Sun 19 Aug 2007
I used to think that if I spoke quickly I would sound more fluent. As shocked as I was, I recorded my voice and couldn’t understand 1 word I said. As soon as I slowed down making clear sounds for each character I sounded much better, but still sounded like a “gwai lou”.
When I speak English, I tend to join words together so that 3 or so words are slurred into 1 word. I wasn’t even aware I did the same thing in Cantonese until I listened to myself.
When I’m speaking, it sounds awesome. From my own ears my Cantonese sounds like a native and I felt quite happy with my accent, intonations and fluency.
After listening to myself via the computer, I simply sounded like an Australian English speaker talking gibberish. My accent was so foreign from Hong Kong people’s and I spoke at 5 or so different speeds in the 1 single sentence.
It amazes me that I can converse with people for hours and they manage to understand 99% of what I’m saying, though I can’t understand myself when I listen to it. I was going to upload myself speaking some Cantonese but now feel totally ashamed.