Working on enunciation and speech

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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:03 am UTC

Working on enunciation and speech

Postby jarvisknocker » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:27 am UTC

Hey peoples,

I'm interested in improving my enunciation and voice. I have an Indian accent, and depending on who I'm talking to, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to understand me. I already
deliberately slow down my rate of speech to help, but the way I say and pronounce words needs work too. Any resources that can help?

Anonymously Famous
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Re: Working on enunciation and speech

Postby Anonymously Famous » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:21 pm UTC

I don't know any offhand, but I'll take note that there's a need and come back with any links that I may find later.

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Location: Regional South Australia

Re: Working on enunciation and speech

Postby Softfoot » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:18 am UTC

My uni used to run an accent reduction clinic - I'm pretty sure it was just a way for our faculty to charge outrageous amounts of money to professionals for a student run clinic.
As far as usable suggestions - buddy up with someone studying linguistics or contrastive phonology. Find someone who can analyse what it is about your current speech that gives you the accent. It might be on the vowels, on the consonants, on syllable, phrase or sentence stress (prosody), tone, or a combination of these.
Often what makes the most difference for intelligibility is not consonants (although we might think these are the most obvious) but vowels and prosody. You might be able to access texts to advise you, but auditory training could also help. Conversational speech might be best - for example, transcribed podcasts of radio shows or transcriptions of television shows - but audiobooks are also a good option. Read aloud with these; a native speaker can listen and provide information about what you may need to focus on. We don't always hear what it is that we need to be doing.
Hope this gives you a place to start. If someone asked me this in person I would be asking questions about first language, second language (etc), and be listening to their speech to analyse what might be useful.

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Re: Working on enunciation and speech

Postby SpookyAction » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:39 pm UTC

Yeah, I'd have to agree with what's been said. Listening to the accent for the area that you're in, and trying to recreate it will definitely help people understand you. It's one of the crazier things about english, that a different accent can make it harder to decipher than a foreign language to some people. I'd have to agree with their suggestion, and say just to expose yourself to it as much as possible. In addition to trying to find a phrenologist, if you have any acting/drama friends, or those going for a public relations job, see if they can help, as I could imagine they would have done some kind of exercises on diction.

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