Can you hear the difference?
Over the weekend, I was working on the /r/ & /l/ sounds with one of my accent reduction coaching clients from Japan.
My client, who works in international finance, said to me
“Susan, it’s difficult for me to say these sounds differently, because I can’t even hear the difference between these two sounds.”
This is very common
Many non-native speakers (especially adults) can’t hear the subtle differences between some American English consonant & vowel sounds.
Here are just a few examples:
- Japanese speakers often have trouble distinguishing between the /r/ & /l/ sounds.
- Chinese speakers often have trouble distinguishing between the /n/ & /l/ sounds.
- Turkish, German, Russian & Indian language speakers often have trouble distinguishing between the /v/ & /w/ sounds.
- Spanish & Portuguese speakers often have trouble distinguishing between the /iy/ & /i/ sounds.
- Indian language speakers have trouble distinguishing between the /ɛ/ & /ae/ sounds.
Listening & correct pronunciation
If you can’t hear the difference between American English sounds, how can you improve the way you say them?
That’s a good question!
And the answer is, that you’ll probably need some training.
Personal coaching is the most effective way to change your accent & speak more clearly.
That’s because an accent reduction coach can teach you how to hear the differences between sounds that you can’t hear now.
Once you become aware of new sounds and patterns, you’ll begin to notice them when listening to others.
With time and awareness, you’ll be able to say them correctly yourself.
Listening is critical
My accent reduction clients always comment that, once their training begins, they are able to hear American English sounds and patterns that they never noticed before.
Once they’ve been trained to hear the sounds & patterns of American English, they always speak more clearly.
Are you ready?
If you’re ready to bring your American English communication skills up to the next level, it’s time to act.
Just follow this link to see how personal accent reduction coaching will help you communicate in a manner that’s clear and engaging.