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Armin van Buuren’s English language report

Omdat Language Partners 45 jaar bestaat, bespreken we elke maand de taalkennis van een bekende Nederlander. Vandaag nemen we de taalkennis van dj en producer Armin van Buuren onder de loep.

Armin van Buuren

This short interview with Armin just goes to show that it is possible to achieve native level English! It is incredibly difficult to pick any fault with his English at all and actually difficult to detect any hint of a Dutch accent.

General issues and pronunciation

This is a very good example of how a lot of practice makes perfect! Armin almost sounds like an English native who has moved to the USA. I cannot pick up on any typical Dutch phonemes and his grammar is also very American. Having said that (and I am no expert on the American accent), his American accent does sound very natural and not exaggerated. It is the norm, that some celebrities tend to ‘over egg’ the American accent once they have moved to The States, but here this is not the case.

Coherence of the interview

Armin actually sounds more at ease with his English than the lady who is interviewing him! He is very confident and very fluent – he has also picked up an upward inflection, which is apparent at quite a few points in the interview, particularly around the 1.30 mark. His vocabulary is very advanced; he puts in a lot of great expressions. At 4 mins he uses the expression ‘bang out the big hits’, which is very ‘now’, and his pronunciation is perfect. He sounds very natural and at no point does he hesitate to search for words. At around the 3 minute mark he is talking about remixes and he says ‘I can’t really reveal yet’. His pronunciation of ‘can’t’ is actually very very British, which stood out for me quite markedly but it certainly did not sound unnatural – in fact it is very commendable. During lessons, the word ‘can’t’ often causes a lot of problems for Dutch natives, but this is certainly not apparent here.

Conclusions and ratings

Armin van Buuren’s English is flawless and I think that it would be very cruel of me to nit pick. As mentioned before, his accent is very American, but what strikes me here particularly is that instead of there being a hint of a Dutch accent creeping in, it is actually a British accent that sometimes comes through – and a good one at that. It is very difficult to find fault with his English at all. He has obviously had lots of exposure to English, and it has certainly paid off. Only his name gives away that he is Dutch, if I was watching this interview without knowing who Armin van Buuren was, I would just assume that he was either a native American or a Brit that had moved to the States. Practice does indeed make perfect.

Certificate Armin van Buuren

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Jo van Aken
Jo is trainer Zakelijk Engels bij Language Partners. Ze heeft in verschillende landen in Europa gewerkt en woont sinds 2010 in Nederland, waar ze trainingen Engels en communicatievaardigheden geeft.

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