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Thread: how to do a russian accent

  1. #1
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    how to do a russian accent

    Hello,

    This may seem rather weird to some folks, but here's the upshot of my request:
    I want to learn to do a Russian accent.
    I want to speak English like Russians do, that is to imitate standard Russian talk, like when they've just arrived in America and start getting around.
    How do I go about this task?

    Here's the skinny I already know (picked it up from the coffers of the internet):

    Pronunciation:
    1. Use V for W: say "vest" in lieu of "west"
    2. Use z/s for th: say "zis/sink" in lieu of "this/think"
    3. Use i: for i: say "seek" in lieu of "sick"
    Grammar:
    1. Skip 'the/a/to': say "I live in country/I want buy car" in lieu of "I live in the country/I want to buy a car"

    But I have a hunch there's more to that, maybe you know more and can give me some heads up on the subject matter so I can improve on my Russian accent.
    I don't have an eye for accents, so I can't really distill anything from just listening to Russians speak English, I need solid advise.
    Aint it a shame you cant say fu_ck?
    Fu_ck is just a word and it's all fu_cked up.

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    Завсегдатай BappaBa's Avatar
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    Re: how to do a russian accent



    After we saw No Country for Old Men, my girlfriend and I argued about Anton Chigurh's background. "He's Russian!" I said. "He's Mexican," she insisted. "Come on, his accent is obviously Eastern European, I said." "No, it sounds more Mexican!" she said.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    You didn't mention an important feature of the Russian accent -- the peculiar rhythm. Russians tend to pronounce every word separately whereas you native speakers join words into clusters. A good example of it you can find at the beginning of this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86oL5Wje ... re=related

    What is "wrong" with this example is the r's, which are too good. For a really heavy accent you should do proper Russian r's, if you can.
    Perhaps even more important is to do proper Russian h's (who, history, ahead, perhaps etc).

    Of course, these are only the tip of the iceberg.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy Go Lucky
    I want to speak English like Russians do, that is to imitate standard Russian talk, like when they've just arrived in America and start getting around.
    Are there other English-speaking contries in the rest of the world? (As opposed to world in "world champions" in superbowl)

    2. Use z/s for th: say "zis/sink" in lieu of "this/think"
    ^^ If you want to imitate really thick accent, most of them seem to master 'th' nevertheless.

    Pronounce 'roll' to rhyme with 'doll', 'palate' like 'belate' and so on.

    Grammar:
    1. Skip 'the/a/to': say "I live in country/I want buy car" in lieu of "I live in the country/I want to buy a car"
    Screw up prepositions - use direct translation of the one used in Russian - 'to fire someone from a firearm'. Translate idioms and figures of speech directly word-by-word.

    I need solid advise.
    Confuse verbs and nouns when the differ only with s/z , th/th pair or only stress position - 'refuse/refuse'.
    Russian is tough, let’s go shopping!

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy Go Lucky
    1. Use V for W: say "vest" in lieu of "west"
    2. Use z/s for th: say "zis/sink" in lieu of "this/think"
    3. Use i: for i: say "seek" in lieu of "sick"
    Isn't eet a French accent?

    4. Pronounce t's instead of d's at the ends of words "to imitate standart Russian talk, like when they've just arrivet in America".
    Хотел мимо, но промахнулся

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    5. Pronounce alveolar consonants like dental.
    Семь бед, один Reset

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Always make your consonants at the end of the words UNVOICED. The ending consonants are all the time unvoiced in Russian. For example, a Russian would say 'as I know' like 'ass I know' which immediately distinguishes Russians (weird example, but it's from my experience and i remember it well).

    Russians don't have clear distinction between your short and long vowels. The 1st vowel in 'cup' and 'carpet' would be pronounced similar. And this would be neither long nor short (something like you pronounce 'er' in 'teacher'). The same applies to all vowels, they are all neither long nor short, and also neither closed nor open.

    To exemplify, i would suggest:

    pen - pan
    see - sick
    sock - sort

    No distinction is made by Russians here.

    Concerning consonants, and meaning again they are unvoiced at the end, no distinction will be made between 'bed' and 'bet', they both will be pronounced in the same way, i.e. with 't' at the end and again the vowel will be like you'd pronounce 'er' in 'teacher'.

    The most difficult sound for a Russian is 'th'. We don't have it. Make it either 'z' or 's', or even 'f'.

    Nowadays, also Russians in words like 'go', 'no' tend to say [ou], not [eu].

    It's a complicated topic you suggested, and it takes a lot more aspects, such as make your 'sh' as in 'she' or 'j' as in 'john' very hard as our equivalent sounds are not so soft as yours.

    Hope, it will help you somehow, but to fully grasp it you will have to make a system of it, cos here there are some systematic differences and they really can be traced if you learn to hear it.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    They can't say æ as in "can" so use short e instead
    Zey vi:l sey He is a bet men for He is a bad man.

    Russian also lacks the nasal velars ng and nk, so for "thinking" you will get "thin-kin".

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Thank you guys for chiming in with advice and tips.
    That's an overwhelming amount of 411, hehe (ax me if you don't know what 411 is )
    I'll pore over it at my leisure over a cup of coffee and see what I can make of it, what I can do in terms of improvement.
    Aint it a shame you cant say fu_ck?
    Fu_ck is just a word and it's all fu_cked up.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Well, I wouldn't mind knowing about 411. So what's that? Becoming off-topic, isn't that))

    Another tip which is more specific. In words like 'she' the vowel sound is pronounced with a more opened mouth (how i put it, Oh my God). Don't make it as wide as you do it in English, and this will get you closer.

    Make 'l' as in ''lollipop'' harder, cos we generally don't have soft sounds, 'h' is very hard as someone said in earlier post. To me, a hard 'h' (as in 'how') is the irrefutable indicator of a Russian accent.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by alexsms
    Well, I wouldn't mind knowing about 411. So what's that? Becoming off-topic, isn't that))
    It;s the number you dial in the usa if you want to inquire about some company and the like. (directory assistance)
    Its well known to one and all, in fact it's so widespread that 411 came to be a synonym for information.
    You can say "I need 411 on that perp (criminal)"
    Aint it a shame you cant say fu_ck?
    Fu_ck is just a word and it's all fu_cked up.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy Go Lucky
    1. Use V for W: say "vest" in lieu of "west"
    2. Use z/s for th: say "zis/sink" in lieu of "this/think"
    I think it will be an overplaying. That can say those who utterly have no clue about English pronounsiation. If you want sound more natural there are more thin moments like the lack of aspiration and dark L R, different intonation ets.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Some more points:

    pronounce double letters as two separated letters
    "sipping" -> "sip+ping"
    "stopped" -> "stop+ped"
    "begged" -> "beg+ged"

    "-ed" ending for verbs is always pronounced with voiced "e"

    unvoiced "e" in ending is pronounced as voiced "-eh"
    "rule" -> "ruleh"
    "force" -> "forceh"


    Actually I've found this topic useful for native Russians too. We can check what we pronounce wrong and master it.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup
    Actually I've found this topic useful for native Russians two. We can check what we pronounce wrong and master it.
    Yes, this topic has already crushed some illusions about my good pronunciation
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    I just want to clarify something:
    Certain accents sound pretty cool if that's your REAL accent (such as Russian (Slavic) accent, particularly for guys).

    But faking it is not cool! Why would you want to do that? For a native English speaker to put on a fake Russian accent is...... a bit eccentric. I'd strongly recommend against this idea unless it was for a role in film/theatre.

    What precisely do you plan to say when someone asks where in Russia you're from.... or switches to Russian while you are speaking with them?
    Пожалуйста, исправьте мои ошибки!
    Помогите изучающим русский язык, наговаривая слова и предложения на Rhinospike.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Imitating the speech is a good idea, probably the best one to learn to speak without the accent.
    Helping foreign learners with Russian via Skype.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    They can't say æ as in "can" so use short e instead
    Zey vi:l sey He is a bet men for He is a bad man.

    Russian also lacks the nasal velars ng and nk, so for "thinking" you will get "thin-kin".
    Honestly saying, It will sound like "Seen"-"keen"
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    Actually, I think it's a pretty good idea to learn the accent that way... the same as when I wanted to learn how to use Cyrillic letters, I practiced by writing English words in Cyrillic spelling- and that was quite helpful. So I do really like listening to Russians speak English with a heavy accent, because it helps me get used to the pronunciation, without having to concentrate so much on trying to understand exactly what it is they are saying. For this reason I occasionally practice speaking my own English just with a faux Russian accent- that way it's easier to 'wrap my mind around' how pronunciation works. This method has its faults, of course, but it does help me a little.

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    I think you have to not be a noob.
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    Re: how to do a russian accent

    I've found native Russians have trouble with w's.

    Work
    Wrench

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