English Accent Training: How Koreans are Adapting

English accent trainingIt is natural to have some reservations about finally making a commitment to English accent training, especially if this decision has been weighing on your mind for some time or was mandated by an employer. A misconception you may have upon reading through our articles here at AccentPros and taking one of our free accent reduction screenings is the 

idea that after your speech data has been gathered and interpreted, English accent training always begins and ends at the same point. While all English accent training here at AccentPros begins with the results generated by an evaluation, we also take into account what aspects of English are present in your native language. Thus we are building on what language rules you already know while addressing each of your accent concerns individually.

 English Accent Training: Contrasting English and Korean

English accent training

One of the biggest differences between English and Korean is that many of the English consonant sounds Americans use  to communicate are not present at all in Korean,  including the “th” sound in “then” and “thirteen” and the long /v/ sound, which is frequently mispronounced as a /b/ sound by native Korean speakers. Therefore it is not uncommon to hear the word “phone” being pronounced as “pone” by native Korean speakers who are integrating English accent training techniques into their everyday speech.  Also unlike English, Korean is a syllable timed language. Syllable timed languages all feature syllables of equal length, thereby creating no obvious points of emphasis, or content words, that can be designated as vital in the minds  of native stressed time language speakers. As we have discussed previously on this blog, stressed timed languages have a natural musicality to them, a tempo that rises and falls.

Korean words never have more than two consonants per syllable, and consonants found at the end of Korean words are only released if the consonant is followed by a vowel in the same syllable. Release occurs  in English when consonants at the end of words are emphatically enunciated. Voiceless English  consonants at the end of words are pronounced with a slight puff of air.

Because Korean rarely features released consonants, native Korean speakers are prone to adding “u” or “i” vowels to the end of English words that end with a consonant. For example, “coat” becomes “coati”.

English accent training: Common Mispronunciations by Native Korean Speakers

Below is a chart showing 15 of most common mispronunciation errors of English words by native Korean speakers. A written explanation of each error is listed in the first column, with the commonly mispronounced sound in each word written phonetically in the fourth column. If you are a native Korean speaker, take note of which of the following English words and/or sounds you have difficulty pronouncing.Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.20.22 AM(1)


English Accent Training: How to Learn More

This is just one of our many blog articles that help educate and inform the public on English Accent Training If you’re interested in learning more about ways to reduce your foreign accent, check out our free Accent Reduction screening. Within 48 hours you will receive results regarding your accent on a severity scale of 1 (very heavy) to 7 (very mild) accent. If you’re looking to start on your Accent Reduction, we have office and online starter program options! Within 12 sessions, all clients have demonstrated accent reduction of 50% or more.

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