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 Post subject: Obtaining the lithuanian accent
PostPosted: 2006 10 21, 16:48 
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Joined: 2006 10 20, 23:31
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
I am currently trying to learn to speak lithuanian. Both of my parents and several peers of mine speak it fluently. Apparently, my pronunciation is quite terrible. My mother says i need to speak more "roundly" and less "angular". She is at a loss as to what this exactly means, and i find it difficult to emulate "roundness" in speaking. I was wondering if anyone had some tips on obtaining the lithuanian accent...Should i just study the alphabet extensivley, or is it something you just acquire with time?

Any help is greatly appreciated


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PostPosted: 2006 10 23, 11:46 
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Joined: 2006 07 06, 21:26
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Location: Vilnius-Rīga
Try to pronounce Lithuanian softly - it should sound as a song ;)
Uff... It is hard to advice something to you as I am a native-speaker. Maybe others who learn Lithuanian could help you?

P.S. Could I ask what's you mother language?

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PostPosted: 2006 10 23, 20:30 

Joined: 2006 09 12, 07:52
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Location: United States
Obtaining a new accent could take a while to gain. Since you have developed the accent you have now since you started talking. It is hard, yet not impossible, to say whether it could even happen unless you went and lived in Lithuania. But obviously, it does help to be surrounded by those who have a Lithuanian accent, as well, regardless. As debeselis has said, Lithuanians do tend to speak softer than say those who live in America, who speak English. It would also have much to do with stresses on certain letters, as well, in words that you as an English speaker may not fully have a handle on.


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PostPosted: 2006 10 24, 11:18 
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Joined: 2006 07 06, 21:26
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Location: Vilnius-Rīga
Also I'd like to offer you to listen radio/TV [and other sources you will find useful] in Lithuanian but not only listen - try to pronounce it. Firstly, don't say all exactly - just catch the melody of the language :wink:

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Čia Lietuva, čia lietūs lyja, čia kiekvienam širdis atgyja; gal ji maža, bet ji - Tėvynė, man ji pirma ir paskutinė...


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PostPosted: 2006 10 25, 04:20 
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Joined: 2006 10 20, 23:31
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
my father, mother and grandparents all speak lithuanian with "correct" accents, yet only my grandparents were born in lithuania.


i try to listen to lithuanian radio as much as i can, but there is only 1 online radio station that ive found and it has terrible quality. I think it does help me hear "good" pronunciation though.


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PostPosted: 2006 10 25, 08:04 
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Joined: 2006 07 06, 21:08
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Location: Kaunas
Vaicaiti: http://www.debeselis.net/links.php

I'm not sure what is mean by 'angular' and 'round', but I noticed that English speakers stress many words in a sentence. For example, here's how an English speaker would stress this sentence:

I wanted to tell you something...

Whereas a Lithuanian would say:

Norėjau tau kai ką pasakyti...

You see? A Lithuanian emphasizes only one word in a sentence, while for the English it would not be enough. Try noticing this in your (grand)parents' speech.


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PostPosted: 2006 10 27, 02:53 
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Joined: 2006 10 20, 23:31
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
Ah, i never noticed that before. That is very interesting, thank you for pointing that out.


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PostPosted: 2006 10 29, 15:04 
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Joined: 2006 07 19, 02:25
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Location: Harrogate, Anglija
I notice the 'roundedness' in Lithuanian speakers.

I can try to explain it, but I dunno whether you'll be able to understand. In a similar way to Russian, Lithuanians slightly labialise some diphthongs (e.g. 'ai' can often sound like they're saying 'oi' or 'ui'). In a similar way, some English speakers labialise their 'r', 'sh', 'ch' (etc) making them sound 'rounder'. On top of this, Lithuanian rounded vowels (o, u) are a lot more rounded than English o and u are. I barely even move my lips when saying "suit", for example, but if I said a word in Lithuanian with rounded vowels in, my lips would move a lot

It's all about the position of the lips.... and the tongue.

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PostPosted: 2006 10 29, 15:08 
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One more important difference is the aspiration of consonants. All the English accents especially aspirate their T's and D's, making them sound very energetic.

I read somewhere that in the English word TOP the T is aspirated, but in STOP the T is not. So try seeing the difference.


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