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Monday, February 12, 2018

How To Sound Like A Native English Speaker - Video

I have a video today, sent to me via my pal Vinnie. If you view just the first part of it, you will understand just why JET (Japan Exchange Programme) participants - native English speakers - were asked/hired initially to go to Japan.

It's not to teach English, as far as I could tell, because the JTEs (Japanese teachers of English) can do that quite well on their own.

Rather it was to better educate the Japanese students on how to pronounce words to make them sound as close as possible to English, rather than Engrish.

As you will note in the word English, it has the letter "L" in it, an alphabet not used in the Japanese alphabet... and when the letter "L" is usually pronounced by a native Japanese person, it tends to sound more like an "R", because, quite frankly, that is the letter that supplants it in the katakana alphabet... that's the alphabet used by Japan when using non-Japanese words, specifically, but not limited to, English.

There's also no "V", and that is usually taken over with a "B" sound... but a B-sound with a vowel combined.

There's also the problem of most Japanese letters actually being a consonant with a vowel, such as ba-bi-bu-be-bo, for example, rather than just "B". Vancouver becomes Bancoubah.

Watch how Japanese youth attempt to speak English into a smartphone.

I always took my English teaching duties as more of a means to educate the Japanese on how to better pronounce English words... and it's also why the JET Programme prefers to have teachers who have a neutral accent... though it's not super picky on that.

Andrew Joseph 

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