A Love for Accents

The reason Inspector Clouseau (The Pink Panther, [电影]粉红豹) is trying SO HARD to sound like an American is that he has a mission to do in the United States. As we can hear, he is failing miserably. Or is he? To truly sound like a native speaker of any language is an impossible task for nearly all of us. But I am sure that Clouseau would have no trouble ordering a hamburger in America even with his French pronunciation.

克鲁索探长(粉红豹[电影]粉红豹)正接受教练严格的美国英语培训,因为他在美国有任务要做。据我们所知,他正在惨败。还是真的?对于我们几乎所有人来说,真正像母语者一样说任何语言都是一项不可能完成的任务。但我敢肯定,即使克鲁索的法语发音在美国点汉堡包也不会有问题。

In fact, students worry too much about pronunciation. When did it become ‘bad’ to have an accent? What students should be most concerned about is intonation and stress, not pronunciation. With effort, a student can learn the basic intonation and rhythm of English (American and British are both basically the same) and be well understood in most places around the world. Native like pronunciation however, is something for the truly gifted and for most of us requires years of study and listening. Of course we need to study pronunciation very seriously, but we should not discouraged at the steep learning curve either.

事实上,学生们太担心发音了。口音不好吗?我不这么认为。历史上,口音被认为是可爱或迷人的。学生应该最关心的是语调和重音,而不是发音。通过努力,学生可以学习英语的基本语调和节奏(美式和英式基本相同),并且在世界上大多数地方都能被很好地理解。只有真正有天赋的人才能够轻松地获得母语发音。对我们大多数人来说,这需要多年的学习和倾听。当然,我们需要非常认真地学习发音,但我们也不应该在陡峭的学习曲线上泄气。

For me, I love accents. How boring it would be if everyone spoke the same! Just like colors, clothes, and music define a culture, so does accent. So if you have a Chinese accent, don’t be ashamed! Speak loud and proud!

对我来说,我喜欢口音。如果每个人都用同样的方式说话,那将是多么无聊啊!就像颜色、衣服和音乐定义了一种文化一样,口音也定义了一种文化。所以,如果你有中国口音,不要感到羞耻!大声骄傲地说!

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