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Thread: Me reading a "сказка" -- plus some accent-reduction tips

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Me reading a "сказка" -- plus some accent-reduction tips

    Hi -- sorry about the "blog whoring," but here's a link to a freelance post I wrote for a US-based "Learning Russian" website. And it starts with me reading a few sentences from a Chechen story в русском переводе:



    (No actual video in this one because I was having some camcorder problems and could only use the computer's microphone input.)

    This is not quite my normal speaking voice; it's my "deep and slow narrator voice" that I tend to use when reading a book to my 5-year-old nephew. (Depending on the characters in the book, I also have a "young guy" voice, a "little old lady" voice, a "screaming monkey" voice, a "robot" voice, etc.!) So my natural speaking tone is at a slightly higher pitch, and a little bit faster than this. Anyway, I'd appreciate feedback both on my pronunciation and also on the suggestions that I make in the linked post. (I.e., do you think they're useful to learners?)
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Also, if Valda sees this: Check out Carol Channing's performance of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" on YouTube! (The way she says the "b" in "best" is rather similar to the soft Б in себя, though not identical to the Russian pronunciation. And, overall, her consonants tend to be quite soft.)

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    You are explaining soft consonants very well, I liked it very much! But there's room to improve your own pronunciation! Р in рядом, С in сильный and Щ in возвращался are not enough soft! They sound more like радом, сыльный, возврашался to me.
    At the same time, Л' in звали, Х' in хитроумный, Н' in Несарт, Ч' in харчевня, Т' in тепло don't have this bug.

    Your дождь is perfect!

    Ы also good, but the explanation was too difficult to me (may be because I am not "целевая аудитория"? ) .
    Would not it be enough to hint people to go from И as in Beet through иы as in Bit and futher to Ы (I am noticing now, that all I have to do is немного подтягивать язык как бы сокращая его) ?

    А Ходжа Насреддин — Википедия кстати - весьма известная в СССР/России личность.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Мне не очень нравится ваша интонация. Она должна делать скачок в конце каждой синтагмы, перед всеми паузами, кроме конца предложения. Не хватает подъёмов. Конец предложений тоже какой-то неправильный, но я не могу сказать, что не так.

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    B, D, G in English are not aspirated, that makes them very different from P, T, K. The main thing is that they must be completely voiced in Russian.

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    not bad, i like it... you seem to sound a bit harder than what a natural Russian voice would sound, but maybe it's your natural way of speaking (all consonants seem rather hard, in Russian they would be softer, especially ш, but again maybe this is your usual way of speaking) you might want to make the intonation a bit smoother and softer also... to ask a Russian read this might be a good idea.

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    Sounds good enough but some vowels seem stilted, especially "А" which is typically more relaxed in Russian. It is the manner of pronunciation that creates the overall foreign feel of your speech. Think Treebeard from The Lord of the Rings movie: sounds stragely rounded, though clearly enunciated.
    Хитроумный should be pronounced as a whole. You have some trouble speaking "возвращался", the word is unclear. That's bad, beacause it is the only stressed syllable that is the most clumsy. And "ль" in "сильный" is unnatural, the same with "бе" in "забежал" - somewhat palatalized, but not enough. You seem to apply English type of rhytm to longer words. There's little "pounding" in Russian: for example, in "шашлыкОм" you really have weak syllables both for "шаш" and "лы", not a semi-stressed "шаш" and weak "лы", then heavily stressed "ком".

    As for the intonation, it is mostly OK save for the rhythm of the speech in general. The only thing to pay attention is "Жил-был" in the first sentence: you'd better pronounce the two words aprroximately the same in strength, or even the first stronger.

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    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
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    So what do native Russian speakers think about soft French r in words, like рядом? Some posts have mentioned native Russian speakers that use French r.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
    So what do native Russian speakers think about soft French r in words, like рядом? Some posts have mentioned native Russian speakers that use French r. (eg second r in 'une rousse russe' is a soft r.)
    when I was taught French and how to pronounce any 'r' in French, it was quite different from Russian 'r'. French 'r' in any position is different from the Russian 'r'.

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    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
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    Yes, I understand that. I myself don't have any trouble with Russian r.

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! The problems I was having with my camcorder seem to be fixed, so this evening I'm going to try to make a video with a short reading in Russian, and this time I'll try to read in a "normal conversational voice" for purposes of comparison.

    But a lot of the specific criticisms weren't a surprise to me -- I know that I have trouble with some of the soft consonants, and I tend to pronounce them "hard" unless I'm very, very focused. (I might be able to pronounce the ль properly if I were saying ONLY the word "сильный", but it's more difficult when the word is in a sentence.)

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    You pronounce hard щ in "возвращался". You pronounce hard р in рядом. Seems that ч in харчевня is also hard.

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Throbert,

    You should know, that your speech is much more digestible, than the one our TV folks demonstrate!
    They are burring and stuttering and choosing very disturbing intonations and having no idea about subject.

    Could you apply for a job on some Russian sport channel?
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! The problems I was having with my camcorder seem to be fixed, so this evening I'm going to try to make a video with a short reading in Russian, and this time I'll try to read in a "normal conversational voice" for purposes of comparison.

    But a lot of the specific criticisms weren't a surprise to me -- I know that I have trouble with some of the soft consonants, and I tend to pronounce them "hard" unless I'm very, very focused. (I might be able to pronounce the ль properly if I were saying ONLY the word "сильный", but it's more difficult when the word is in a sentence.)
    Although soft L is much easier to pronounce than the hard one.
    So what do native Russian speakers think about soft French r in words, like рядом? Some posts have mentioned native Russian speakers that use French r.
    It depends on a person.

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    Я почитал ваши посты на том сайте, Роберт. Они интересные и ценные.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post

    But a lot of the specific criticisms weren't a surprise to me -- I know that I have trouble with some of the soft consonants, and I tend to pronounce them "hard" unless I'm very, very focused. (I might be able to pronounce the ль properly if I were saying ONLY the word "сильный", but it's more difficult when the word is in a sentence.)
    in this case, probably your 'hardness' is not a big deal, if one speaks to Russians a considerable amount of time one might improve this quickly... natural rhythm can be easily achieved if one lives in Russia for several months and speaks to people...

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
    So what do native Russian speakers think about soft French r in words, like рядом? Some posts have mentioned native Russian speakers that use French r.
    We had a discussion here some time ago and some people agreed that the closest sound to the French "r" in Russian is "х". Russian "Х" is pronounced much like French "R".
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    We had a discussion here some time ago and some people agreed that the closest sound to the French "r" in Russian is "х". Russian "Х" is pronounced much like French "R".
    Southern Russian г is the closest one.

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