Learn Spanish & Latinx Accents
WHAT WILL YOU DOWNLOAD?
The download to learn Spanish & Latinx Accents contains seventy-seven (77) minutes of systematic instruction in MP3 sound files. You’ll also get a printable PDF of the instruction manual. It contains summaries of the audio lessons and full transcripts of the drill words, phrases, and passages.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
You will first learn the resonance (placement), inflection/rhythm, and pronunciation of a general South American Spanish (Latinx) accent. You’ll go on to learn variations often appropriate for Spanish, Cuban or Puerto Rican, and Mexican or Chicano characters. Here’s a brief summary of the training.
- Lesson 1 teaches you to shape and move your mouth to create the resonance or voice placement of the general South American Spanish accent.
- The 2nd Lesson shows you how to embed many of the target vowel pronunciations into the placement/muscularity you learned in the previous lesson.
- Lesson 3 deals with the idiosyncrasies of pronouncing the letters “S” and “Z” in English with a Spanish-language accent.
- Lesson 4 teaches the softer versions of some consonants that result from the accent’s muscularity/resonance. It goes on to teach the “tapped R” pronunciation.
- The 5th Lesson puts it all together for the general accent. Firstly, using a drill passage, it reminds you about the voice placement. Further, it walks you through the pronunciation phrase by phrase before leading you into a normal speaking pace.
- Lesson 6 teaches you to create different varieties and degrees of the Spanish-language accent. These include the Castilian-Spanish, Puerto Rican, and Mexican/Chicanx accents.
MORE ABOUT THE SPANISH ACCENT
Obviously, Spain is one of many countries in which Spanish is the national or official language. Clearly, the language itself and its accent on English are not exactly the same as you move country to country or region to region. These days, more Spanish-speaking characters are likely to have come from South America. As such, this training program begins with that sound before expanding to include Spain and other countries.
Some varieties of Spanish-language accents are susceptible to exaggeration and stereotyping. This is particularly true of those, such as Mexican and Chicano, that often contain noticeable lilts or pitch glides on stressed syllables. Some actors overdo these lilts and don’t use them as tools of meaning and emphasis. Such exaggerations clearly interfere with the truth of a real character in actual human circumstances.
LEARNING SPANISH & LATINX ACCENTS FOR TODAY’S ACTORS
- When should you use a Spanish-language accent? That’s not as silly a question as it might seem. What about characters who would be speaking Spanish in “the real world,” such as those in Lorca’s The House of Bernardo Alba or Blood Wedding? Many would consider English with a Spanish accent to be an inappropriate representation of Spanish “without a foreign accent.” So, what brand of English would best represent Spanish with “no accent”?
- In such cases, directors often prefer English with “no accent,” i.e. the standard English of the performance country. Occasionally some directors desire light accents to reflect a flavor of characters’ real-world Spanish while still maintaining the impression of fluency. The same artistic choice applies to using French accents for Molière, German accents for Schiller, Norwegian for Ibsen, etc.
- The full accent is more often wanted when, within the script, a first-language Spanish speaker is conversing in English. An example would be the Spanish ambassador Chapuys in Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons. Here, most directors would want to distinguish the sound of these non-native speakers from that of the others.
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