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Re: Russian soft/hard 'l' minimal pairs (was: glottals)

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, February 2, 2004, 21:51
En réponse à Philippe Caquant :

>Well, the pronunciation of English, just like of >French, changes very much from one place, time, social >class etc, to another, so what's the "right" >pronunciation" ?
The majority one, and the one people will expect from you, especially if you're a foreigner.
>So my own rule is: if people understand you and you >understand people, it's OK. If you utter a word and >native people understand another one (or the >opposite), then it's bad.
This rule shows complete disrespect towards the people you're talking to, and that rudeness has no excuse. If you cannot make the effort of trying to speak somebody's language correctly, don't even try. Everything boils down to politeness. People expect foreigners who learn their language to at least *try* to speak it correctly. They may not except them to succeed, but they expect them to at least try. If you don't even try, you're showing a lack of respect towards those people that is unacceptable. And the understanding issue has nothing to do with it. If you only wish to be understood, "petit nègre" (for non-French speakers, it means speaking like this "me want this. You sell me?") is largely enough. Should we all just learn foreign languages like that, and don't bother with grammatical correctness? After all, grammatical features also differ in a single language both in time and place. if you don't bother with phonology, why should you bother with grammar? Indeed, why bother with learning a foreign language at all. Just speak to foreigners in your own language loudly and distinctly. They *ought* to understand ;))) . Christophe Grandsire. You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.


<jcowan@...>Foreigner's errors (was: Russian soft/hard 'l' ...)
Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>