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18 November 2006


when i was in italy for training, i recall one of the trainees point out the italian was a very sing-song language. there is a lot of up and down and inflection to it, that even if you couldn't hear the words, but could hear the tone of the conversation, you could tell it was italian. i think i'd have to agree considering TheNP guy here that i've been handing over with is fluent in italian and he spoke to the other italian onsite quite a bit, i noticed it as well, but that piqued (?) my ears' attention. i also noticed the irish. i work with a few and it seems they either inflect the exact opposite as to what i'd expect (americans go down at the end of a sentence, whereas they seem to inflect up), or they over compensate, either in a phrase or a question. in a question, oftentimes americans go up at the end, where i noticed the irish will more of than not either go up on the next to last word and down on the last, OR they'll go up two or three tones at the end. i think it's things like this that you need to deconctruct an accent in order to learn it and really sounds natural. i like accents, i pick them up rather easily without even noticing. i met a guy from trinidad several days ago and i was really intrugued by how he talked. it's very similiar if not the same as a jamaican accent. see with that accent, they are all over the place, sometimes several different octaves in the same sentence. i expected a fairly flat sentence (before i knew he was from trinidad), but when he started talking, he'd go WAY up and then normal, a little up, WAY up again, etc. it took my brain a minute to realize that is how he talked, then i realized the difficulty i was having wasn't that he was saying the words so differently than i'd expected, just my brain was expecting the word to come out at a certain tone and was trying to predict the next tone. when it was unsuccessful, it had to determine whether it heard the corect word, then their was a backlog in the buffer, and i'd be all like "i'm sorry, what was that?" hah. enough of my goofiness for now.


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