Indian languages have their own particular sounds and patterns for pronunciation. When an Indian speaker learns English, these speech patterns may act as a barrier to the pronunciation of English. This results in an accented English, such as the “Indian accent”.
Indian speakers tend to have some common difficulties when producing spoken English and if you come from an Indian speaking background, you may find the following tips useful to help you improve your English pronunciation.
1. There are several sounds in English that are different to your native language and can be difficult to pronounce. For example, the “t” and “d” sounds are often mispronounced. These sounds are made by stopping the air with the tip of the tongue in contact with the upper gum behind the teeth and then releasing the tongue. The only difference between the “t” and “d” sounds is in the use of “voicing.” When you say the “t” sound, you don’t use your voice, but only push air out. When you say the “d” sound you use your voice to produce the sound. You can feel the difference if you put your hand on your throat and make the sounds /t/ and /d/.
2. Indian speakers tend to speak fast. The rate you speak can affect your pronunciation of English. You may need to slow down your speech to make it easier for other people to understand you.
3. The Indian language has a very flat pitch, but English speakers change the pitch of their voice as they speak. If you listen you will hear that it is sometimes higher and sometimes lower. As a Indian speaker you may need to work on the tone of your speech. To do this, listen to native English speakers and imitate the way the tone of their speech rises and falls.
While these are some of the common difficulties experienced by Indian speakers, each individual will have unique areas of difficulty depending on their background and experience. To receive an accent assessment and get an accent reduction training program designed for your individual needs, contact Australia English Institute and start reducing your accent now!
Workshops now available in India - please contact the accent reduction for Indian speakers specialists for more information.