Pronounce it right!

Picture yourself at business meeting in Japan, and the person you’re communicating with mispronounces pretty much every word, and makes more incorrectly structured sentences than correct. After the first 3 to 4 times of “excuse me, could you repeat that”, or “I’m sorry someone else was talking loud and didn’t catch what you said”, you give up trying to correct him for fear of embarrassing him. This person is obviously not aware of their inability to communicate clearly, so they ramble on and you understand about 36.5% of what they said. The likeliness of you doing business with them is probably less than the 36.5% and you move on to another person who obviously is more concerned in how they come across, who most likely has an accent, but pronounces their words carefully and you understand and feel understood. Pronouncing correctly shows respect and interest! It demonstrates to a prospective client or friend that you’re interested in them and their culture and their language, apart from the obvious benefits like coming across educated and articulate. Accents are something that most likely you won’t be able to completely disappear, you may always have a slight twinge of an accent, but pronouncing the sounds of that language correctly is something that’s entirely possible to accomplish, and a very worthwhile investment of time. In an upcoming post we’ll talk about some of the difference and complications we can have with different languages…certain combinations of languages are just simpler to pronounce once you know one of them. Have fun pronouncing correctly…


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