Pronunciation

Ahh… my favorite way to waste time while I can’t sleep; singing along with whatever that is playing on my iTunes.

Then came “A Whole New World” by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga (she’s absolutely amazing man… I love her voice) from Alladin… I can’t seem to catch up with them… Somehow my tongue slips after the word “world”.

That Edinburgher really did somewhat changed my accent. Okay I haven’t finished the entry since I got off the train at… Haha. I can’t remember already. Somewhere on the East Coast of Britain. I think we were already in the Midlands by then… I’m not sure.

Sum it up a bit. On our second day in Edinburgh, my mom got tired and I went walking around Edinburgh alone. Being a “jakun” Midlander (he didn’t use this term; I forgot then and I still can’t remember now what’s the term he used; but he did call me a “Midlander” as I’ve been living in the Midlands for 3 years) who’s not used to seagulls flying so near to her, I screamed and jumped when a flock of them flew so low and near to me, I almost hit the guy . I successfully fell; he successfully avoided me. Imagine how embarrassing it is to have a guy wear a shorter skirt than you are; I felt that way for some reason. Hairy legs and all, but Scottish men wear their knee-length kilts proudly. Imagine women doing that–feminist or not–it’ll just be scary. Though I know one of my feminist tutors do shave her legs. It amused one of my friends to try catch a glimpse of her legs. Not easy since she usually wear knee-high boots with below-knee-length skirts. However, she is what we classify as a “pleasant” feminist, and she’s married. So maybe she’s not your typical feminist.

ANYWAY (God, this habit is really annoying), the guy I almost hit asked where I was from; I answered as to where I’m from in England instead of Malaysia. Somehow I don’t know why, but when people ask me where I’m from when I’m in Britain, I don’t tell them where I am actually from but my alma mater city. Somehow he was shocked that my accent wasn’t like a Midlander’s, having lived there for 3 years, so he decided he and his friends (2 others; all kilt wearing. Really really embarrassing) would try corrupt my accent, even if the accent is not from the same country as where I live.

They pointed out that I have a very “lazy” accent. As in, I don’t pronounce every letter in the particular word. Then, I would have pronounced “world” as “wel” (both r and d missing!!); “white” without any sound of the “h”, “must” as “mus”, “girls” as “gils”, “far” as “fa”… so on and so forth. Rather bad, when I think about it. Maybe that’s how I can speak fast (as my tutorial mates in my first year pointed out, with one of my tutors keep telling me to slow down. Hrmph. Makes me wonder how he communicated with one of our EU lecturers, which we called “the Irish bullet train” [which, I was assured when I was in Ireland, would never happen because they’re so small]. But remembering their specialization… maybe they don’t need to), by cheating. Haha. Not a good habit, I suppose… However, I’ve survived well with it… I mean, I am graduating!!

Nonetheless, if the Universities that I apply Masters for in the future insists that I do IELTS… I suppose this “corruption” of my accent is a blessing…

Step one was making sure I pronounce every single letter in a word. Which is ridiculous because the Scottish don’t pronounce every single letter!! Don’t ask me what word; I can’t remember as of now and I’m too lazy to flip through my “The Birds and the Bees” book. I know that there are words were the “typed” Scottish accent was with missing letters, using apostrophes instead.

Actually, yeah… only one step. Others was more how to pronounce certain letters. An exercise of your tongue to speak Scottish accent if you have a “lazy” accent like the Malaysian one.

So now I pronounce “world” with the R, L and D. Amazing feat for me. And surprisingly, I do it all the time now. And usually always singing to KT Tunstall’s “Other Side of the World”, her being Scottish, she does pronounce it the way those dudes do (after all, Fife is just the next county north of the Lothians). But… I don’t know. Somehow, regardless how hard I try listening, somehow it is impossible for me to hear the D in “world” in “A Whole New World”.

I find it fascinating, really, to realize in which part of my accent that my psychiatrist meant that changed.

At least for the better.

And I don’t talk berlagu!! Weeee!!! Hahaha. That I leave to the non-English UK universities’ and Irish graduates to specialize in. Hahahahaha =P

PS: How in the world could anyone write a song on Belfast? I mean, it’s so gray!!! Okay, I haven’t been there, but I imagine it’ll be, like, super gray, which was the reason why I got my turquoise coat. Wanted to get another black one, but then I thought, if I’m going to a grayer place than here… I better bring some bright colors with me!! Oh, I admit I haven’t listened to Katie Melua’s song. It is just… there. I’m not intrigued enough to listen to it yet. We’ll see how.

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  1. Zubaida
    August 27, 2008 at 7:32 am

    what are the odds, i was working on my pronunciation as well. but it was my polish pronunciation(god it was hard). =). anyway, i liked what you wrote. i think you pointed out important things. for me, it’s not about having an accent, but just pronouncing each word the right way.

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