accents and tones from all over the world

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i have a habbit of trying to guess where is the person who im speaking with from.

when people speak arabic i can tell where they come from from the first few words and (sometimes from their voice tone only).
and even sometimes when arabic people speak english it is obvious and easy to tell which country do they come from.

and as well when french,german,asian...ect people speak english im sure most of you can tell where do they come from. (i mean if they don`t have the perfect english accent).

now,, any special way to know where does a (spanish) native speaker come from?
tone,body language,special attitude while talking.......ect?

i would like each one of you to mention his/her experience, and if he/she can recognize people, and how can he/she know which part of the world does a person come from?

i know in each country we can find different dialects and accents, but lets talk in general and the most obvious signs.

4138 views
updated ENE 1, 2011
posted by PUNISHER

14 Answers

0
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i noticed that mexicans say "Aay" !! alot before sentences and they give it a special tone,

and "NO" (for example if i thought that mexico is in asia, they go like: Aay !! Nooooo) it has a special tone as well, like Noooooo but with a slight drop of the tone somewhere in the middle of it.

maybe im mistaken and it could be noticed everywhere else, but i only notice that when i hear mexicans talking.

updated FEB 10, 2009
posted by PUNISHER
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[url=http://www.sweetim.com/s.asp'im=gen&lpver=3&ref=11" target="_blank][/url] i missed that, sorry.

lazarus1907 said:

PUNISHER said:

lazarus, can you pinpoint them by how they look like or by their cloths.

I thought I had already explained that part. Let me go to my previous post, and copy and paste what I wrote before:I recognize them from their intonation, melody, cadence, and even different ways to pronounce some consonants, i.e. how they speak.

>

updated FEB 10, 2009
posted by PUNISHER
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I used to work at a call center and I spoke to many people from different Spanish speaking countries. After a while I started to pick up on the accents and it seems like each country has its own little "catch phrase". For example: Cubans like to say "¡alabado!" I never really knew what they meant by that but they would say it when they were in disagreement or angry about something. Puerto Ricans say "Eso es así" whereas Mexicans tend to say "Así es" to mean the same thing. Many times I had heard Colombians say "listo" to convey "ok". The list is endless.

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by LadyDi
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Natasha said:

The Cuban accent is very distinctive. If you hear it once, you'll recognize it again later.

Not only the accent: some final R's are pronounced as L's (e.g. amor -->amol) or simply aspirated, and some R's at the end of a syllable are not even pronounced, or aspirated (e.g. largo --> lahgo, orquesta --> ohquehta). Many S's are pronounced with aspirations, like in Andalusia (e.g. distinto -> dihtinto). It is hard to miss those features.

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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The Cuban accent is very distinctive. If you hear it once, you'll recognize it again later.

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by Natasha
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PUNISHER said:

lazarus, can you pinpoint them by how they look like or by their cloths.

I thought I had already explained that part. Let me go to my previous post, and copy and paste what I wrote before:

I recognize them from their intonation, melody, cadence, and even different ways to pronounce some consonants, i.e. how they speak.

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
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Sorry, yes, I got this description a bit muddled up. Thanks for the clarification!

Vikingo said:

The ceceo is pronouncing the s as an English th-sound, as if it were a Spanish z. You find that in [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Andaluc%C3%ADa_ceceante_y_seseante.PNG]parts of Andalucia[/url]. What you're talking about in northern/central Spain is called "distinción", and is indeed what most Spaniards speak - they pronounce s and z differently.

>

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by Neil-Coffey
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I'll give an anecdote that is slightly different, but related.

A Japanese friend and I were once in a noisy restaurant when we noticed a table of Japanese people sitting some distance away. We could tell they were Japanese because we could hear them speaking, but we couldn't make out what they were saying. It became a sort of game for us, because at times we could hear their voices fairly well, but still couldn't make out a single word, so it was sort of funny to us. When we got up to leave and passed by their table, we were astonished to find that they were actually Koreans. No wonder we couldn't understand them!

Korean and Japanese share a common ancestor, but are mutually unintelligible today. However, they both share the same "music." That is, if you can't hear the actual words (as in a noisy place), and can only make out the sounds, both languages sound the same, in the way they rise and fall, expand and contract, etc.

It is getting increasingly difficult to identify people's birthplaces in the US from their speech, because people move around and intermarry so much now today, so the lines are beginning to blur.

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
0
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lazarus, can you pinpoint them by how they look like or by their cloths.

in my part of the world sometimes we can pinpoint were people come from (country or city) by their look. and it is interesting that some people even can tell which blood line a person descends from by just looking at his face and sometimes they can tell which family that person descends from. (ofcourse the possibility of getting that right is not 100%)

i wonder if you can figuer out (approximately) where does a person come from just by his look, (whether within spain or other parts of the world) ''

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by PUNISHER
0
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Neil Coffey said:

  • Most speakers in northern/central Spain have 'ceceo': differentiation between 'z' and 's' in e.g. "casa" vs "caza"; as far as I'm aware, no varieties outside Spain have this distinction (that's always a dangerous type of assertion!); as far as I'm aware, the situation in Andalucia is more complex: some speakers have the distinction, and speakers differ as to whether they consider the distinction prestigious or not

The ceceo is pronouncing the s as an English th-sound, as if it were a Spanish z. You find that in [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Andaluc%C3%ADa_ceceante_y_seseante.PNG]parts of Andalucia[/url]. What you're talking about in northern/central Spain is called "distinción", and is indeed what most Spaniards speak - they pronounce s and z differently.

Neil Coffey said:

  • In Mexico (and possibly Columbia), (...)

Colombia. Please.

Saludos smile

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by Vikingo
0
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Most of the time I can pinpoint the approximate location of a Spanish speaker in Spain within a 200 km radius with no problem. Each person from each city and region has a distinct way to speak, a particular intonation, melody, cadence, and even different ways to pronounce some consontants. Expressions and local words also help, of course. In Andalusia alone I can almost differentiate the accent from people coming from 6 different major cities (one of them is not so marked). In the rest of Spain I can differentiate between Galicians, from "Extremeños" (and in Extremadura, I can differentiate between the two major cities), Madrid, Valladolid and Soria (more or less), Asturias, Aragón, Cataluña,... and some others. The differences are obvious.

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
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"Most speakers in northern/central Spain have 'ceceo': differentiation between 'z' and 's' in e.g. "casa" vs "caza"; as far as I'm aware"

i thought that some pronunce the z, ci and ce as an english TH or english S and some mix them up.

but casa=caTHa'? do some speakers pronunce the S is some of the words like the english TH'?

by the way, i brought up a subject long time ago in this site asking about the accent from Bolivia as i heard some people say that the people from Bolivia pronunce the S like the english SH (more or less,or maybe close to it) ---|-> casa=casha but i have been told that it was not true.

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by PUNISHER
0
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Some features to listen out for; it will be interesting if others can expand this list:
- Many Peninsular Spanish speakers pronounce [s] with the very tip of the tongue, giving it quite a distinct "strident" quality compared to most other varieties of Spanish; in other varieties, notably Mexican Spanish, [s] is much more similar to English, articulated with the part of the tongue just behind the tip
- Most speakers in northern/central Spain have 'ceceo': differentiation between 'z' and 's' in e.g. "casa" vs "caza"; as far as I'm aware, no varieties outside Spain have this distinction (that's always a dangerous type of assertion!); as far as I'm aware, the situation in Andalucia is more complex: some speakers have the distinction, and speakers differ as to whether they consider the distinction prestigious or not
- Most Spanish-speaking countries have varieties of Spanish where 's' isn't always /s/-- i.e., where it isn't pronounced as what English speakers would think of as a "canonical 's' sound" (alveolar fricative). As far as I can gather, most Spaniards consider pronouncing [s] being the prestige form, whereas outside of Spain, the variants are on the whole less stigmatised. Variants include: lengthening the previous vowel (Andalucia), pronunciation as [h] particularly at the end of a syllable (predominant in Cuba; present to some extent throughout Latin America); pronunciation as a fricative that assimilates to the surrounding context (predominant in Chile), e.g. "es que" -> [eç ke], as though written "ej que". In what is considered standard pronunciation in Mexico, /s/ is retained, though it usually assimilates for voice (i.e. becomes [z] before a voiced consonant), e.g. "es lo peor" -> [ezlo-], not [eslo-].
- Pronouncing 'll'/'y' as the 's' of English 'pleisure' is apparently a typical feature of Argentinian Spanish.
- Mexicans commonly devoice the final syllable of an utterance/paragraph, apparently for rhetorical function; utterance-final -r is commonly pronounced as a voiceless trill in careful speech. (Actually these phenomena are surely more complex, but the details aren't widely agreed upon.)
- In Mexico (and possibly Columbia), /b, d, g/ have a greater tendency to be actual stops rather than approximants (but they are still frequently approximants).
- In Mexican Spanish, there is apparently a greater tendency than other varieties for any two adjacent vowels to become a dipthong, so e.g. "peor" would be pronounced as one syllable, "teatro" as two syllables; sometimes this is exaggerated for comic effect, so e.g. Mexicans will deliberately pronounce "peor" as though written "pior"
- Various dialects pronounce the final /n/ similar to English 'ng'; this is apparently predominant in Cuba, Chile, Peru and Andalucia.

You may be able to associate particular varieties of Spanish with particular intonation patterns. However, in general there's likely to be as much variation WITHIN, say, a particular country as there is a cross countries.

updated FEB 9, 2009
posted by Neil-Coffey
0
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i will start with myself, (actually i still cant get the differences quiet good but that what i have noticed so far)

-sometime i can recognize people from Mexico by their voice tone.
-people from Venezuela,Cuba (i guess) and some parts of Andalusia have a half-chewed S as i call it, i don`t know if more countries chew the S but thats what i know so far.
-people from Puerto Rico, i only know about them that they eat half of the sentence and they speak really fast.
people from Argentina use some special form and they talk like they are singing, and some of them pronunce the spanish Y and LL as S (as it sounds to me).
-people from Spain, their TH is so obvious (not all parts of spain as i was told by lazarus).

updated FEB 7, 2009
posted by PUNISHER