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I've been working on my accent for a while and I feel like there's a lot of things that I need to work on but I still don't know which.


The accent that I am aiming for is general American. So, can anyone listen to this 30-second audio and tell me what letters/sounds or maybe things that I need to work on/fix to sound like a native American speaker: https://www.speakpipe.com/voice-recorder/msg/cbgqsbh15j4gzrm2

I read the following paragraph:

"A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, “Can we do this anonymously? Because I don’t need the Olympians mad at me again.” But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week. If you don’t know me, my name is Percy Jackson. I’m a modern-day demigod—a half-god, half-mortal son of Poseidon"

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  • Poor quality recording doesn't help. Is it even on topic? – Weather Vane Sep 13 '17 at 19:40
  • Sorry for that. I updated the link: speakpipe.com/voice-recorder/msg/cbgqsbh15j4gzrm2 – Dannie Sep 13 '17 at 19:54
  • OK, your vowels are more American than European but the phrasing needs attention. You sound like someome east of India learning English, sorry to be so cruel. – Weather Vane Sep 13 '17 at 20:06
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    If you don't have a native American tutor, or as good, spend more time watching movies and pay attention to their speech. – Weather Vane Sep 13 '17 at 20:27
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    More on phrasing: you speak as though you don't really understand the quote. Don't rush it. To be fair to you, it is a very complicated paragraph to speak. – Weather Vane Sep 13 '17 at 20:35
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For fun I did my own recording of this paragraph. Granted I'm not the greatest voice actor, but I do have an American accent ... so that's something.

Overall I'd say you're doing well, but you don't really know what you're saying. In addition to the pronunciation, listen to how I space out the words in each sentence to match the meaning, where I pause, and which words I emphasize.

After that you might practice individual words or phrases like "New York" (particularly the "r" sound) or "If you don't know me" (which comes out more like "if ya dunno me")

Please be aware that my reading is deliberately exaggerated and with dramatic emphasis. I did this so it would be easier to hear the distinctions. Ordinary conversation would be faster, and the words would all run together.

Actually my first recording was like normal conversation, but I thought that sounded boring so I re-recorded it.

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  • American accent, yes, but your emphasis is in really weird places. – Nathan Young Sep 13 '17 at 22:05
  • @Rhythmatic Sure -- because it's from a book, and I'm reading it with dramatic pauses so the rhythm is easier to understand. But hey, if you think you can do better, be my guest. The recording service is free. – Andrew Sep 13 '17 at 22:09
  • Thanks a lot! so I need to work on my stress, intonation, pronunciation, and rhythm. Didju notice any letters sounds or vowels I mispronounced? – Dannie Sep 13 '17 at 22:22
  • @Dannie Sure, many, but it's hard for me to give useful advice because some words you pronounce the vowels just fine, not not the consonants, and others it's the opposite. Also, many words you pronounce fine but you put the stress in an odd place. Like the way you say "Olympians" -- all the individual sounds are right, but the entire word is a bit off. – Andrew Sep 13 '17 at 22:31
  • @Dannie I guess I would recommend you practice saying each word clearly and properly, as a native speaker would say it. For example, with "what I know", each word would be said separately, not blurred together. But overall I can tell you are getting some of the more typical American vowel sounds. – Andrew Sep 13 '17 at 22:32

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