Hi All,
I am researching a bit about BPO sector and am confused about some aspects of it. Specifically I am confused about what constitutes an fatal-error and what is the difference between a fatal error and Mother-tongue influence? Also I would like to know what are trainable and non-trainable errors and are non-trainable equivalent to fatal errors?

From India, Noida
Fatal Error: An error in speech that is very difficult to overcome within a speculated training time is called fatal error. For example, a person has s/sh error. He says, Soe instead of Shoe. This is a fatal error as it takes lot of time for a person to overcome this problem. Another example would be z/zh error. A person says Pleajure instead of Pleasure. Fatal errors are also called non-trainable errors. On the other hand a strong T or D sound is non-fatal error as a person can overcome it in 10-15 days of training.

MTI: The three dimensions of accent are articulation, pronunciation and intonation. Articulation is how we produce the speech sounds- Vowels and Consonants. For example: A person says joo instead of Zoo. A person says Another instead of Unother. (phonetically)

Pronunciation is how we stress on the right part of the word (syllable). A person says CommunicaTION instead of CommuniCAtion.

Intonation is the music of the language. (The ups and downs in a sentence)

MTI (Mother tongue Influence) could be any aspect of articulation, pronunciation or intonation that is reflected from the mother tongue in the speech. Listen to this speaker ( <link no longer exists - removed> ) and you shall notice the MTI in the speaker's accent.

Hope you got your answer. You may write or call me for more information.

From India, Delhi
Hi learningnovo,
Thanks for your response, I would like to ask one-more question, is there any intersection between MTI and Fatal-errors? Also is there a list of phonemes which are accepted as causing Fatal-errors for eg you listed s/sh and z/zh as example.

From India, Noida
MTI is a broad term where we look at all the three aspects of accent: Articulation, Pronunciation and Intonation.

When we hire agents in BPO we look at primarily five parameters: Speech Clarity, Flow, Grammar, Accent and Intonation.

Fatal errors could be in any of these five parameters. Lisp is a fatal error in speech. Stammering is a fatal error in flow. Subject-verb agreement is a fatal error in grammar.

I can't post the complete list of Phonemes (44 of them) here as it is copyright information of the company I worked with. Generally s/sh and z/zh are considered fatal errors however if the list of errors in phonemes is more than 10 then that person is rejected.

To specifically answer your question of intersection of MTI and fatal errors-

If a person has accent issues (aspects of MTI) in articulation (s/sh or z/zh error or more than 10 errors) or pronunciation (errors in common words, e.g coPY, laTER, taBLE) and his intonation pattern is influenced by his mother tongue to a degree that is non-trainable then it can be called fatal errors.

From India, Delhi
v/b and s/is (school becomes ischool), e/a (test becomes Taste), ee/i (Meet becomes Mit) are also in the fatal error list.
From India, Delhi
Hi Atut,
Thanks for your answers, so the error phonemes you listed like s/sh or z/zh, will the (fatal) error occur in all words having these phonemes or will the error be detectable only in some specific words.

From India, Noida
Dear Nitesh,

Atul have contributed a deep understanding on fatal errors. In addition to what he said here are few more:

- Punching words: Using words from different languages, in one sentence. If words from any regional language or even gibberish ,is used while - framing a sentence in English, its a fatal error.

- Dead air: Making sounds such as 'aaaa....' while speaking, just because the speaker is either framing the sentence in his mind or is thinking.

- Filers : We have repeatedly heard people using filers such as 'like' or 'you know' or 'Okay', even when it wasn't required. This shows the speakers isn't trained on using connectors

- Framing sentence: Automotive mode of thinking affects the pattern. Hence, while framing sentences it might result in almost a transliteration !

- Repetition : This might not be as big as a challenge as the other ones are. Yet, usage of the same words or phrase, leads to a negative marking.

All the fatal errors are trainable, depending on the effort and investment, a talent is ready to foot.

From India, Mumbai
Hi Nitesh,
It purely depends upon the speaker. Some people commit these errors in all the words while others commit these errors in some specific sound combinations.
Repetition of the same accent error is not counted as multiple errors. For example: ‘listen’ becoming ‘lizzen’, ‘excitement’ becoming ‘egzitement’, ‘decide’ becoming ‘dezide’ etc are not three errors but one (the ‘s’ sound becoming ‘z’).
In the BPO world fatal errors are considered non-trainable as the speculated time frame of 5-10 days is not sufficient to make a person overcome the fatal errors. As Nebomita has mentioned and I have written in my previous post, apart from articulation related fatal errors, there could be in fatal errors in pronunciation, speech or grammar too.

From India, Delhi

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