Why do we smile every time a foreigner tries to speak our native language?
We smile because his/her pronunciation sounds funny to us, or am I wrong?
But today I propose to you a few Italian tongue-twisters read by some foreigners who live in Oslo, because I would like you to listen to their different accents and underline the beauty of each. That means I laugh because every accent sounds incredible to me and I don´t laugh at them, to be clear ;D!
Here we have: Me (native Italian), Cassandra (Spain), Javier (Venezuela), Alexander (England), Pam (North Carolina, USA), João (Madeira, Portugal), Gabriela (Brasil) and Gaurav (Norway). I chose the 5 languages I speak and I wanted to distinguish the Spanish from the Latin American accent, as well as the Portuguese from the Brasilian accent, to end with the English from the American accent.
Are you ready? Let´s have some fun:
Tongue-twister: “Una rara rana nera sull´arena erró una sera, una rara rana bianca
sull´arena erró un pó stanca”
Spanish from Spain-Cassandra
Cassandra pronounces a very strong “r” in “rana” and “rara” because of the Spanish tonic syllable but she doesn´t in “erró“, while in Italian when there is “double r” (/rr/) in a word, the sound is stronger. You can also notice that Cassandra “sings” when she reads, more than me ;D!
Spanish from Venezuela-Javier
Javier does the same thing as Cassandra but he also doesn´t distinguish the “b” from the “v“, because we know that both letters in Spanish have the same sound and he adds the “e” to the word “stanca“, because all the words which start with “s” in Italian, start with “es” in Spanish, so for him it is hard to pronounce the unvoiced “s“+ “c” (/sk/).
English from England-Alexander
Alexander has difficulties to read the first “sull´arena” because he can´t distinguish the “l” from the “r” but he doesn´t in the second one. He also doesn´t read the word “erró” with the accent on the “ó“, and he has a light English accent.
For Pam I have another tongue-twister which underlines that in each language we have different sounds, here we go: “Tre trecce intrecciate tracciarono un tracciato intrecciando le tre trecce intrecciate”
English from USA-Pam
It is very hard for her to read the consonant cluster “tr-“, as we know in English the letter “r” has a completely different phonetic than in Italian, she also reads the double “c“, in this case “-cce” (/tʃɛ/) “-ccia“(/tʃia/) in a lighter way. To end it is curious to notice that Pam reads “tracciato” following the English phonetic for the first vocal “a” (/ei/), so she says “treicciato“.
Portuguese from Portugal-João
We go back to the first tongue-twister:
João reads the words “rana“, “rara” and “erró” with the French r and his pronunciation is pretty nasal.
Portuguese from Brasil-Gabriela
She has a very soft “r” and as João she also has a nasal pronunciation.
For Gaurav I have a third tongue-twister: “Sessantasei sassolini assetati e sassosi si assetarono ad Assisi”
He reads like Gabriela with a nasal pronunciation and with a soft “s“; if you notice his “a” in each word, which contains this vocal, is closed. In fact in Norwegian the “a” is closed. He also has difficulty to read the word “assetarono“, because in this case and according to the Norwegian grammar, the “a” should be long.
I hope you had fun reading and listening to this article and of course I hope you liked it!
I thank all my friends who helped me working with this post and gave me the permission to publish his/her voice. Isn´t it cool?