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The easiest English accent for Spanish native speakers?

Posted: 2017-10-16, 14:52
by ArturitoR2D2
I don't know if is already posted anywhere, but is an idea that I'm always wondering about...

Do you think that our native language make easier or more difficult for us to understand an specific foreign accent? E. g., I'm Spanish, and I'd like to know if Spanish people find "naturally" easier to understand and use let's say Irish accent than Australian accent; or if for Russian peopl in general Canadian accent is easier than Scottish accent.

If so, I suppose it has something to do with phonetics, right? Do you have experienced any of these equivalences?

Also, any signivicative differences between varieties (e.g., French people prefere Brittish, but Quebequois prefere Australian)?

Re: The easiest English accent for Spanish native speakers?

Posted: 2017-10-16, 15:04
by linguoboy
I've never noticed this. IME, the easiest accents to understand are the most conservative and least quickly-spoken ones, and this holds true regardless of your native language.

Nobody I've ever talked to has told me they find the Southern US accent more intelligible than BBC English or Dominican more intelligible than...most any other variety of Spanish. They may like these accents better for one or more (usually extralinguistic) reasons, but that's not the same thing.

Re: The easiest English accent for Spanish native speakers?

Posted: 2017-10-16, 15:23
by IpseDixit
I strongly doubt that. I think it all depends on which accent(s) you're exposed to the most during your learning process. Most learners of English are mainly exposed to either Southern British English or General American, and indeed - IME - those are usually considered the easiest accents to understand, and the more other accents diverge from those, the more they're considered difficult.

Re: The easiest English accent for Spanish native speakers?

Posted: 2017-10-21, 20:24
by ArturitoR2D2
Conservative and slower for linguoboy, exposition for IpseDixit, ok. I have already heard and thought myself about that, especially about exposition. However, someone told me that South African variety was very "standard", let's say, easily understandable by everybody, and Australian or cockney are reputed as difficult to get.
I'm persuaded that some languages have more sounds in common with some English varieties than others. Strong R and J in Spanish are found in Scotland English variety, right? It wolud be logical also to suppose that Caribbean dialects have some similar sounds to near Spanish varieties, am I wrong?

Re: The easiest English accent for Spanish native speakers?

Posted: 2017-10-22, 0:34
by IpseDixit
Just to be clear, my answer was just about which English dialect is easier for a Spanish speaker, it wasn't meant to be a rule to generalize to other languages.

Although, thinking twice about that, Scottish English does have some feature that could make it easier, such as the lack of some vowels which tend to be difficult to pronounce for a Spanish speaker.

Re: The easiest English accent for Spanish native speakers?

Posted: 2017-10-22, 9:33
by Car
There's a difference between understanding and pronouncing, though.

I'd say it's exposure and slower as well as "clearer" pronunciation. At least the South African white native speakers of English seemed to be quite close to RP in pronunciation, so that naturally makes them easier to understand. But then you have conservative Australian accents where it's easy to forget that you're not listening to an educated speaker from south-east England.

Re: The easiest English accent for Spanish native speakers?

Posted: 2017-11-02, 13:13
by ArturitoR2D2
Just to be clear, my answer was just about which English dialect is easier for a Spanish speaker, it wasn't meant to be a rule to generalize to other languages.

@IpseDixit, just for curiosity, do you think we can track the same phenomene in other languages combinations? Is BrazPortuguese easier for LatAm Spanish speakers, and EuroPortuguese easier for... well, I can imagine for who that could be easier :lol:

Re: The easiest English accent for Spanish native speakers?

Posted: 2017-11-02, 20:45
by IpseDixit
ArturitoR2D2 wrote:@IpseDixit, just for curiosity, do you think we can track the same phenomene in other languages combinations?


I have no idea what you mean.

ArturitoR2D2 wrote:Is BrazPortuguese easier for LatAm Spanish speakers, and EuroPortuguese easier for... well, I can imagine for who that could be easier :lol:


I lack sufficient knowledge to answer this question.