Korean Accent Reduction – Common Challenges Faced By Native Korean Speakers
Are you a native Korean speaker?
Are you trying to speak English like a Native American?
If you are Korean and reading this, it will certainly give you a profound insight on the common challenges faced by Korean speakers.
While many Korean speakers have dedicated long hours to English classes, many of you may still continue to face difficulties with producing the correct English accent.
So, what needs to be done?
Let’s dig into these Questions and Answers.
LocalMasters being an Accent Reduction expert can help you on your common queries related to Korean Accent Reduction.
Q: What are the accent problems Korean Speakers need to deal with?
Native English speakers (American or British), find it difficult to understand the accent of some countries in Asia, America, and Africa, because of some special type of accent issues.
Koreans are one of them who face problem while speaking English. In fact, various surveys and reports say that most people find that the accent of Koreans most difficult to understand.
Korean is a syllable-timed language. Each syllable in the Korean language is distinctly pronounced with equal stress; whereas English is a stress-timed language.
Like English and Japanese, Korean is not a tonal language. Some experts think that Korean has less variation in pitch and stress than English. English spoken by native Korean speakers can sometimes be perceived by native English speakers as flat and monotone.
Korean Language has 2 semi-vowels, 10 vowels, and 11 diphthongs. Almost all Korean vowels are voiced and non-nasal like English vowels, although they may be pronounced nasally if preceded or followed by a nasal sound. Korean speakers may have difficulty perceiving and pronouncing vowels in the same way as native English speakers.
There are some vowels in English that do not exist in Korean:
- ”i” sound as in “tip”
- “ae” sound as in “fable”
- “u” sound as in “but”
- “or” sound as in “for”
- the /aI/ diphthong as in “like”
- the “or-I” diphthong as in “boy” or “oil
- the “au” diphthong as in “cow” or “allow”.
Common issues also include understanding and pronouncing the differences between the long “ee” sound “i” as in “beet” and the short “i” sound as in “bit”; as well as the short “e” sound in “egg” and the short “a” sound in apple.
There are also some American English consonant sounds that are problematic for Korean speakers to pronounce.
/f/ sound – Korean speakers tend to pronounce the /f/ sound like a /p/ sound.
The word “stuff” sounds like stop.
The word “coffee” sounds like “copy”.
The word “laugh” sounds like “lap”.
Q: What are the main accent challenges faced by Korean speakers while learning English?
As you know that the accent comes from a region where the first language is spoken.
For professional work, higher studies, or business related works, it becomes difficult to express thoughts while going away to a different country especially where the first language is English.
So, to be a better communicator, or to be easily understood, or to create an impression, people take accent reduction training and learn the native English Accent.
But when it comes to Korean people it is not that much easy to lose their accent or reduce Korean accent and accordingly adopt an American accent. This is because; there are many sounds that are not available in Korean pronunciation.
If you speak English as a second language and want to meet people who speak English, then you need to change your accent.
As we discussed in the previous question, there are some sounds not available in Korean accent. Sound “Ve” is not applicable in Korean accent and so they normally pronounce “have” as “hep”.
Other sound substitutions occurring in Korean speakers’ English are as follows:
- /j/ for /z/ – “jipper” for “zipper”
- /b/ for /v/ – “bery” for “very”
- /t/ or /s/ for /th-voiceless/ – “ting” or “sing” for “thing”, and “wiss” for “with”
- /d/ for /th-voiced/ sounds – “da” for “the”.
Words containing /er/ are pronounced with a very diminished /r/ sound, such as:
- “bud” for “bird”
- “undah” for “under.”
Syllable stress can also be problematic for Korean speakers while they speak English. This is because; Korean speakers don’t usually speak using American English syllable stress patterns. If you are a Korean speaker who is working on improving your English Accent, there are many learning resources you can avail that can help you reduce your accent and assist you to speak like a native English speaker.
English is considered to be an interesting language. When it travels from one geographic location to another, you find the sound changes. And you may call it an Accent.
British have their own accent which is called British accent. Americans have their own accent and it is called the American Accent. Same applies for Canadian, European, Indian, and others.
Similarly, Koreans faces lots of difficulties in reducing their accent when they want to speak like a native American. In order to rectify or reduce their accent, Koreans need to take Accent Lessons from astute professionals in LocalMasters.
Feel free to book your first FREE class today and make your accent more polished.