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Why can't foreigners say "it"?

You know instantly someone is a foreigner when they say something like, "Eet eece wreetone" instead of "It is written".

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 3103/05/2013

In most Romance languages, such as French and Spanish, the "I" has an "ee" sound. the schwa "i" doesn't exist in their languages, its an English thing. Notice the Germans and Scandinavians don't have this problem. Most Arabs and Slavs learn French first, so by the time they come to English its something they cannot get over.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 111/25/2012

Are you a little slow, OP?

Research the concept of "accents (speech)".

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 211/25/2012

Ok, so they don't grow up with the sound. Once they are told the correct way to say it in English, what's the problem? They just have to mimic the sound.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 311/25/2012

I find it shocking that foreign language speakers don't pronounce English correctly. SHOCKING!!!

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 411/25/2012

How many languages do you speak, OP? How's your pronunciation in your second, third, and fourth languages?

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 511/25/2012

In Greek, the "i" is also pronounced as "ee." In fact, there are three letters in the alphabet pronounced as "ee." The short "i" sound doesn't exist.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 611/25/2012

Yes, all "foreigners" (couldn't you just have said "non-native English speakers?) have the same accent in English.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 711/25/2012

As long as they speak blow job, it's all good

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 811/25/2012


by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 903/03/2013


by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1003/03/2013

R3, It isn't always easy to mimic someone make a sound that you've never encountered before or never had to utter. We take it for granted how to make the short i sound, but people not accustomed to this sound wouldn't know where to position their tongue in their mouth or how long to hold the vowel. These are things taught in accent reduction class, but most English language learners don't go to accent reduction class and only learn the rudimentary skills.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1103/03/2013

The OP is an untraveled flyover obesitron. Ignore it.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1203/04/2013

My native language has so many different vowels. Many of them would sound the same to you, OP. But the differences of these vowels have nothing to do with how long it is held...

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1303/04/2013

In college, my Hebrew prof told us that most Israelis commencing their English studies can't hear the difference between "man" and "men."

I've been speaking Italian for years and still can't perfectly pronounce "gli"--it's such an odd rolling of the tongue mid-sound. I've heard it a thousand times, said it a thousand times, but it's still not perfect.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1403/04/2013

You know instantly that OP is a moron.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1503/04/2013

I live in a foreign country. I have been here for half of my life. I speak the language fluently but I still have a bit of an American accent. When I speak I can even hear that I am not pronouncing words exactly like a native. But it's something you have little control over. The muscles of your mouth and tongue are formed and trained at a young age... unless you go to a speech therapist and work on it, it's not going to change.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1603/04/2013

I hope this is a joke post. Otherwise, OP is unbelievably ignorant.

The sound in 'it' (which is NOT a schwa, R2 - a schwa is the sound of the 'a' in 'hospital') doesn't exist in many languages. Most people are unable to 'just mimic' sounds when they reach adulthood, which is why foreign accents exist. In fact, many people are unable to HEAR the sound correctly, let alone reproduce it. Their brain just associates it with a similar sound in their own language, hence 'eat' for 'it'.

If you actually spoke any foreign languages, OP, you'd know that pronouncing words like a native is difficult to impossible, unless you learned that language in childhood.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1703/04/2013

OP, I'm Spanish and I hardly knew if... not, I don't never met an English-speaker native person who can speak Spanish without no English accent. I know people who have spent years here, married to Spanish people and they sound English.

I'm guessing that you are not able to do the correct R rolling sound of Spanish. Also English speakers sound always foreign because of their aspirated consonants /p t k/.

The problem is that you grow up with a language and your mouth and how do you have that muscle trained to articulate a sound has grown with you, and that's very difficult to change. And that's if you can perceive the difference sound in the other language, because what are different letters and phonemes in one language in another that different sounds represent the same letters and phonemes because are heard and understood as allophones, That's is one of the multiple ways to pronounce a single phoneme of that language.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1803/04/2013

For the same reason, OP, that you, as an English speaker, might find it very difficult to roll your r's, put your emphasis on the correct syllable to form a formal second person verb tense (or even master the highly politic distinction between the formal and the familiar), or have forgotten that there was in your language once such a thing as a proficient use of the subjunctive.

When you are accustomed to not using something or to misuse or disuse something, it is particularly challenging to change the well trodden pattern you regularly use. Generally, merely being told that you are not getting it right is not enough to alter your behavior.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 1903/04/2013

Israeli-born radio host Aaron Klein can't pronounce eight. He says et et et when giving the toll-free number.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2003/04/2013

Have always heard people from Britian pronounce 'a' as 'ah." Co-worker from London says PLA-zuh instead of PLAH-zuh and NAT-zee for NOT-zee. Is this regional or lack of education?

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2103/04/2013

r7, Archie Bunker told Edith there was no reason to go to Europe "because there's nothin' but a bunch of foreigners there."

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2203/04/2013

This thread is proof that ignorant, fatass flyover rubes rule Datalounge.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2303/04/2013

In ten years of reading datalounge, I am stunned to find out that there are still new candidates for the title of "Dumbest Thread Ever."

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2403/04/2013

Op is an eedeeot.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2503/04/2013

The "th" sound is also not used in some other languages, notably French.

Spanish and the rolled r is almost impossible for me. Hardest word: Refrigerador. It's about three different r sounds in there.

I feel like Hebrew would kill my throat.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2603/04/2013

The french say "Dark Vader" instead of Darth Vader because of that reason.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2703/04/2013

I'm quite certain OP speaks French with a perfect Tours accent.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2803/04/2013

R21, could you be any more ignorant? It's called an ACCENT. The British pronunciation of 'plaza' is simply DIFFERENT. Not more correct and not less correct than the American pronunciation.

Most of the Americans I've met seem to think their pronunciation is the correct pronunciation and everyone else 'has an accent'. It makes them sound like sheltered morons. Everyone in the world has some sort of accent.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 2903/05/2013

R21 also needs to explain what the hell a "NOT-zee" is. It does not correspond to any known word in the English language.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 3003/05/2013

Why can't the English just learn to speak American properly before they get here? They must not teach anything in grade school over there.

by Theece mek me crezzie!reply 3103/05/2013
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