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In truth, I had difficulty understanding you in those clips. I say that as someone that struggles with a speech impediment and knows how disheartening it can be to be reminded that people struggle to understand what I say.

How well can people understand you in your native language? Sometimes people attribute difficulty in understanding me to a foreign accent but it's really just the dysphasia coming through. It's persistent across each of the languages I speak.

If this is something you've struggled with for some time, consider seeing a speech therapist or doing therapeutic exercises at home. It'll take a concerted effort but the payoffs are huge (considering all the opportunities that close if people have trouble understanding you). I'm doing that now but wish I'd started years ago.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, msk2012 said:

In truth, I had difficulty understanding you in those clips. I say that as someone that struggles with a speech impediment and knows how disheartening it can be to be reminded that people struggle to understand what I say.

How well can people understand you in your native language? Sometimes people attribute difficulty in understanding me to a foreign accent but it's really just the dysphasia coming through. It's persistent across each of the languages I speak.

If this is something you've struggled with for some time, consider seeing a speech therapist or doing therapeutic exercises at home. It'll take a concerted effort but the payoffs are huge (considering all the opportunities that close if people have trouble understanding you). I'm doing that now but wish I'd started years ago.

Truth be told, people (including my family) have a difficulty trying to understand even when I speak my mother tongue at home. I thought it was just because I speak less and less of my first language and influenced by speaking a foreign language, but then I realized I've been always like this. I can pronounce each word correctly, but have a trouble connecting them. I saw a speech therapist, there wasn't much she could do because the way I pronounce each word was near perfect. 

Although, in both languages, my "reading out loud" is much much worse and sounds forced than my "spoken" accent. I really don't know why lol

Edited by UnaccompaniedWaterBo

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you sound fine in both. Be yourself. Do you really want to work where you have to worry about putting on a facade to be "normal"?

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1 minute ago, hmyo said:

you sound fine in both. Be yourself. Do you really want to work where you have to worry about putting on a facade to be "normal"?

Thank you. But I don't know what "myself" is lol. Sort of having a early life crisis. I've been speaking with British accent for the past years, so being myself is being a fake British. 

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Posted (edited)

You should probably just move to Britain, at this point. 

Seriously though, have you talked to anyone in real life about this? At the risk of sounding like an armchair psychologist, it seems like you may be having difficulties fitting into the culture you want to fit into, and the fake accent is how it's manifesting itself. It's a little strange to fake an accent for a country you're neither in or from for several years. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

You should probably just move to Britain, at this point. 

Seriously though, have you talked to anyone in real life about this? At the risk of sounding like an armchair psychologist, it seems like you may be having difficulties fitting into the culture you want to fit into, and the fake accent is how it's manifesting itself. It's a little strange to fake an accent for a country you're neither in or from for several years. 

Yup, I tell everyone of my close friends that I am self conscious about my accent and ask if I should change. I think I fit well in here, it's just British accent is easier for me and people understand me better. If British accent is harder for me, I wouldn't try to speak in it in the first place.

Edited by UnaccompaniedWaterBo

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This is the Internet and we don't really know you. There's nothing wrong with asking strangers for advice, but when you're asking us for advice because you don't like the advice you've already received from people who know you far better, you're grasping at straws. If whatever you are doing with your accent is inviting negative reactions even from your friends, then you should stop doing it. That's not based on my opinion. It's based on the assumption that the people interacting with you in the real world are the best judges of the reactions you'll encounter from other people in the real world.

There's some other stuff here, honestly. The armchair psychology is tempting. But I'll leave it alone for now. I'll just agree with Providence that if you're going to litigate in court, you need to be the best version of yourself, and not try to be some imagined thing that you wish you were. And I'll also say that while it can, indeed, be very important to create a good impression as a lawyer, you should be thinking in terms of how you'll come off to the person who may or may not want you to represent them as their lawyer. And in this context, even the Crown is a client. The jury, and even the judge, are distant issues as compared to that. 

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40 minutes ago, Diplock said:

This is the Internet and we don't really know you. There's nothing wrong with asking strangers for advice, but when you're asking us for advice because you don't like the advice you've already received from people who know you far better, you're grasping at straws. If whatever you are doing with your accent is inviting negative reactions even from your friends, then you should stop doing it. That's not based on my opinion. It's based on the assumption that the people interacting with you in the real world are the best judges of the reactions you'll encounter from other people in the real world.

There's some other stuff here, honestly. The armchair psychology is tempting. But I'll leave it alone for now. I'll just agree with Providence that if you're going to litigate in court, you need to be the best version of yourself, and not try to be some imagined thing that you wish you were. And I'll also say that while it can, indeed, be very important to create a good impression as a lawyer, you should be thinking in terms of how you'll come off to the person who may or may not want you to represent them as their lawyer. And in this context, even the Crown is a client. The jury, and even the judge, are distant issues as compared to that. 

I don't understand what you mean by "the Crown is a client." Crowns don't generally pick the defence counsel they go against. If you mean that the impression Crown attorneys have of defence contributes to our reputation and prowess in court that impacts upon our ability to attract and retain clients, I agree with that. 

And yes, you may have a hard time getting clients if you aren't understandable or they think you have a weird fake accent.

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All I meant is that finding work and appealing to your own clients is the most important consideration. OP said he's interested in being a prosecutor. So in that context, he's hoping to work for the Crown, which is also a client. 

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To OP, I have a couple of points. First, your post is quite well-written. It's not perfect, but I've always found writing in a second language challenging. Hopefully I don't sound patronizing, but I think you should feel good about your English writing skills. 

Second, I broadly agree with what everyone else has said. I don't think you were necessarily that unclear. But I also don't think you sound British. I think you're pronouncing some sounds with one accent, and other sounds with a different accent. The effect is ... a little strange. 

Third, I don't think that there's a silver bullet for mastering a second language -- there's no easy way to attain native-level English fluency. You can't just pretend to be British and expect to sound British. You have to put in a lot of hard work. I'm not an expert, but you will probably have to practice word-by-word and sound-by-sound. You struggled with the pronunciation of "r."  You can work on that. Listen to how native English speakers say it and practice imitating them. Identify the other words you struggle with. Practice those. Ask your friends to gently correct you when you make mistakes. Maybe you'll need a speech therapist. 

In any case, there's nothing wrong with having an accent. You can be a persuasive speaker, even if you weren't born in southern Ontario. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, providence said:

Honestly, it really doesn't sound that British to me. 

I feel like I'm coming off as defensive and already made up my mind, but the first reason I asked this questions is that I know I sound like neither AS OF NOW. If I was confident with British sounding accent, I wouldn't even come here! I am going to train very hard for the next 4 years and hopefully by then I will achieve near perfect accent in either. The question is which though. Ideally, I want to have an American accent, because I want to live here (I'm a Canadian citizen btw) But American accent is REALLY hard for me, because it isn't very good for enunciation. (I've been told this by white native Canadian friends, they say it's sometimes difficult for them too) When I say sentences like "we are already there", especially when I'm tired, it becomes intelligible whether I'm saying something or having a stroke... (I've tried this when I was in my home country, when I was like 12... Theoretically my tongue should be malleable enough to imitate native speakers, but I guess I'm on the left-tail in the distribution. I've seen my friends who moved here like at 20s and say that sentence better than me, they still have noticeable accents though) People understand me better when I speak with an English accent, but sometimes contempt from less-welcoming folks are unavoidable. My friends mostly don't care, rather I only choose to hang out them who see me as a person, not someone with a fake accent. I say a fake accent because it's not my first language. It would also be fake American, but since I live in Canada it is encouraged to fake an American accent, I guess)

The thing with the British accent though, a lot of people in the UK go through extensive training to acquire the received pronunciation. David Beckham did. I think the characters in King's speech were also nonfictional. Because they have so diverse accent, and there is a need for places like BBC to effectively communicate with an accent that can be understood by everyone, I think UK has a better system of "tolerating different accents and accepting people who try to change". A Scouse (from Liverpool) who wants to be a broadcaster at BBC may want to change their accent. And a lot seem to be successful. So what I'm hoping is, my Asian accent could be seen as a local accent like that one,  and I will be have to speak with a perfect RP with extensive training. (I've never had a professional coaching before, my British accent is largely self-taught.)

That's my defence or something what I've been telling myself for the past almost a decade. I don't really care about people who will say "lol that dude finally gave up on his fake British accent" because those people will say my American accent is terrible and I should go back to where I came from (Yes, I've been told this once). But if it's something that hinders my career, I should change it.

As I said, I'm going to train very hard. Toastmasters, accent coaches, I will get every resource that I can get. But I get a little frustrated when I see no progress when I do American accent, and very self conscious if people are going to notice that. As you said, my American accent didn't sound like one AT ALL. I've been asking around people how they can speak that well and everyone said "oh I moved when I was like 12".

Just curious, what other languages do you speak? When did you start speaking English? Was it before puberty?

Edited by UnaccompaniedWaterBo

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, realpseudonym said:

To OP, I have a couple of points. First, your post is quite well-written. It's not perfect, but I've always found writing in a second language challenging. Hopefully I don't sound patronizing, but I think you should feel good about your English writing skills. 

Second, I broadly agree with what everyone else has said. I don't think you were necessarily that unclear. But I also don't think you sound British. I think you're pronouncing some sounds with one accent, and other sounds with a different accent. The effect is ... a little strange. 

Third, I don't think that there's a silver bullet for mastering a second language -- there's no easy way to attain native-level English fluency. You can't just pretend to be British and expect to sound British. You have to put in a lot of hard work. I'm not an expert, but you will probably have to practice word-by-word and sound-by-sound. You struggled with the pronunciation of "r."  You can work on that. Listen to how native English speakers say it and practice imitating them. Identify the other words you struggle with. Practice those. Ask your friends to gently correct you when you make mistakes. Maybe you'll need a speech therapist. 

In any case, there's nothing wrong with having an accent. You can be a persuasive speaker, even if you weren't born in southern Ontario. 

Thanks! My writing got a sloppy progressively in this thread, but it's definitely something I can see that I'm improving when I try.

The effect of mixing accents, I thought of speaking with an American accent but slip out some British ones so people would think that I have a native level command of the English language is a good idea. That's probably why both of my recordings converged into one mixed accent.

Edited by UnaccompaniedWaterBo

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2 hours ago, Diplock said:

All I meant is that finding work and appealing to your own clients is the most important consideration. OP said he's interested in being a prosecutor. So in that context, he's hoping to work for the Crown, which is also a client. 

Oh, I see what you mean. I was thinking that unlike defence, the Crown doesn't really have clients, but I guess they do still have to inspire confidence in their own organization to give them good files.

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34 minutes ago, UnaccompaniedWaterBo said:

I feel like I'm coming off as defensive and already made up my mind, but the first reason I asked this questions is that I know I sound like neither AS OF NOW. If I was confident with British sounding accent, I wouldn't even come here! I am going to train very hard for the next 4 years and hopefully by then I will achieve near perfect accent in either. The question is which though. Ideally, I want to have an American accent, because I want to live here (I'm a Canadian citizen btw) But American accent is REALLY hard for me, because it isn't very good for enunciation. (I've been told this by white native Canadian friends, they say it's sometimes difficult for them too) When I say sentences like "we are already there", especially when I'm tired, it becomes intelligible whether I'm saying something or having a stroke... (I've tried this when I was in my home country, when I was like 12... Theoretically my tongue should be malleable enough to imitate native speakers, but I guess I'm on the left-tail in the distribution. I've seen my friends who moved here like at 20s and say that sentence better than me, they still have noticeable accents though) People understand me better when I speak with an English accent, but sometimes contempt from less-welcoming folks are unavoidable. My friends mostly don't care, rather I only choose to hang out them who see me as a person, not someone with a fake accent. I say a fake accent because it's not my first language. It would also be fake American, but since I live in Canada it is encouraged to fake an American accent, I guess)

The thing with the British accent though, a lot of people in the UK go through extensive training to acquire the received pronunciation. David Beckham did. I think the characters in King's speech were also nonfictional. Because they have so diverse accent, and there is a need for places like BBC to effectively communicate with an accent that can be understood by everyone, I think UK has a better system of "tolerating different accents and accepting people who try to change". A Scouse (from Liverpool) who wants to be a broadcaster at BBC may want to change their accent. And a lot seem to be successful. So what I'm hoping is, my Asian accent could be seen as a local accent like that one,  and I will be have to speak with a perfect RP with extensive training. (I've never had a professional coaching before, my British accent is largely self-taught.)

That's my defence or something what I've been telling myself for the past almost a decade. I don't really care about people who will say "lol that dude finally gave up on his fake British accent" because those people will say my American accent is terrible and I should go back to where I came from (Yes, I've been told this once). But if it's something that hinders my career, I should change it.

As I said, I'm going to train very hard. Toastmasters, accent coaches, I will get every resource that I can get. But I get a little frustrated when I see no progress when I do American accent, and very self conscious if people are going to notice that. As you said, my American accent didn't sound like one AT ALL. I've been asking around people how they can speak that well and everyone said "oh I moved when I was like 12".

Just curious, what other languages do you speak? When did you start speaking English? Was it before puberty?

We are not in the UK, though. Over there, accents correlate to social class and social standing so there is an interest in having one accent over another. In the US, accents strongly show the region you are from. In Canada, the class and regional variations are less obvious but they are subtly there. So there is no real reason to fake or learn a new accent in Canada. Just worry about being easily understood.

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46 minutes ago, UnaccompaniedWaterBo said:

I feel like I'm coming off as defensive and already made up my mind, but the first reason I asked this questions is that I know I sound like neither AS OF NOW. If I was confident with British sounding accent, I wouldn't even come here! I am going to train very hard for the next 4 years and hopefully by then I will achieve near perfect accent in either. The question is which though. Ideally, I want to have an American accent, because I want to live here (I'm a Canadian citizen btw) But American accent is REALLY hard for me, because it isn't very good for enunciation. (I've been told this by white native Canadian friends, they say it's sometimes difficult for them too) When I say sentences like "we are already there", especially when I'm tired, it becomes intelligible whether I'm saying something or having a stroke... (I've tried this when I was in my home country, when I was like 12... Theoretically my tongue should be malleable enough to imitate native speakers, but I guess I'm on the left-tail in the distribution. I've seen my friends who moved here like at 20s and say that sentence better than me, they still have noticeable accents though) People understand me better when I speak with an English accent, but sometimes contempt from less-welcoming folks are unavoidable. My friends mostly don't care, rather I only choose to hang out them who see me as a person, not someone with a fake accent. I say a fake accent because it's not my first language. It would also be fake American, but since I live in Canada it is encouraged to fake an American accent, I guess)

The thing with the British accent though, a lot of people in the UK go through extensive training to acquire the received pronunciation. David Beckham did. I think the characters in King's speech were also nonfictional. Because they have so diverse accent, and there is a need for places like BBC to effectively communicate with an accent that can be understood by everyone, I think UK has a better system of "tolerating different accents and accepting people who try to change". A Scouse (from Liverpool) who wants to be a broadcaster at BBC may want to change their accent. And a lot seem to be successful. So what I'm hoping is, my Asian accent could be seen as a local accent like that one,  and I will be have to speak with a perfect RP with extensive training. (I've never had a professional coaching before, my British accent is largely self-taught.)

That's my defence or something what I've been telling myself for the past almost a decade. I don't really care about people who will say "lol that dude finally gave up on his fake British accent" because those people will say my American accent is terrible and I should go back to where I came from (Yes, I've been told this once). But if it's something that hinders my career, I should change it.

As I said, I'm going to train very hard. Toastmasters, accent coaches, I will get every resource that I can get. But I get a little frustrated when I see no progress when I do American accent, and very self conscious if people are going to notice that. As you said, my American accent didn't sound like one AT ALL. I've been asking around people how they can speak that well and everyone said "oh I moved when I was like 12".

Just curious, what other languages do you speak? When did you start speaking English? Was it before puberty?

I don't want to say the languages here. I started learning English at around 11 years old, so yes, before puberty. I speak a few more languages now because I like languages and learn them quickly. 

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Your American accent is not as bad as you think it is. Your "British" one is distracting and, to my ears, much more foreign sounding.

Further, as I am a lifelong speaker of the Queen's English, and I have rendered my opinion thus, I would consider this matter settled now and for all time.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Mountebank said:

Your American accent is not as bad as you think it is. Your "British" one is distracting and, to my ears, much more foreign sounding.

Further, as I am a lifelong speaker of the Queen's English, and I have rendered my opinion thus, I would consider this matter settled now and for all time.

Nice! But as I said somewhere, it's not please judge my accent now. I am aware of that I don't sound British now. If I were to keep my accent, I'm moving to England on the Youth Mobility Scheme visa and get coaching from RP schools in London. 

Just wondering, what age did you start learning the RP? Do you know of anyone who didn't grow up speaking RP but managed to convert to one? (like someone with Mancunian, Cockney, Estuary, or else) to a proper RP. I've been told my British professors and friends that I sound a bit Cockney/Estuary. 

Edited by UnaccompaniedWaterBo

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Posted (edited)

I don’t think you sound bad—either with the British (I’d say East London?) accent, or your natural speaking voice.

I think your problem, to the extent you have one (which is less than you think!), is cadence. You rush through parts of your sentences. I think the fake accent might sound clearer just because it slows you down. I’d try speaking naturally, but sloooowly and consistently.

Edited by onepost

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9 minutes ago, onepost said:

I don’t think you sound bad—either with the British (I’d say East London?) accent, or your natural speaking voice.

I think your problem, to the extent you have one (which is less than you think!), is cadence. You rush through parts of your sentences. I think the fake accent might sound clearer just because it slows you down. I’d try speaking naturally, but sloooowly and consistently.

Wow are you from England? Because British people told me that I have a slight cockney accent. 

Well, if the situation were to be reversed, as if I live in the UK and I fake American accent to trick British people that I'm a native speaker from Canada, I will still be clearer with the RP because the two accents have different sounds and RP is easier in terms of distinguishing sounds (I have a great deal of trouble between "property", "poverty",  and "puberty".

Literally every time I seek for an opinion, people tell me to slow down. I can chop up each word and enunciate each word, then I can deliver each word clearly, but then it sounds artificial. 

I really want to switch over to the American, but I've been hesitant because it hinders with clarity way too much. My actual American accent is much worse than the recording....

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