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Wrong syllable stress when reading

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webmagnets
Diglot
Newbie
United States
Joined 1444 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 1 of 14
06 September 2015 at 10:59pm | IP Logged 
I am learning Tagalog. I am used to being able to read Spanish and Chinese (pinyin) without having to know
the word. This is because in Spanish there are definite rules on which syllables to stress and the vowels are
consistent; similar with Chinese pinyin.

Although Tagalog has definite rules about the vowels, I can't find anything that gives a hint as to how to
decide which syllables to stress. This is frustrating because I feel like I can't read any books due to being
worried about stressing the wrong syllable while reading and getting that wrong pronunciation stuck. So, I
have resorted to looking up every single word and putting an accent mark where it "should" be.

Does anyone have any advice about this? Should I just read anyway and not worry about the wrong
pronunciation sticking and having to fix it later when I learn the word?
1 person has voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2126 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 2 of 14
07 September 2015 at 12:27am | IP Logged 
Stress Is Distressingly Important

I would say that you are RIGHT to be concerned about proper STRESS!

Think about conversing with a non-native English-speaker who has a sufficient grasp of English grammar and whose pronunciation of English is correct as to the basic sounds of the language. Furthermore, let us suppose that your interlocutor has no particular problem with either articulation or intonation. And yet, let's assume that your speaking partner frequently places the STRESS on the wrong syllable, so that "SYLL-able" comes out as "syll-ABle", and that this effects a good portion of his speech. Even though English is your native language, and even though virtually everything else is going smoothly for your interlocutor, there is a very high probability that you would not understand him.

As an example, my mother-tongue is English and, although I have been speaking ONLY French for the past 28 years, every now and again, I will pronounce a word that is new to me, fairly correctly, but with the wrong STRESS, my wife, who is a native-French speaker, and with whom I've been speaking only French all these years, will become quite confused as to what I'm trying to say, even though it might be just one (important) word in the phrase. Proper STRESS is EXTREMELY important!

I suggest that you work with some introductory/intermediate self-study Tagalog language courses, that include audio recordings, so as to improve your "feeling" for the spoken and written language. After all, the written language is nothing more than a standardized graphical representation of the spoken language's sound system. Furthermore, you should NOT return to reading texts in Tagalog until you have resolved this problem. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will develop a "very bad habit" and we all know how difficult they are to correct!

Tagalog is a Category IV Language for English Speakers
Note that the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) classifies Tagalog as a "Category IV" language -- in terms of difficulty -- for American speakers of English. That is, it's right up there with the Chinese and Arabic languages. So, you've got your work cut out for you!

I have NOT studied Tagalog. However, there is a good possibility that other HTLAL Forum Members are familiar with a number of resources for learning this language. In the present absence of their advice, I would note and recommend the following resources. NOTE: The Titles below are the LINKS to the products. Clicking on them will lead you to the websites.


Tagalog For Beginners
I know absolutely NOTHING about this introductory course. However, if I were learning Tagalog, I would be tempted to begin with some like this, that has the appearance, at least, of being very basic.


Living Language Spoken World Tagalog
I have this series for Dutch and Polish. Living Language, like so many publishers, tends to adopt a standardized model for their self-study language courses. So, even though I have never consulted their "Spoken World Tagalog" course, I would expect that the teaching programme would be based on a series of increasingly difficult mock dialogues that display the spoken language in standardized situations. The vocabulary would probably comprise upwards of 2,000 standard "transactional" words for expressing one's basic needs. The grammar notes would be concise, but truly excellent. There would examples of the written language. There would 6 CDs of audio recordings and the dialogues would be delivered at a near-to-native spoken cadence. Make sure you know what you're ordering as, sometimes, the text and CDs are sold separately. The "Learning Curve" with this course would be STEEP. So, don't expect miracles; rather, expect to work hard!

Defense Language Institute GLOSS
Your taxes paid for these files and they're FREE! Simply click on the button next to "Tagalog" to select the files, download them, and practice-practice-practice.

Personal Caveat: Pimsleur Tagalog
I have used Pimsleur for German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Also, even though my French is at the C2 level, I have played with a friend's copy of Pimsleur French. In all these cases, I would say that, despite the high prices, the Pimsleur Method is very worth considering. However, my experiences with Pimsleur Polish and Pimsleur Russian left me somewhat disenchanted. In my opinion, the requirement to "infer the grammar" with this method, along with the lack of any meaningful written materials, renders the method simply too onerous if other, more conventional, materials are readily available. Some people report good results using the Pimsleur method for the "more exotic" languages, but I am not such a candidate. If you can acquire a FREE version, by all means, try it out! But, I wouldn't plunk down 119 $US for the downloadable MP3 files from Simon & Schuster.

Too Much Information!
Okay, I'll stop rambling on. Good luck with your studies!



Edited by Speakeasy on 08 September 2015 at 3:24am

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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4671 days ago

9753 posts - 15775 votes 
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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 3 of 14
07 September 2015 at 3:28am | IP Logged 
Stelle learns Tagalog, hopefully she can help :)
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3240 days ago

3334 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 4 of 14
08 September 2015 at 7:31pm | IP Logged 
Regarding stress: yes, it is important, but if there are no systematic rules, I wouldn't be obsessed with the stress in every single word. I'd rsther aim for absorbing stress naturally through doing a lot of listening, first alongside with text and then more and more independently as my level allows to. It's ok if you have a dictionary to look up some words you keep confusing, but the bulk of learning should happen as you learn other aspects of the language.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2126 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 5 of 14
08 September 2015 at 8:35pm | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
I'd rsther aim for absorbing stress naturally through doing a lot of listening, first alongside with text and then more and more independently as my level allows to.

I am confident that, if one were to work with a basic introduction to the language, such as Living Language Spoken World Tagalog, the "general rules" for pronunciation would become evident. Also, one could try some of the information that I located with: Google Search: Syllable Stress in Tagalog.

Edited by Speakeasy on 08 September 2015 at 8:42pm

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webmagnets
Diglot
Newbie
United States
Joined 1444 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 6 of 14
09 September 2015 at 1:55am | IP Logged 
If you read those Googley searched articles you will unfortunately see that there are no "general rules"; at
least none published.
1 person has voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2126 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 7 of 14
09 September 2015 at 2:37am | IP Logged 
@webmagnet,

Try this link: Learning Tagalog. Visit the section on GRAMMAR and PRONUNCIATION. Now all you have to do is learn how to identify short and long vowels!

I suggest that describe your present Study Plan for learning Tagalog, the specific materials you are using, and how you are using them. This might help others guide you towards a solution to your problem.

Also, I suggest that you EDIT your original post above, and revise the TITLE so as include the word Tagalog. For example, perhaps a revised title "Tagalog: syllable stress" might attract comments from more Forum Members.

Although the SEARCH Function of the HTLAL Forum leaves a lot to be desired, try using the "G-Search" with words such as "Tagalog". I just did so, and there are several Discussion Threads on this language.

Finally, "Serpent" suggested above that you contact "Stelle". Here is the LINK to her HTLAL log: Stelle's Tagalog Log. Perhaps you could ADD A POST TO HER LOG expressing your problem and asking for her advice.

Sorry, but I'm all out of ideas.

Edited by Speakeasy on 09 September 2015 at 4:24pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4671 days ago

9753 posts - 15775 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 8 of 14
10 September 2015 at 2:35am | IP Logged 
I tagged this thread with Tagalog, this way more people will know it's about this language.

Also, many/most members are now at http://forum.language-learners.org/.

I'd also not discard Expugnator's experience. He's learning Russian and he knows what he's talking about. Not all languages have clear easy rules, or complicated but existing rules.

Edited by Serpent on 10 September 2015 at 3:23am



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