12.5.12

Work on your pronunciation NOW

Tips, Tricks and Resources to Learn A Foreign Language Faster

It is important to work on your pronunciation right from the start. Let me explain by telling you a (sad) story from Mexico-City.

There was this Mexican high level executive with a multinational German company. Being very ambitious, he wanted to work out of headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany. For that he had to speak German obviously. So he gave it all…….

He was highly intelligent. However, his pronunciation proved to be a challenge right from the start. And, sad to say, his teachers didn’t really focus on polishing it, because they thought that building up vocabulary and fluency was more important. And he did that easily.

They simply got used to him talking German in a funny way.

The end of the story is that he never made it to Germany. Headquarters sent one of their specialist to test his German skills, and it took this gentleman about 10 minutes to be able to understand the candidate. After that it turned out that his vocabulary and use of grammar was almost perfect. So what? The company couldn’t afford to have somebody working for them in Germany whose visitors, new colleagues, clients etc. needed 10 minutes to find out that he actually spoke German well.

And, more importantly, after a certain stage it is very, very difficult to change and improve your pronunciation. So work on it right from the start, get it ´right’ at the beginning.

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2 comments:

  1. Well said! I know it sure is tough when you put the Ac-cent' on the wrong syl-lable'
    First impressions are a make or break thing.
    Thanks for the post!
    Dave Innis

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  2. That's a very good point out there! I completely agree with you. One must work on his/her pronunciation right from the very beginning otherwise it's bound to get even more difficult. Of course, easier said than done. Mastering pronunciation is probably the hardest challenge as far as language learning is concerned but it's totally worthwhile. We must not forget about the irritating factor which surely plays a role in business. For instance, when a foreigner talks to an English native speaker and anytime there's 'th' sound on the way the person pronounces it as 'z' there's no doubt it'll start irritating the native speaker which may lead to a complete break-down in communication. It's not just about what we say. It's also about how we say it.

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