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Having an accent


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Yes I am 'fluent' in so much as I can do absolutely anything I need to do in France. I happily chat to anyone and everyone.

I sound like a vache espagnole with an english accent. AND I make mistakes that are sometimes hilarious. I have no illusions about the way I speak french, and apparently it is mignon etc, which is a bit weird to me, but there you go.

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Yes, that is the bestest tip ever.........


Tips is something different, and I often gave and give tips and help....... and as I never had many english speaking friends in France, more often than not, such things were for  french friends.

Please remember that when I moved to France when young for a bit of an adventure, not knowing France, and not knowing other than five words, I had to get on with it.

And these words were not that helpful really:
Oui, non, merci, oeuf and pleut.

Did not know that if you wanted more than one egg, you had to say errrrr and not erfs, or that pleut was the conjugaison of pleuvoir, because I did not even know what a conjugaison was either.

If someone like me with no 'ear' for language can do it, anyone can, and should.  I have little time for those who move permanently to France or say to England and do not learn the local language, very very very disrespectful.

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Idun, you were young, which helps, and some, sadly never do get languages.

I had the grammar, but not the spoken, so I make mistakes, but it was when I plodded on and decided that no matter how hard I tried to get it right (and it often was) people knew I was not French, that I decided to just speak and say  s**d 'em.  It works. 

As you say, they rather like the accents we seem to speak in. Mignon - yes!

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My spoken french is probably similar to yours, Idun. I just dived in and hoped for the best.
There was a discussion like this on another forum, which went onto fear of making mistakes. I think this is more common among men than among women.

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 I beg to disagree about an English accent being mignon when speaking French!  I find a strong English accent grating and even difficult to understand.

Don't get me wrong, I do not claim my own accent is impeccable, far from it, hélas.  I have heard some English people who are perfectly comprehensible, especially those who manage to speak in sentences[:-))]  Others, not so much  ... even those who have lived here in access of 20 years going on 30.

When I belonged to a French reading club, it became painfully obvious that an English accent was anything but mignon.

Still, that's my opinion and it is not intended to upset anybody on here!  As for myself, I like, as far as possible, to pronounce things as closely to a "standard" voice as I can manage.  In fact, I have finally found a French teacher (one who has lived in different parts of France) who is going to help me with my pronunciation.  I have emphasised "different parts of France" because I do not want to have the local accent.  That also does not sound too good, IMHO[:P]

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 I agree, I think it is 'orrible, I hate my accent as do my kids.

BUT, when one has to live a life AND make friends, then in spite of making a real effort and still never quite getting my tongue around some of those sounds. So I know it sounds awful and mistakes are made, I just had to say, as was said, 'sxd' it.

And the french usually seem to like it. And I have  also been  told that I have a voix doux, although if I needed to scream like a fish wife, I daresay I could, well, yes, it has been known.....[Www] but very rarely[:-))]

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A few weeks ago at the end French 3 regional news (just before the F3 national news) there was an English/British woman presenting some small programme all week about something or other. It lasted about 3 minutes.

Anyway, she spoke perfect fluent French...but you could easily tell she was English/British or whatever with her accent.

Anyway, forget your worries about accent. You will always have an accent.

And the most important point....nobody cares if you do.

I love French people talking English with a French accent. It's so sexy. Grrrr.

I guess it is the same the other way around.

Well no, probably not. LOL.

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Yes, id, I laughed too!

As for your English accent, please tell me it is not Northern Irish (apologies NI)!  Otherwise that will be something I will have to learn to like.

What you say is true about who the accent belongs to.  For example, I never liked Brummie until I had some really lovely friends from Birmingham.  After that, because I liked them, I associated the accent with them.  If I said I liked Brummie, some people look at me in horror and say oh you can't possibly.

The other accent I have difficulty with (but not dislike) is any Scottish accent further north than Falkirk, say, Perthshire or Shetlands way.

But I like most Northern accents and West Country ones.  Not RP (or BBC English) though.  Don't know why but it always sounds affected and insincere to me.

Oh and Mockney, not too keen but don't mind real Cockney.

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Ha ha, Mint! Don't like northern accents?  That's me sunk then!  No, to be honest, I can put on a good Yorkshire accent when I want, but I don't use it in normal speech, and though my vowel sounds will always be broader than my southern husband's, (how we pronounce Bath, for exmaple, much differs) I can and do use whatever goes for RP these days .. those elocution lessons came in useful I see!

And no, I don't use a strong accent in French, we were taught by English teachers whose french probably came from the Loire area ... and I agree that those who speak French with a very strong English accent (and I know one or two here) grate remarkably.  But they do seem to make themselves understood, which is the most important thing.

I have, however, learnt to pronounce ends of words in the Midi way, vingt-e in our telephone number, for example or else no-one understands it ... but I still cannot say "vin" like "vent" which is what they say for "vin"!!!

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Oy, you Judith, read AGAIN!  I said I liked most Northern and West Country accents.  I particularly like Yorkshire.  For many years, a very good friend from Yorkshire was, to me, a typical Yorkshire person; kind, generous, called a spade a spade, couldn't do enough for anybody but very quick to spot a fake.

And West Country, well, I have lived and worked there in various locations and still have friends there that I stay in touch with.

BTW, hope your leg is better and you are getting out and about?  Lovely day here, warm and sunny.

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Ah accents in England.

posher folk 'parrr th!

Same with bath and we do have them in the North[Www]

Even castle, cassle, but we have southern friends who say

'carr ssle'.

When did an 'a' get an 'r' stuck onto it??

Scone ......... skon

What is skoan (like moan) about?

and being rather fond of baking multiple flavours of scones,
when I take them to a friends monthly get together. And I say,'When it's Scone it's scone'.If I said, 'skoan' my little play on words wouldn't work, it would be silly!

Plenty of examples of which 'I' as a northerner do not get at all.

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Mint, my apologies.  You are quite right, I mis-read what you said ... mea culpa, been an odd day .. never got everything done, I'd hoped to do.

Thank you for asking after my leg, sadly today when the nurse came, to re-dress it, it was looking a bit unhappy, pink again, having been quite clear on Thursday, so to say I am slightly worried is an understatement.  And of course, it's a weekend so nothing I can do now till Monday .. so hoping I am strong enough to cope ... I was really feeling so much better too, yesterday.  But that, it seems, is life as you get older!

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[quote user="nomoss"][quote user="mint"]When I first came to France, I was told that only 4 vowel sounds give anglophones problems so that you will be OK if you could say correctly:  un bon vin blanc!


How about the vowel sounds in: il n'y a que le pub?


Hey, nomoss, I said that only 4 give problems and, as PatF has pointed out, these are the nasalised vowels.

Don't you see, the rest don't or shouldn't give problems at all......[:P]

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