Improving your Indian Accent

Indian Accent

Improving your Indian accent can be key to your success here in the U.S.

Many accent reduction clients of Indian origin have a unique perspective on English pronunciation. Most have spoken English from a young age, or are native English speakers. Not only that, but many people who are seeking to reduce their Indian accent have a very high level of education, with advanced degrees in medicine, science, IT or engineering.

Being able to communicate that knowledge clearly is not only valuable for the speakers, but also the community that can benefit from that knowledge.

Spoken American English

Clients who were educated in English, like many Indian English speakers, have a high level of success when it comes to reading, writing and vocabulary.

But their spoken English is not always easily comprehensible to American English speakers. In fact, the Indian accent is generally recognized as one of the most difficult for American English speakers to understand.

Three common problems for Indian speakers using American English

Here are 3 common American English pronunciation problems made by English speakers from India:

Indian English

1. Indian English Pronunciation – Strong /d/ sound instead of a /th/ sound

You probably tend to use a heavy /d/ sound instead of the voiced th sound in words including; the, there, mother & brother.

2. Indian English Pronunciation – /v/ & /w/ sounds

If you do not differentiate between the /v/ sound &  the /w/ sound in words like we, will, went & where, your English will be very difficult for Americans to understand.

3. Indian English Pronunciation – Syllable stress and vowel length

One very important area of concern is the way you use syllable stress when pronouncing American English words.

Non standard use of syllable stress is a primary cause of confusion and misunderstanding.

In my years of accent reduction coaching, I’ve noticed that the root cause of many communication problems for Indian English speakers is due to incorrect syllable stress and vowel length.

Indian English speakers frequently stress the wrong syllables in words.

When this happens, it makes it very, very difficult for American English speakers to understand what you are saying.

Examples

These are common words that Indian English speakers usually stress incorrectly. Click the word to hear the standard stress and pronunciation.

What can you do to learn the correct sounds & patterns?

If you are an Indian English speaker who feels like you are not communicating clearly, and you want to communicate in a manner that will enhance your career success, you’ll probably want to make some changes in your pronunciation.

American English Pronunciation and Accent Reduction

An excellent way to start improving is to sign up for a personal evaluation of your English Pronunciation, and then enroll in an American English Pronunciation course. If you choose to take this course with Confidence Learning Services, your evaluation is absolutely free, and you can access live, one-on-one instruction with a highly-qualified instructor anywhere via Skype. You’ll learn proven methods for communicating more clearly in American English, and most speakers see a 50-80% improvement in just 12 weeks.

Contact Confidence Learning Services today at 1-865-226-9477 to schedule your pronunciation evaluation.

 

American English Pronunciation Tips and Secrets

American English Pronunciation Knoxville

Even if you have spent years in the U.S., people might still pick up on your accent if it doesn’t match Standard American English Pronunciation. Maybe you are tired of repeating yourself several times a day, or perhaps you would just like to avoid the infamous, “Where are you from?” question. Either way, you could definitely benefit from dedicating some time to American English Pronunciation practice. Here are some tips to help you in that process:

Learn to recognize the correct American English Pronunciation

American English Pronunciation Knoxville

The first step in speaking clearly is to listen clearly. Choose a few difficult words and pay attention to how various native speakers say those words – store cashiers, restaurant wait staff, radio DJs or news broadcasters. You might hear some variation among native speakers, but you should hear some of the same qualities in each different pronunciation.

Want to improve your American English Pronunciation? Forget about spelling.

American English Pronunciation Knoxville

Unfortunately, American English isn’t written phonetically. This means one letter can make up to 20 different sounds. So spelling is very deceptive! Many people learned to read and write English first, and have memorized the correct spelling of each word. So they think that there is a round /o/ sound in the word “option” because it is spelled with the letter “o”, or that “word” and “bird” cannot rhyme because they are written with different vowels. The best way to learn American English is to close the dictionary, forget about how the word is spelled, and just listen. Try to make the same sounds as the native speaker you are imitating, no matter how the word is spelled.

Find a speech model with good American English Pronunciation.

American English Pronunciation Knoxville

Like I mentioned before, there can be some variation among native English speakers, which can be confusing for someone trying to improve their pronunciation. Choose one person to be your “speech model”. This is not a friend or family member, but instead an American celebrity, actor/actress, or other public figure of your same gender. You should choose someone whose voice you enjoy and whom you enjoy watching. Spend a lot of time watching that person on television, or finding short clips of them on YouTube. Pause the video after each sentence and practice repeating the sentence, mimicking the speaker’s attitude, facial expressions, body language, etc. Go back and repeat the process again, until you can “do an impression” or “mimic” your speech model convincingly.

Watch your vowels!

Even though the English alphabet only has 5 written vowels, we have at least 11 spoken vowels in American English. These vowels are always a dead-giveaway for anyone who doesn’t have standard American English Pronunciation. Pay close attention to the vowels in any word you are working on pronouncing.

The words “beat-bit-bait-bet-bat-but-boot-boat-bite-bout” should each have different vowel sounds.

Use the right American English resources.

American English Pronunciation Knoxville

Dictionary.com is a great resource for listening to the pronunciation of any given word. Merriam-Webster.com is another. Practice listening to the example pronunciation of the word you are studying, and then record yourself imitating the correct pronunciation

Seek help from an Accent Coach specializing in American English Pronunciation

American English Pronunciation Knoxville

Although you can make a lot of progress on your own, you will be much more successful with a trained specialistwho can administer in depth evaluations, make personalized recommendations, and provide live feedback. Confidence Learning Services provides Accent Coaching worldwide via Skype, or on-site in East Tennessee.

 

Contact us today at 1-865-226-9477 to start out with a complimentary, no-strings attached Accent and Pronunciation Evaluation.

What are the best accent reduction materials?

book and cd

“But I already have an electronic dictionary with a voice feature.”book and cd

At Confidence Learning Services, we have spent several years accumulating materials to help others communicate more clearly in English. When you enroll in an Accent Reduction course with us, all materials are provided, including a subscription to an Online Practice Program and recommended books, websites, and apps. But yet, some people ask, “Why that website and not this one?” or, “Why should I download that dictionary app when I already have a dictionary?”
Those are fair questions, so let me answer them here.

Things to keep in mind when considering Accent Reduction Materials:

– Not all pronunciation training websites or programs are created equal.

Some contain poor pronunciation, grammar mistakes, or inauthentic pronunciation. Some simply don’t do a good job of building you up to clear communication in your everyday speech. We only recommend sites that we have tested and are confident in. One of our favorites is: http://trainyouraccent.com/

– Not all dictionaries or dictionary apps are the same.

Go ahead, download a few dictionary apps in your native language. Now look up a word, and imagine trying to understand the definition if you were learning that language. Now listen to the pronunciation example. Does it sound natural, or robotic? These are easy to evaluate in your native language, but harder to evaluate in a second language. That’s why we recommend specific dictionaries and dictionary apps for you to use, instead of the electronic dictionary or app you may already have. One of our favorites is: www.dictionary.com

– Materials may be negotiable.

If your instructor has assigned something that you hate, or that doesn’t work for you, let them know. Some materials may be negotiable. For example, despite the popularity with most of my clients, one client in particular strongly disliked the website recommended above. Instead of trying to “Power through” it, or pretending to do the assignment and skipping it, that client informed me that the website wasn’t working for them, and we set up something different. Don’t hesitate to let your instructor know about any problems you are having, but keep in mind:

– Accent Reduction isn’t always fun.

Unlike the “entertaining” and immediately gratifying experience of learning a new language and being able to order new and exciting food right away, accent reduction is often tedious and time-consuming. Progress typically occurs at a slow-and-steady pace. Accent reduction is incredibly valuable in being understood, not having to repeat yourself as frequently, and advancing in your career, but it takes time. The materials used reflect this, so if you are frustrated with the practice program or activity your instructor assigned, you can express your displeasure, but be prepared to accept that the particular program assigned is non-negotiable, or that any alternatives are equally tedious and time-consuming.

Remember, with Accent Reduction, slow-and-steady wins the race.

Much like starting a new diet and exercise routine, you may not notice results right away, and they may be so gradual that it is hard to tell if you are improving at all. But at the end of your program, when you have lost that 20 lbs, you can rest assured that those around you can see your accomplishment.

Likewise, with Accent Reduction, you may feel as if no one notices your clearer communication, but by the end of your course, your 50-80% improvement will shine through as you listen to your before and after recordings, and you should notice people understanding you better and asking you to repeat yourself much less.

If you’re still not sure if a personalized accent reduction course is right for you, contact us today at 1-865-226-9477 for a free Accent Evaluation. We’ll go over all the sounds in the English language and determine if Accent Reduction works for you.