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How Can I Improve My Diction?


Hardison
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This may sound overly obvious, but the best way to improve is to practice! Talk to spanish-speakers, watch movies in Spanish and repeat what the characters are saying, read Spanish books aloud... speak Spanish as often as possible. You'll start getting a feel for the way the words feel to your mouth, and your accent will improve.

Something else that has helped me is over-anunciating words. Say the word slowly and exaggerate the pronunciation, it's another thing that will help your mouth get accustomed to the words and sounds.

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That does seem overly simple, but it may work. I hate the way that I sound when speaking Spanish. I sound like an American speaking Spanish poorly which is what I am.  I especially have trouble with "rr" (the rolling tongue). I just can't get it. Oh well, I will keep practicing.

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Guest isabbbela

I think the more you speak, the more you improve your diction/accent. There are those people that will always have a thick accent no matter what... I think that goes from person to person. But you can improve by practicing - and the ONLY way you can do that is by speaking!

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I don't speak Spanish, but here's my advice for you -- find some native Spanish speakers and talk to them! Trust me, when you hear natives around you speaking the language you're learning, you'll start to pick up some of it naturally and your pronoucniation get better  :wink:

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One trick that may serve is using online text-to-speech services.

There are many of them, some of which are not really good because sound too mechanical and others are set to use the Spanish accent of Spain, which is even harder for native Spanish speakers in other countries than this.

A good text-to-speech service to practice with is this, http://text-to-speech.imtranslator.net/

Just select the language engine that speaks Spanish, type in what you want to say and listen to it, then repeat yourself and try again until you feel you are getting closer to the right pronunciation.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Diction? What's that by the way? I think the most effective way to improve your pronunciation is to keep practicing. Start a conversation or talk with someone who speaks the language in which you're currently learning. I find sometimes people will correct your pronunciation, but it's another way to learn because you know what to expect and how to say the words you have trouble with. Another way to improve is that listen to radio, watch movies, or hear talk shows that speak the language in which you're learning.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Like others said above, the main thing to do is to practice. The more you practice, the more you will improve. I also find that it helps if you speak to yourself when you are alone. Practice dialogues. Read anything you can get your hands on in Spanish, even a magazine cut-out. Read it out-loud. And most importantly, speak out-loud slowly. Sometimes, we want to rush through sentences and forget the importance of pronunciation.

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To improve your diction, do the following:

1. Slow down.  Take your time saying words, so they come out more clearly.

2. Focus on challenging words. What words do you struggle the most to say in Spanish? Focus on practicing them until you get them right.

3. Practice speaking with a friend. Your friend should be Spanish-speaking and able to help you with pronunciation of words and phrases.

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  • 11 months later...

Your diction will come to you naturally through speaking as time moves on. It's the kind of thing that is really best taught when one is actually immersed in the language rather than offhandedly trying to do it by looking in a mirror. Practicing with other people and listening to tapes might be the best option.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you can't find Spanish speaking friends, then Telemundo is your best friend.  I like to watch futbol and during the commercials, I'll just repeat what the announcers of the commercials are saying, sometimes over and over.  I also like some of the early morning programming because it's generally fun and you can pick up a lot of new words as they demonstrate some new fad or cooking or whatever they're doing in the morning. 

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A Spanish teacher once told me that the best way to learn the diction is to practise it with a Spanish friend. Immersion is the key she said. But listening to Spanish songs, dialogue and the like will also help. Or a learner can watch anything Spanish - movies, commercial clips, etc. She also suggested talking to yourself in Spanish, maybe, like a question and answer kind of conversation.

Personally, I easily learn when I listen to audio or watch video in Spanish. However, I guess I have to repeatedly replay the clip to better catch the diction and for me to comprehend what's being said.

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Easy: talk to Spanish-speakers! That's the best way to do it. See if your town offers Spanish lessons and opportunities to speak with native Spanish-speakers. Watch Spanish shows on TV. When looking up vocabulary words, try to see if there's an option to listen to how that word is pronounced. Also, if you're having difficulty rolling your 'r's', the best way to practice is to say 'butter' repeatedly. Your tongue should hit the roof of your mouth and the back of your teeth slightly when you roll your 'r's'. This is what helped me learn, since I can't roll my 'r's' naturally. Since you're re-learning Spanish, hopefully you'll get back into the swing of things quickly!

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If you find you are struggling with certain sounds more than others, this is a website that explains each sound individually, with video, audio and diagrams

http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/spanish/spanish.html

I don't have much experience learning Spanish with this website, but the English equivalent helped me a lot.

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