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Native English Speakers: Can You Understand Video Commentary?

  1. Mar 6, 2014 #1

    Borek

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    I can't do much about the crappy pronunciation, but if anything acts on your nerves, please tell. And in general, if you think something is wrong about the idea/approach/execution - fire away.

    Note: it is about video, not about the software. That is, I have nothing against comments about the program itself, but that's not what I am working on ATM.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2014 #2
    Hahaha! You have a British accent!!!

    That's absolutely alright. People coming into English from slavic languages sound exceptionally distinguished when the English accent they adopt is British.

    There is still, perhaps, too much Polish inflection to make it an easy listen. Understanding required careful attention. The sound quality is very good, though, and that helped.
     
  4. Mar 6, 2014 #3

    dlgoff

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    I understood the demonstration fine. I actually enjoyed your "crappy" pronunciation as the software's display (data units and button text) was there. I would have loved to have had a copy of this on my PC when I was taking the stoichiometry chemistry. Only problem; no PCs back then, only slide-rules.

    The only problem the video has, IMO, is the lack of resolution. Even at full screen it was difficult to clearly read the text on the buttons. The PF embedded YouTube here was impossible for me to see.

    But I'll take 3 copies of the software. :thumbs:
     
  5. Mar 6, 2014 #4
    I can understand perfectly what you are saying with crappy headphones and the sound of the engine and multiple other things going on. Your explanation is tidy and logical - very easy to follow. I would Pay to hear your French-English accent, though :D without you laughing, that is
     
  6. Mar 6, 2014 #5
    I think it was fine. Obvious accent but I had no trouble understanding everything you were saying. Maybe I'm just used to accents, I don't know.

    Oh BTW, I consider English my first language. I think, speak and write in English.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2014 #6
    I'll point out some things that were hard for me to understand.
    At the beginning you said "ChemBuddy stoichiometry calculator", which was said pretty quickly, and if I didn't read the title, I wouldn't have known exactly what was said.

    Some of the words may be hard to understand because of different syllable stress. For instance, stressing the second syllable of "balanced" and "excess" instead of the first. Or stressing the first syllable of "correct" and "select" instead of the second.

    And where you say "time to get to the gas volume part", I had to replay that a few times to understand what part we were getting to. "Gas" and "volume" were said very quickly together, so I thought it was one word.

    You say "moles" as two syllables instead of one. That's a bit tricky to understand, but given the context it's obvious what was said.

    Other than that, it was fine. I hope I don't sound nitpicky (which I kinda am, but in a trying to be helpful sort of way).
     
  8. Mar 6, 2014 #7

    Borek

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    Wow. I though I have a Polish accent :wink:

    That's limitation of youtube. If you were watching the video there, it would look slightly better, but still not perfect. Unfortunately, I have no control over the video size - youtube rescales it according to its own, internal rules, it is a known problem with screencasts. There are better services when it comes to presenting screencasts, but they are not that popular (so people can be reluctant to use them) and not necessarily free.

    Quite the opposite - that's exactly kind of comments I need. I know there is plenty of room for improvement, but I have to know what to work on.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2014 #8
    Is Polish very close to Russian? I've lots of Russian colleagues and the voice in the video just sounds like them.
     
  10. Mar 6, 2014 #9

    Borek

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    Close - no. In some ways similar, but definitely different. Russian is much "softer".

    That's quite surprising, I can easily recognize Russians speaking in English (and I would never mistake them for Poles).
     
  11. Mar 6, 2014 #10
    In England you do.
    To American ears Polish and Russian are very similar.

    Borek's accent reminded me a lot of Nabokov, who learned English in England before coming to the US. Here he reads some of his poetry. You can hear both a strong Russian accent and also strong British vowels. Cate Blanchette did a similar accent in "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Aliens."

    [YouTube]QzOt0bMmXjY[/YouTube]
     
  12. Mar 6, 2014 #11

    AlephZero

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    This is nothing like a French accent. The vowels are close to British English. French doesn't have the English long and short "i" sounds as in "nitric" etc, you can pronounce "th", and you don't add "h" (or a glottal stop) to words that start with a vowel. :smile:

    Not being an expert, I would just class it as "east European". I think the main difference from English is more pitch inflection in the vowels.

    The only thing I found hard to understand was when there were a few words pronounced quickly and merged together, e.g. "stoichometric" has 5 syllables, not 2 or 3.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  13. Mar 6, 2014 #12

    dlgoff

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    I was totally ignorant on these youtube details.

    Have you considered using DVDs for inquiries? Or is that a long lost practice?
     
  14. Mar 6, 2014 #13

    AlephZero

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    I guess if people are interested enough to want to read what's on the screen, they download the trial version. Mailing DVDs around the world costs money.

    I know one company that is a market leader for sound samples for music production, whose alternative to downloading their products is to sell you an SSD drive with literally everything they produce pre-installed and ready to go. You just pay for the security keys to access what you want to use. (The complete library is several hundred Gbytes of data, and costs several thousand dollars).
     
  15. Mar 6, 2014 #14

    lisab

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    I understood every word, with not the slightest trouble.

    The screen resolution was an issue, but that's been mentioned already. Watching in YouTube helps that quite a bit.

    The only nit-picky thing I would mention is when referring to pressure and temperature (at about 3:15), referring to pressure units or temperature units as "them" is a bit odd ("temperature is expressed in Fahrenheit degrees, 50 of them"). Grammatically it's correct but it's not used that way.
     
  16. Mar 6, 2014 #15

    Ben Niehoff

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    You have a thick Polish accent, not British.

    When you are not talking too quickly, I was able to understand, but I've heard a Polish accent before. It's important not to let words run together, especially less common words like "stoichiometry" (which should be 6 syllables in English), and most especially words you expect the listener to be unfamiliar with, like "ChemBuddy".

    When you said "millimeters of Hg", it sounded like "mimiters". Slow down and give each syllable its fair share of time. (In British English, certain syllables may be elided, but only in very common word endings that don't really contribute vital information to the meaning).

    Another very common error I've seen in many foreign accents is the neglect of syllable length. This can give the impression that you are talking overly fast (and speaking fast and being fluent are two different things). English has both long and short vowels (I mean the actual length of the vowel in time, not the different vowel sounds that we commonly call "long" and "short"). Compare the vowel 'a' in "sat" versus "sad". They are the same vowel sound, but the 'a' in "sad" should be longer. In general, any vowel that appears before a voiced consonant (b, d, g, m, n, ng, r, l) should be long (with some exceptions in multisyllable words).
     
  17. Mar 6, 2014 #16

    lisab

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    We'll have to agree to disagree, I would not call that accent "thick", and there are definitely elements of a British accent.

    And "stoichiometry" has five syllables, in every way I've heard it:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stoichiometry

    Is there a British pronunciation I'm not familiar with?
     
  18. Mar 6, 2014 #17

    AlephZero

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    Well, I'm not familiar with Ben Niehoff's "rules" about long vowels. Nobody talks like that where I live, except as a joke.

    There is probably as much variation in British English pronunciation as there is in US English, in different parts of the country. Brits have mostly moved on from the idea that "Received Pronunciation" (or "BBC newsreaders' English") is right and everything else is wrong.

    Am interactive map of different UK pronunciations of just one vowel sound. Click on the figures to listen:
    http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/changing-voices/phonological-change/
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  19. Mar 7, 2014 #18
    I also think the video was good. I have no problem understanding, but I am a little biased, since I have worked before with Poles, where we spoke English. A big plus is also that you sound calm and pedagogical :thumbs:.

    EDIT: I listened a second time.You may be talking a little bit too fast now and then, perhaps. Maybe you could experiment with talking a little bit slower?

    EDIT 2: Sorry, I didn't pay attention to the OP title. I am not a native English speaker.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  20. Mar 7, 2014 #19

    Maylis

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    The ''732 mmHg'' sounded like ''752 mmHg'' to me
     
  21. Mar 7, 2014 #20

    Borek

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    I guess that's because I have to mention units first as I have to select them first - otherwise, if I enter 732 and then select mmHg, program will assume it was 732 of whatever unit was initially selected, and will convert it to mmHg, yielding some confusing result. And when I say "millimeters of mercury, 732" number alone sounds to me "naked" and unnatural.

    So far: slow down, change stress in some places, get rid of "of them".

    Interesting, I would never guess "stoichiometric" has 5 syllables, with "chio" being in fact chi-o, I would go for stoi-chio-met-ric. In Polish syllabification is pretty easy, apparently that's not the case in English.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
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