it that Chinese/Japanese and sometimes even India/Pakistani people really really struggle to pronounce certain letters in our alphabet?

    Especially worlds that contain an L which often sounds like an R.

    Is there a really obvious reason for this or is it just a stupid question?

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    jim
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    HEXUS.clueless jim's Avatar
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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    I think it's just that certain languages don't have certain sounds. If your language doesn't have an L sound, it's very difficult to learn how to make one at the age of 18.

    I know because my mum spent a couple of years teaching at a language school where she did exactly that - with some of the really clueless ones she was holding her mouth open and trying to show them how to make various sounds with their tongues/mouths... was a nightmare apparently.

    Imagine trying to learn one of those African "clicky" languages - we wouldn't even know where to start!

    They always say that as a child all sorts of things are much easier to learn, making sounds is one of them.

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    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    Are these people who have learnt English as a second language BTW??

    It is due to the fact that certain languages do not have the same sounds as in English.

    An example is "s" which people can pronounce as "is".


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    Its cultural and not genetic. They probably just don't do those sounds in their native tongue.

    French people can't do H's either. Chinese can't do n's. Engrish people can't really get the ooo sound in French. I suppose it works both ways.

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    Those three are all basically right

    Many languages don't include, or to be more accurate distinguish between, certain phonemes. Others do. I believe Hindi has a large number of aspirated variants of phonemes that we don't understand, and as such it's very hard for a native English speaker to learn Hindi properly.

    And my former Uni chaplain had a wonderful story from his time in South Africa, when the local bishop attempted to lead communion in Swahili (or one of those articulated languages that uses different clicks, as snooty pointed out). He started well: "The Lord is Here", but when he got to "Lift up your Hearts", he got one click wrong, and ended up with "Lift up your Penises"! A warning against being overly confident in foreign languages, and an interesting discussion point that the words for heart and penis are so similar...

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    I've been trying to learn a bit of Japanese (although haven't bothered recently ), but from what little I've learnt of the written language, there are no "L"s (in kana at least). Also, "N" is the only consonant on its own, all other consonants are paired with a vowel (except "tsu" and "chi" I think, but even then, still ends with a vowel).

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    They do not see A as A or B as B, they might say B or A but to them it's different, hard to explain, but here it is in simple form.

    http://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/p...tt/animal.html

    Look at the Asian translations.

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    I watched a program about this a while ago. One of the main points they were trying to make, was that it's not only cultural, but physical. After speaking a single language all your life your vocal chords become trained to it and unable to produce certain other sounds and syllables from other languages and so subconsciously replace them with the most similar sounds from their own language, giving what most people perceive as an accent.

    They were showing a Japanese school teaching English, with a focus minimizing the accent and they were doing all kinds of vocal exercises, shouting etc to retrain the muscles. Was quite interesting.

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckskull View Post
    I watched a program about this a while ago. One of the main points they were trying to make, was that it's not only cultural, but physical. After speaking a single language all your life your vocal chords become trained to it and unable to produce certain other sounds and syllables from other languages and so subconsciously replace them with the most similar sounds from their own language, giving what most people perceive as an accent.

    They were showing a Japanese school teaching English, with a focus minimizing the accent and they were doing all kinds of vocal exercises, shouting etc to retrain the muscles. Was quite interesting.
    Can you remember what the program was called? What channel it was on? Anything like that? I'd really like to see that program actually .

    Love me dorkumentaries

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    Been racking my mind, cant think of it, was a couple of years back now. I think it was on C4.

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    Kindof made me think of this Story. Though I am no clearer on this syndrome though!

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    How many Chinese/Japanese characters can you pronounce correctly?

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    How many Chinese/Japanese characters can you pronounce correctly?
    I don't actually know any of the characters at all .

    I can speak French at an A* GCSE level though if that counts .
    (Well I could, it was 2 years ago since I did that)

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    For japanese at least ra ri ru re ro is between L and R and often the sound can be closer
    to L than R but its convention to use r in the most common ro-maji systems.

    This leads to L2 learners of Japanese making too strong an R sound.

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    Talking Re: Far Eastern People...

    Quote Originally Posted by matty-hodgson View Post
    I don't actually know any of the characters at all .

    I can speak French at an A* GCSE level though if that counts .
    (Well I could, it was 2 years ago since I did that)
    C'mon. All french consisted of was trying to include the word 'Merde' in every sentance
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Far Eastern People...

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    C'mon. All french consisted of was trying to include the word 'Merde' in every sentance

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