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  #281  
Old 09-06-2008, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by marmi View Post
Well, sometimes I hear an Australian accent when Mary speaks (in English obviously), but then I also notice an English accent too.

(This from the kiwi who for the most part speaks like a typical NZer, but then roles her rrrrrs or speaks the occassional word with an Aussie accent - the remains of living there as a child - and now I occassionally have a slight American too - live with 4 Americans and 1 Canadian at the moment; so does this give me any right to comment on strange accencts????)
Aussies tend to adopt accents quickly and like anywhere else in the world it is dependent on region/education/background. My brother and I sound like we originated in different countries though we had the same home and education I moved as an adult and we speak very differently. Even my european friends have commented on the difference but when they visit with me in Aus they tell me I speak differently to when I am in London or Ireland. In the engagement interview she sounded like someone who had had voice coaching/speaking lessons, (common for any preparation for public speaking position I had them myself.) very deliberate and measured they teach you to speak slowly and correctly to allow you time to measure your words and think,which does sound British but as she has relaxed and become more secure in her role over the years I hear the Aussie accent with a foreign touch to it. When you hear her addressing somone in the crowd and not directly addressing the media she sounds quite Australian. I dont think this is 'put on' just a natural reaction to the person to whom she is speaking. My English is exceptional when speaking with my English grandmother, not that I consciously speak better just a reaction to her old school Queens English.
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  #282  
Old 11-12-2008, 06:30 AM
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Would be interesting to know how Mary's danish has developed in the last 4 years, maybe some of the native speakers on the board could comment on that? Is she fluent as a native speaker but with an accent? As I live abroad speaking both my native and also my "adopted" language every day I find it very hard to improve after reaching kind of a "comfort zone" -when the native speakers in the "adopted" language call yours skills "fluent", "great" etc but deep down you know that you could do much more, sit down and learn more words, expressions, read etc but you don't because it doesn't really make a difference in everyday life, getting kind of lazy because IMO unless a person grew up bilingually, there is only one native languange and no matter how hard you try or how long you live abroad, speaking the "adopted" language, there will always remain a (usually very insignificant) difference to those native speakers, no problem, but still, there is.

I wonder how Mary is dealing with the issue?
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  #283  
Old 11-12-2008, 01:43 PM
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Would be interesting to know how Mary's danish has developed in the last 4 years, maybe some of the native speakers on the board could comment on that?
Her Danish is getting better and better. IMO her Danish is excelent - a lot better then the Danish some Danes speak. Of course she has got an accent but only slightly. The accent of the Prince Consort Henrik is much stronger.

From what I hear, it is especially the guttural sound "Ø" and "Å" that gives her problems. But they are difficult to pronounce for most foreigner trying to learn Danish except for the Mandarin speaking Chinese who has similar guttural sounds.
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  #284  
Old 11-12-2008, 03:53 PM
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Very interesting. I work in the field of linguistics, and all research has shown that it takes a person at least 7 years to become fluent in a language (that only applies to those living in the environment where the second language is the spoken language). There are always cases of people who are able to acquire the language quickly; however, those are usually the people who already speak 2 or 3 languages. It sounds like Mary has done very well with her Danish-she (and the people of Denmark) should be very proud.
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  #285  
Old 11-12-2008, 04:08 PM
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all research has shown that it takes a person at least 7 years to become fluent in a language (that only applies to those living in the environment where the second language is the spoken language).
She has been living in Denmark almost 7 years. As far as I remember she was living here two years before the marriage at the 14'th of May 2004. That makes almost 6 and a half years of living in Denmark. Futhermore I do think the programme in which she has learned Danish has been more intensive then the learning-programmes others have. Her role taken into considerration. And I must add - though her Danish is excellent - especially her pronaunciation - she does sometimes make very small but charming mistakes with the grammar.

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It sounds like Mary has done very well with her Danish-she should be very proud.
Yes, she has got every reason to be so
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  #286  
Old 11-12-2008, 05:40 PM
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very small but charming mistakes with the grammar.
We all do

In another 5-10 years I would be very interested to compare both her Danish & her English with what they are about now, and also around 2004; but thats pure curiosity!
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  #287  
Old 11-12-2008, 07:16 PM
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We all do

In another 5-10 years I would be very interested to compare both her Danish & her English with what they are about now, and also around 2004; but thats pure curiosity!
It would be very interesting to compare both languages in a few years. To me, when she is speaking English, she sometimes sounds as though it is not her native language. I am not sure if this is due to her carefully thinking over her words before she says them, or if this is because she focuses so much on her Danish. Sometimes it sounds like she is losing some of her English, which is unusual for an adult. I am sure that she has not lost her native language; it just sounds that way sometimes.
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  #288  
Old 11-12-2008, 07:31 PM
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Sometimes it sounds like she is losing some of her English, which is unusual for an adult. I am sure that she has not lost her native language; it just sounds that way sometimes.
She has a Danish/Scandinavian accent when speaking English. IMO it would be impossible for her not eventually getting the sound of her native tongue influence by the sounds of her daily language.
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  #289  
Old 11-12-2008, 07:33 PM
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Thank you for the info, Lilla. I am not familiar enough with Scandinavian accents to be able to recognize them. This is a good sign that she has really come close to mastering the Danish language!
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  #290  
Old 11-12-2008, 10:27 PM
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I am not sure if this is due to her carefully thinking over her words before she says them
I'm not sure about now, but certainly from a lot of the older clips, I feel that that is very much the reason.
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  #291  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:15 PM
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Well I heard a speech she made in English a little while back and there I could hear the Australian accent more strongly than I've ever heard it before. When we first started to know her, her English sounded Scandinavian, but now it sounds more Australian, I don't know.

I actually think it was when they were in Australia, so that can have an influence. It's just like me, if I'm around people who speak with a certain accent I tend to speak in the same accent, hehehe. Both in English and in Danish
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  #292  
Old 11-15-2008, 06:05 PM
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Very interesting. I work in the field of linguistics, and all research has shown that it takes a person at least 7 years to become fluent in a language (that only applies to those living in the environment where the second language is the spoken language). There are always cases of people who are able to acquire the language quickly; however, those are usually the people who already speak 2 or 3 languages. It sounds like Mary has done very well with her Danish-she (and the people of Denmark) should be very proud.
But what is the definition of fluent?
So far Iīve always thought...if we e.g. take a girl, who had learned a bit of French at school and goes then for a year to France as Au-pair and would communicate without problems after this year, she would be considered as fluently.

But as it seems some consider it as "fluent", if persons can lead complicated discussions in the second language and can express sentences just the way, they had intented to.

But many people also have quite a limited vocabulary in their native language and would not stand a discussion with a pro in rhetorics.

And isnīt "fluent" also related to the surroundings, one is living in? I guess as foreign Prof. at Harvard, you have to learn much more in the new language than as person, who is emmigrating to live in a trailer park. And still both could probably communicate with the ppl around them in the end

By the "Au-pair definiton", she surely is fluent, but had she ever given an interview on complex things, which werenīt expected (unlike children, charities...)?
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  #293  
Old 11-15-2008, 06:19 PM
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Fluent is a term that many linguistic researchers disagree on. I have yet to hear of a universal definition. When I stated that researchers believe that it takes someone 7 years to become fluent, I was referring to one's ability to communicate without hesitation, using the general intonation and rhythm of that language. Of course, there is no general agreement on what makes a person fluent. It sounds to me like Mary has become fluent in the language. I don't speak Danish, so I am basing my opinion on how she sounds and by reading the posts from the Danish members regarding her language.
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  #294  
Old 11-15-2008, 09:01 PM
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Surely the most important thing is what she says not how she sounds saying it.
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  #295  
Old 11-15-2008, 09:06 PM
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My husband says that everyone in my immediate family speaks with a different accent. We're all Canadian of Scottish descent, and we were all born and raised in the same basic area. However, he's from another part of the same province and can pick up the differences between us. It's very strange.

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I had an Australian friend who said that when he was a child in Australia he was bi-lingual. His mother was very upper class English and insisted he spoke as she did but when he went to school he would immediately change over to a more Australian accent.
One of the friendīs students from an English university remarked once that if an Australian has a British accent it usually means one thing - money. which I interpreted as meaning which school this person went to...when a schoolfriend that I hadnīt met for many many years visited me recently everyone remarked that we spoke with the same accent and she has always lived in Australia.
Having said that, I was born in Australia, lived there until I was 18, I have been told that I have just a touch of an Australian accent especially on the telephone.
I was very impressed by Princess Mary, she is a very well educated and intelligent young woman and her accent is that of a very well educated woman with the influence of her Scottish parents way of speaking too.
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  #296  
Old 11-20-2008, 06:24 AM
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I have a irish boyfriend who has a strong irish accent my family and friends have notice then whenever i talk i have a slight irish accent becauce i have been spending so much time with him.

so its very easy for mary to pick up the accent quick
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  #297  
Old 11-20-2008, 02:28 PM
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I have a irish boyfriend who has a strong irish accent my family and friends have notice then whenever i talk i have a slight irish accent becauce i have been spending so much time with him.

so its very easy for mary to pick up the accent quick
Very true! People think that it is an "affected" gesture when one picks up the accent of another. It isn't. Things just rub off on you. Ordinarily, I have a NY accent but when I am around French people, or Southerners, or ... I automatically start to speak as they do. And, it also isn't because I am mocking or mimicing anyone either. It's just .... well, osmosis, perhaps?
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  #298  
Old 11-20-2008, 02:33 PM
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This picking up of accents can be embarassing sometimes. I was asked by an old Irish priest - after talking to him for about half an hour - how long I had been away from Ireland for. When I told him I had never been there he did all but accuse me of being a liar and said not only could he tell I was Irish but I must have come from a village very near his....
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  #299  
Old 11-20-2008, 05:31 PM
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This picking up of accents can be embarassing sometimes. I was asked by an old Irish priest - after talking to him for about half an hour - how long I had been away from Ireland for. When I told him I had never been there he did all but accuse me of being a liar and said not only could he tell I was Irish but I must have come from a village very near his....
Maybe the priest was just trying to tell you, in thinking you truly were Irish, that you are one terrific imitatour! Ever thought about becoming a "dialect coach" and maybe teaching others to speak in appropriate accents for (film, TV. movie) roles?
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  #300  
Old 04-05-2009, 02:00 PM
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Surely the most important thing is what she says not how she sounds saying it.
I think agree with you on that. Very good point.
How she says it, what languagage doesn't matter, she is obviously saying it for a reason and we should listen.
Personally i believe Mary has a knack for picking up an accent if she is there long enough. When she was on holiday in Tasmania last year, she probably would have picked up the aussie accent again.
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