Oct 27, 2006

Speaking English With Balinese Accent

What is it like? English with Balinese accent? If you've been in Bali or live in Bali, you know what I mean. There are some English sounds that we don't have or normally use in our every day language. What happen is that we usually substitute those English sounds with the closest sounds in Balinese similar to the English sound.

So, what are those sounds? Well, we rarely, if not never, use these sounds in our language:
  • "th" as in the or there is replaced with the sound "d" (we say "de" instead of "the"), or worse "ts" (tsing instead of think)
  • "sh" as in shout is simply "s".
  • "ch" as in chair us substituted by "tj"
  • "v" as in variety is just "b"
  • "f" as in felicity is "p"
  • "z" as zen sometimes heard as "j".

It is very true, then, English is a very difficult language to learn fo us. It is a struggle for most of Balinese to say the word "very", since we will pronounce it as "beree", instead. If your name is Felicity, forgive us, because we will have to change your name into Peliciti, but we can't help it. You will have the same thing happens to you if your name is one of the following: Jeff, Nash, Valerie, Shane, or even Watts. You will hear your name pronounced: Jep, Palerie, Sane, and Wat. I forget to mention the last, (Watts), we also have problem with the sound "s" if preceded by other consonant. To illustrate: helps, bats, windows, growths, and restaurants are respectively pronounced as help, bat, window, and grot.

As the majority of people in Bali have this problem, there are more and more Balinese master English well with oustanding pronunciation. English Teaching College Department of University of Ganesha in North Bali, for instance, sets high standard for English proficiency to their students. And also, people who live in the city, because of a better access for information and learning have better pronunciation compared to those who live in rural areas.

So, tank you beri mutj por your attention. (Thank you very much for your attention).

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