If you want to be fully competent in English, you must be confident with your English pronunciation.

 

Why?

Well, whenever you go outside of Brazil or speak to foreigners on the phone, it’s likely that they aren’t used to conversing with Brazilians, who oftentimes have a strong accent. And that means people won’t easily understand you, and you’ll have to play the “Repeat-the-Same-Thing-Five-Times” game.

What I’m trying to say here is that improving pronunciation should be on everyone’s English to-do list. You’ll not only be able to communicate better, but you’ll be more respected by those with whom you are speaking. And yes, men and women with foreign accents can be seen as sexy, but not sexier than a fluent, confident, English-speaking badass.

So how do you improve pronunciation? Well, my friend, I’m going to show you two programs that bring quick results. And they both use music as their primary method. Excited?

But first, let me tell you a little about my experience here in Brazil with Portuguese…

Ovo na boca

Portuguese pronunciation is tough. I came to Brazil in 2008 with ZERO knowledge of Portuguese. Being from the US, I had always been around Spanish speakers. Even though Spanish is very similar, it definitely doesn’t sound the same. There are tons of sounds that aren’t produced in English, like the nasal sound in pão and mãe, and the tr and dr combination, in words like pedra and tratar. For my American tongue, these sounds were totally new.

So, think back to 2008. I’m walking down the streets in a small town in the state of São Paulo, and I run into an acquaintance of mine. At that time I spoke enough Portuguese to have simple conversations, but still struggled with being understood. My pronunciation was very bad.

How bad?

“Nossa cara! Parece que tá falando com um ovo em sua boca!” is what the guy told me.

I laughed and didn’t get offended. To be honest, it actually did feel like I had a boiled egg in my mouth when trying to speak Portuguese. I realized I needed to work on my accent not just for my benefit, but also for the people I was trying to speak with. I could communicate much easier with people who had traveled, could speak English (obviously), or at least had had contact with gringos before. But try talking to someone, a cashier for example, who had never heard English in his life. Good luck!

Believe me, I often had to repeat myself numerous times until I was understood. After you’ve been asked for the fifth time to repeat what you’ve just said it gets a little embarrassing. I needed to focus more time on pronunciation.

Until that point I hadn’t really tried to sound Brazilian. It was eye opening to say the least. I needed to focus on they way I sounded in Portuguese a lot more.

Here’s a totally different approach; A good friend of mine, Brandon Pennington from TraininBrazilGroup.com learned Portuguese from day one while training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He used the language in action, picking up not only the most common phrases and vocab of BJJ, but also hearing the way the language is used, intonation and all. The emotion and need for focus while fighting forced him to replicate Portuguese as much as possible.

Books and Schools não vale a pena!  

I do not learn languages well from text books, and I definitely don’t do well in language schools. To be honest, I hate the language school setting. For me, language learning needs to be real, meaningful, and most of all, enjoyable. I really don’t like someone telling me what to learn, and when and how to learn it. But, if you put me in a comfortable setting, like pleasantly drunk at a balada at 4am, or in a fight at the airport with the airline attendant, I excel. Wherever I’ve been around the world, I’ve always done well with learning the language, or at least learning enough to get by for the short trip. That’s why I’m such a big proponent of using the Internet, as well as phone apps, to learn a language.

These days, you can find thousands of websites and apps that combine the latest technologies with the freedom to learn from anywhere. You can connect with other learners all over the world, and have real, genuine experiences with the language you are learning. Also, probably one of the biggest benefits of using technology to learn a language is that you develop habits and methods that will keep you studying everyday, instead of just a day or two a week during your language classes.

I am going to show you two very effective online pronunciation tools.

-One of them helps you master your pronunciation through music training.

-The other integrates the most popular, free language app available right now with state-of-the-art sound training technology.

They were both created by Idahosa (sounds like Iralsa in Portuguese) Ness, a polyglot, sound educator and entrepreneur who is changing how we learn languages. And that’s the fist reason why these two programs are the best online.

1) It was created by someone who has learned languages using his own method, proving that it works

Everyone can say they know how to learn a language online. It’s easy to say you speak a language well when you’ll never actually have to use it. But Idahosa has shown us his ability to speak several languages with little accent on YouTube. Check him out here speaking excellent Carioca Portuguese:

 Click on the image to hear him speaking Portuguese

 Idahosa Ness speaking portuguese

And here, you can see him rapping in 8 different languages! 

 

 

As you can see, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to pronunciation. So how can someone speak multiple languages with such a smooth accent? The answer comes down to imitation. And how are you going to imitate a foreign language you don’t understand? With music. MUSIC IS POWERFUL!

 

2) The Mimic Method uses music as the main method of training.

I love music. It is literally what brought me to Brazil (think Bossa Nova, MPB, jazz and Samba — not Sertaneja Universitaria.) When there’s music around, I pay attention. If I like what I’m hearing, I really like it. If I don’t, well, I get pretty annoyed.

I also like drinking beer and going to bars. After being in Brazil for a while I noticed that musicians at these bars sometimes sang perfect English, with no accent. A couple of times, I approached these musicians after they had finished playing, and asked them about their English. To my surprise, they usually spoke no English. So how did they sing it so well?

The answer comes down to language being made up of sounds, not words. And if you can learn these “sounds,” you’ll not only be able to speak with little accent, but you’ll also improve your comprehension immensely. Idahosa is an expert in sound education. Want to know more? Read this post by Idahosa about the importance of sound in language.

I can attest to many Brazilians becoming great English speakers through listening to a lot of music. To be honest, when I started teaching, I didn’t really believe you could learn through music. But I have been proven wrong many, many times. Music will show you how the language is supposed to be spoken without the need for learning the rules of grammar.

3) Using your tablets and smart phones is THE BEST way to learn, and the Mimic Method is totally mobile-friendly

I completely believe that the future of learning will be on that little screen you’re looking at right now, or the little screen you will look at as soon as you leave this bigger computer screen.

I know a smart phone can be expensive in Brazil. Actually, it’s ridiculous how much you pay here. But, prices are always dropping, and you can find decent phones for around R$600. I just bought a MOTO G for that price, and it does almost everything I need it to (the camera kinda sucks.)

There are hundreds of apps for language learning that give you the freedom to learn from anywhere at anytime. If you don’t know any good ones, start with Duolingo. It is definitely the easiest to use, and it doesn’t cost anything. If you’re looking for more good programs, go HERE.

There are huge benefits to having your English lessons everywhere you go. And with people creating ingenious ways to combine technology with language learning (like Idahosa,) there will always be something new and useful.

One major benefit of using apps and online resources for learning is you develop your own self-learning techniques. You will not see a lot of progress in English unless you are consistently training and practicing – every day! The problem with the traditional way of learning at schools is most students save their learning for class, which is one or two times a week. This is ridiculous! It does not work. Believe me. I know the difference between students who will progress and ones that will stay at the same English level forever just by asking how often they train.

And that phone in your pocket? That tablet screen you’re always looking at? Your English success is there.

 

4) Having specific goals is the only way to achieve fast results

As I often say, having something specific to focus on will bring quicker progress than just learning casually. I’m not saying that being relaxed about learning isn’t important; I think it is very important. But if you really want to improve on something in a short amount of time, you have to isolate your objectives to a specific area, like pronunciation, for example.

The Mimic Method combines focused and specific learning with fun, easily accessible lessons to help you converse more like a native speaker, faster.

So, when you decide, “OK, I want to improve my pronunciation and I’m going to spend the next couple months focusing on that,” you have to start with the first, most important step. That is finding something that will not only bring quick results, but is also enjoyable enjoyable. With specific goals and the right tools you will see results!

 

So what are these programs and where can I find them? 

The Mimic Method “Flow Series” is a fully functioning program, where you can find not only English, but several other languages too, like Spanish and French. There’s a free course to show you how it works. Here’s the link to sign up: http://goo.gl/Px7CLr 

I have personally used this with Portuguese and can tell you that it is excellent. However, it is not for lazy learners. It is a professionally made, comprehensive pronunciation course, training your English syllable by syllable so you can master the sounds of English (or other languages if interested.) It is intense! If you are serious about speaking like a bad ass in English, you will have to do the work.  But, the work requires singing American music, so it is actually really fun.

 

Try the Flow Series out for free and see how awesome it is.

 

LINK TO THE MIMIC METHOD