Language and rhythm
Language and rhythm are inextricably linked, according to a blog post I found the other day. The post is about reading scripts for theatrical performances, but much of it applies just as much to every day speech.
The main point is that language has inherent rhythms which are crucial because they are where the meaning is found. When you read a text in your mother tongue, you naturally break it up into meaningful chunks and adjust your rhythm as appropriate. If you apply unnatural rhythm to a text, it will be difficult to follow and you may not understand what you’re saying, neither will others.
When learning a foreign language, one of the things you need to acquire is that language’s natural rhythms. If you use the rhythm of your native language when speaking the foreign one, people might find you difficult or impossible to understand, unless they’re used to hearing non-natives speaking their language. Acquiring native-like rhythms takes a lot of listening and mimicery, and even then, you’ll might end up sounding slightly foreign, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Do you have any suggestions on how to acquire the rhythms of a foreign language?