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Michiel Huismans Engelse taalrapport

Omdat Language Partners 45 jaar bestaat, bespreken we elke maand de taalkennis van een bekende Nederlander. Vandaag nemen we de taalkennis van acteur Michiel Huisman onder de loep.

Michiel Huisman

This interview shows exactly what an accent coach and time in an English speaking environment can do! Wow! Other than his name, I would have never guessed that he was Dutch. As far as I could hear – he sounded American through and through!

General issues and pronunciation

It is very clear that Michiel has had a lot of immersion in the English language with a lot of that being in The States. It is obvious that he feels at ease when speaking English and also at ease with the accent that he has learned. He has a wide range of vocabulary, a nice assortment of expressions and can inject humour into the conversation. He has a very natural American intonation and only on a couple of occasions does he slightly (very slightly) over pronounce his ‘r’ sound towards the end of the interview when using words such as ‘before’ and ‘earlier’. This being said, he shows excellent use of elision for example when he says ‘I don’t know’ – it was more ‘I d’anno’, which sounded very natural for him. Michiel Huisman is about on a par with Armin van Buuren i.e. very difficult to find fault with.

Coherence of the interview

This was a very easy going interview, very relaxed with appropriate easy going vocabulary. He says a lot of ‘y’know’ during the interview, which shows to me that he is very comfortable with his English. He answers questions fully and without fault. His grammar is verging more on American English, which is very predictable seeing as he has spent so much time in America!

At the six minute mark he goes into discussion about accents and does an example of a typical Dutch accent when speaking English – of which he absolutely nails the stereotype accent. Reflecting on this, it just goes to show what happens when you have access to an accent coach. It would be interesting to see what accent he would have developed without this coaching.

This being said though, the fact would still remain that his English is of an impeccable standard. Towards the end of the interview, the ‘r’ sound becomes a wee bit more pronounced than it was at the beginning but not in a way that shouts ‘he is Dutch!’.

Conclusions and ratings

As with Armin van Buuren, I feel that it would be very cruel to pick fault just because I have to. To my ears, he would pass as a native American, it is only when you really listen that you pick up on the tiniest of things. It is a testament as to how immersion in a language really pays off; to pass as native American to a native English speaker is a great big compliment to his language capabilities. It would also have been interesting if we had heard him before his accent coaching to be able to see the results!

Pronunciation: 10
Fluency: 10
Grammar: 10
Vocabulary: 10
Overall score: 10

Lees meer taalrapporten van bekende Nederlanders

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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