LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||21/ABR/2010 12:22 AM|
|Assunto:||I want to speak|
I have been through Utah a few times, and I recall nothing unusual about the accent. Have you been elsewhere in the USA? To be frank, my impression is that you are blaming an accent that is innocent of the charge.
If you listen more, understanding will become easier. I´d suggest watching DVDs, listening to the radio (not just to the Special English broadcasts of the Voice of America or to BBC broadcasts), listening to singers on CDs, etc. A real test (even for native speakers) is to listen to a song and write down the lyrics. It is not as easy as people think. Then compare what you believe to be the lyrics with the actual lyrics. Even natives make lots of mistakes in this area.
Ah... That´s another thing. You are probably trying to understand every word that is spoken. Am I right? And while you are trying to translate mentally the twenty first word in the conversation, the speaker is saying word number 93. Am I right? Well, don´t. Native speakers rarely understand every word in a conversation unless it is very short, in simple English, and the speaker has an exceptionally clear speaking voice. He is, however, understanding enough of each sentence to follow the conversation. If you disagree, think of how many times you have misunderstood someone speaking to you in Portuguese. It´s your native language, right? The speaker is not using words unknown to you, right? But you find yourself asking the speaker to repeat something, or you realize that you have misunderstood something. Relax. It´s not the end of the world. Relax and you will understand better.
Something that helped me a lot with Spanish was breaking my leg. You might want to try it. hahaha With a broken leg and in a cast, I found myself listening many hours a day to Mexican radio stations. One day it struck me that I was understanding things without mentally translating word for word. (Possibly you are doing this with English.) With Portuguese, I was helped a lot with a subscription to the "O Globo" TV network. I would watch novelas, the news, Jo Soares, etc. And I had and still have a good collection of all kinds of Brazilian songs, and I would play them seemingly non-stop. And I loved to write down the lyrics. And so often when I compared what I had written with what I found on the Internet, I was wrong. And sometimes I liked "my lyrics" even better than those of Joanna, Simone, Marisa Montes, Almir Sater, Elba Ramalho, and others. They should hire me. I could be famous.
People who have not studied foreign languages often fail to understand the leap between reading-writing and speaking-listening. It´s not easy. It becomes easier when you relax and not worry about it. You certainly have a good command of English. You are now moving into a new area of study. Good luck!
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