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Martin, Engineer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4955
Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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Due to exposure to cantonese, korean, french and japanese languages,

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Due to exposure to cantonese, korean, french and japanese languages, i find them easy to pronounce when reading the phrases, even though they are thought to be the hardest languages to learn. However, on the flip side, other than those four languages, i find any other languages hard to pronounce. Why is that?
HelloCustomer welcome to Just Answer.

As you know Japanese, you will understand my example clearly i think. As it's a purely phoneme based language, you will notice that Japanese tend to fill the remaining of a phoneme to make it closer to one they have. For example "arcade" become "arcado".

This is because we get used to the phoneme we learned very young and tend to have resistance to use new phoneme. This is why it's really hard for many to erase completely a regional accent, it's more related to phoneme than the language itself.

To take back Japanese as an example and comparing it to French, i have no problem reading Japanese without any accent as the phoneme are just the same as in French. Korean is not that different but less similar to French, while Cantonese for me is really hard to pronounce.

If you want a trick to be good in other language, you need to understand the phoneme (making comparative tables), but this is really hard to do later in life.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I don't know what a phoneme is! And what do you mean about making comparative tables to understand the phonemes when learning a new language?
A phoneme is the smallest segmental unit of sound in a language. That is why i initially mentioned Japanese as each hiragana for example is a phoneme. So, only when you are able to forget your native language phoneme set (in the sense of making abstraction of it) to be able to use the set of the language you want to pronounce you will perform OK.

When you use the bad set of phoneme from a language on another, you risk to sound like Ben Affleck and is infamous french accent.
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