Ok,
I started to listen to more complicated stuff (movies), and... I have trouble! Emotion: crying

I can't hear the sounds, I can't hear the syllablles. I notice strange features... Ok, let's get started. Here's some important points, I just need some advice about them, some comments on them. You will need to download a small zip file that contains 5 very short audio clips (a few seconds each).

http://www.datafilehost.com/download.php?file=76d943d1

The points are named the same as the files:

Raincoat.
She's supposed to say "Oh, shoot, not again. I should've worn a raincoat". I can't hear that, I don't hear the "ve". It just seems "I should wear a raincoat".

Icecream.
She's supposed to say... "You guys want any dessert?" - Is that understandable? Hmmm...

Tape.
Here's an example of "not releasing a final consonant". --- "Get me that tape," she says, she wants to say. But there's no P at all, so it could be "tate", "tay", whatever. So my opinion is that in cases like these you understand only because you already know what the other is going to say, not because you hear the "sounds". I wonder how children learn to speak English, how they get to know what sounds are at the end of a word, since you can't hear them. They probably heard those sounds on some occasion when someone released the final consonants... Emotion: surprise

Killme.
I aready asked about this... I was told "no", well, here's a "yes" for you... Emotion: wink
I asked if the vowel in HE or SHE (SAMPA: /hi/, /Si/) was sometines reduced to a vowel similar to the one in HIT or SHIP, so that they become close to /hI/, /SI/. I was told "no".
Well, the "shes" in this clip sound reduced to me, and "me" is reduced too. I also hear the verb "be" reduced this way. If you also checkthis clip on youtube, you'll hear a lot of reduced "He's like", and even a reduced "What do you mean" (the vowel in "mean" is kind of like the one in "did") --->
-fGZtrBeDcQ

What happens?!?

What?
He is supposed to say: "What? What are you saying?" - But there's no R in that "are", so it sounds like "uh". And the final "ing" is practically unnoticeable. So it sounds like "What do you say?"
So, what would be the difference between "What are you..." and "What do you"? If you release some of the R, then that's the difference, but if you don't... what would be the difference? The D, maybe?

Finally, a point with no audio.
I keep on hearing people who don't use auxiliary verbs. I'd have to say I rarely hear them, LOL! Is it that they don't use them, or is it that they are so reduced that they are pronounced only slightly and no one hear them?
You want a cigar? You got any vices? Ice cream, what flavors you have? You trying to drive me crazy? --- Or is it that they say "(D') you want a cigar? (Ah) you trying to drive me crazy? (D') you guys want any dessert?"

The end. This post is quite long. My problems are weird. Anyway, if you feel like commenting on this, go ahead, comment! Thanks a lot in advance. Emotion: smile
1 2
You have take into account different accents for one thing. Also, people in real life tend not to speak perfectly all the time. We mutter, we slur our words, we change our minds about what we are saying half way through, we stammer, we stutter, we have speech impediments, we are eating while we talk....etc etc etc. I'm sure the same thing happens in your native language, you just don't notice it unless it's pointed out to you. This is what I hear on those clips -

Raincoat.
She says 'shoulda' for should've. It's quite a common way to pronounce the 've' part. Shoulda woulda coulda.

Icecream

Y'guys wan any dessert. Again, not uncommon pronounciations. People shorten a lot of words.

Tape.

I see what you mean but my brain filled in 'tape' no problem. I guess it might be confusing if there were many nouns starting with the 'tae' sound, but there aren't.

What

What? What uh you sayin'. The uh is so short I wouldn't know it was there if I wasn't looking for it. Sounds ok to me as us English people drop that r all the time anyway. ing is abbreviated to in, in quite a few accents.

Killme

I love Catherine Tate by the way. Yes, she is saying his for he's. Again, not uncommon. You wouldn't say hi for he though. It happens because you are contracting two words. In writing we write the he in full and contract the is. In speech, a lot of people will contract the he to 'h' and say the 'is' is full. His.
I did not read your remarks before listening, so I listened "cold".

Raincoat.

She's supposed to say "Oh, shoot, not again. I should've worn a raincoat". I can't hear that, I don't hear the "ve". It just seems "I should wear a raincoat".

All I got was I sh..d..na raincoat, so you're doing better than I! I thought it might have been should have worn, but it was just a guess.

Icecream.
She's supposed to say... "You guys want any dessert?" - Is that understandable? Hmmm...

It took me three or four tries before I heard it, but yes, it was understandable once I realized what she was saying. By the way, I hear the zh sound here: What flavor(z)-zhoo have? The hyphen represents a microsecond break of some sort that I think represents the d.

Tape.
Here's an example of "not releasing a final consonant". --- "Get me that tape," she says, she wants to say. But there's no P at all, so it could be "tate", "tay", whatever. So my opinion is that in cases like these you understand only because you already know what the other is going to say, not because you hear the "sounds". I wonder how children learn to speak English, how they get to know what sounds are at the end of a word, since you can't hear them. They probably heard those sounds on some occasion when someone released the final consonants...

I heard the p both times. The second one was stronger. Do you think, as a native speaker, I was just imagining it? Hmm. Seemed real to me.

Killme.
I aready asked about this... I was told "no", well, here's a "yes" for you...
I asked if the vowel in HE or SHE (SAMPA: /hi/, /Si/) was sometines reduced to a vowel similar to the one in HIT or SHIP, so that they become close to /hI/, /SI/. I was told "no".
Well, the "shes" in this clip sound reduced to me, and "me" is reduced too. I also hear the verb "be" reduced this way. I hear the ee sound reduced in time, but not in tension. To me it's still the tense ee, not lax i, but it's said so fast that it may seem to be otherwise to you. As I recall, the tense ee ( i: ) of English is never as tense or as brief as Italian i, though, so maybe that's the difference you're hearing. At the end I heard SAMPA [yESidId] (no [ s ]) Maybe unstressed [ i ] sounds more like [ I ] to you? If you also checkthis clip on youtube, you'll hear a lot of reduced "He's like", and even a reduced "What do you mean" (the vowel in "mean" is kind of like the one in "did") --->
-fGZtrBeDcQ

What happens?!? youtube: There are all sorts of strange things going on in this "Valley Girl" talk. Yes, I hear some instances very like [hIz] for "he's", but not exactly the same -- more like an intermediate between [hiz] and [hIz]. This is not a typically American way of speaking anyway -- I hope you know that.Emotion: smile

What?
He is supposed to say: "What? What are you saying?" - But there's no R in that "are", so it sounds like "uh". And the final "ing" is practically unnoticeable. Sometimes the only remnant of the ing is the nasalization of the previous vowel. So it sounds like "What do you say?" What do/did you say? is what I heard, too.
So, what would be the difference between "What are you..." and "What do you"? A very slight difference (if any) in the position of the tongue for the schwa (higher for do than for are) If you release some of the R, then that's the difference, but if you don't... what would be the difference? The D, maybe? Both essentially w^dEmotion: catyu. [wuh-d(a)-yoo] If you get into 'very close' transcription, you're going to find 10 variants, at least.

CJ
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Thank you sooo much.
Even Nona tried to listen to some American English, thanks. Emotion: smile

I don't have much time now, I think I'll post on this tomorrow. Anyway, just a few things:

The P: you heard the P Jim, but it's not released at all, so if you "heard" it, you must just have heard the vowel stopped the way a P would stop it. And maybe it helps your ears to know that there are no other common words similar to "tape" (tate, etc).

The E sound: I'm afraid that I hear unstressed [ i ] as [ I ], as you say. But I'm afraid that American [ i ] is not as high as Italian [ i ]. That's a thing I'll pay attention to.

What are/ what do: I'd never noticed this feature. In practice, the R is not pronounced and this can be confusing. But isn't this phenomenon the same as "Shoulda been", where "ve" is reduced to "uh"? And "Kinda", where "of" turns into "uh"?
What's this feature? It seems people are too lazy to pronounce a short sound, and skip it completely. Well, actually, I'm afraid people don't skip those sounds, maybe the tongue moves and tries to make the right sound, but in fast and lazy speech the result is that the sound production is not effective, and you're not going to hear those sounds... I think so because I noticed that people don't say "Kinda amazing"... there's another vowel that follows, and the "v" pops out.

Thanks again Emotion: smile
The fact that different people 'garble' the standard, unhurried version in different ways must be driving you nuts.

There's wuhcha/wuhchoo (glide completely absorbed), wuh.t ya/wuh.t yoo(unreleased t), and wuhdaya/wuhdayoo (flapped t), just for starters, and any of them can mean "What are you ...?" or "What do you ...?"

Emotion: sad
CJ
Catherine Tate is an English comedian so her accent may not be accurate.

This must be one of the hardest things about learning another language. Moving out of the classroom with its clearly pronounced standard English into the realm of real-life verbal sloppiness.
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CalifJimThe fact that different people 'garble' the standard, unhurried version in different ways must be driving you nuts.
Yep. However, I believe this only happens in fast speech. I mean, native speakers don't reduce all these things if they try to speak slowly or very slowly.
For example, the contracted "have" ("ve") is pronounced uhv. I think it turns into a simple schwa only in fast or very fast speech, so that you have "I shoulda known, I woulda seen her". I mean, I see no reason to skip a "v" sound, so it must be that it is produced so weakly and quickly in fast speech that you just hear "uh".
The same must be true for "are" when it turns into "uh" (What are --> What're --> What-uh). You can't make a good American R too fast, so the faster you talk, the weaker the R becomes. In the end, it can be so weak that you can only hear a simple "uh".

That's my theory. It basically says that I shouldn't skip any sounds, because when I learn to speak fast I'll automatically notice that some sounds become so weak and short that I'll be naturally reducing or skipping them.
NonaThis must be one of the hardest things about learning another language. Moving out of the classroom with its clearly pronounced standard English into the realm of real-life verbal sloppiness.
LOL, out of what classroom? I don't have one! (I know you are referring to learners in general though). Anyway, if you want to talk about classrooms, you should have seen MY classroom with MY teachers, then you wouldn't have written "clearly pronounced standard English"! Emotion: wink I learned about pronounciation one or two years ago, by myself. I've learned soooo much... For example, I learned that "bit" and "beat" where pronounced differently, and I was shocked. As your signature says, that says it all! Emotion: smile
I learned that "bit" and "beat" where pronounced differently
Wow! You thought they were the same? That's incredible! Emotion: smile
Now that you know, is it difficult to hear the difference? Difficult to pronounce the difference? Which is more difficult? Hearing or speaking them?

CJ
What? Incredible? And that's nothing!
I remember the first time I heard the difference, it was in a pronouncing dictionary, I think. I kept on clicking on every word, and my face was like Emotion: surprise. And the difference between BrE and AmE! Even more Emotion: surprise.
Let's say I had no idea someone could leave out r's, and say "playa", "neva", "ova". I had no idea what a tapped t was, so it was amazing to find out how t's turned into d's. And then the vowels... never heard of the American "o" as in "not", never. Bit pronounced as beat, did as deed (I didn't know of the real vowel in "did"). And "good", that was amazing too! Never heard of that vowel either, so it was "good" with the same vowel as "cool". What about the schwa? It is obvious that I had no idea what a reduced vowel was.
As you see, a mess, but... that's the way English was taught at school. Eengleesh, actually. The problem is that I think English is taught this way throughout Italy. I believe more than 80% of the teachers teach it that way. My niece is learning English at school and,, yeah, "she ease learn-eeng Eengl-eesh".
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