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Every language is different from English in different ways. If you are a businessperson or someone that needs to improve your English as fast as possible, you need to focus on going from your language to English.
Some unique issues that Chinese speakers have:
- The rhythm of the speech – Chinese is what is called a syllable-timed language, which means that each syllable is roughly equal length. English is what is called a stress-timed language, which means that important words in the sentence are stress and are approximately the same distance apart. For that reason, sounds are often left out or changed so they can be said more rapidly. Mastering the rhythm of a language is the most important part of reducing your accent.
- Some sounds in English sound the same to Chinese speakers but the difference will change the meaning of a word. For instance, red and led sound the same to most Chinese speakers.
- Meaning is often cultural, understanding Americans makes you understood by Americans.