One Accent Reduction Tip for Spanish Speakers
If you’re a Spanish speaker who wants to speak American English more clearly, one sound that you should work on is the American/ı/ sound.
I call this sound /ı/ as in Silver.
Relax your facial muscles
The /ı/ as in Silver is a relaxed sound. That means that you need to relax your facial muscles in order to say the sound correctly.
Don’t smile when you say this sound! If you do, the vowel will sound more like /iy/ sound as in Green.
When Spanish speakers often over pronounce the /ı/ sound in words such as:
Americans will hear the words as:
Listen to the difference
Are you able to hear the difference between these sounds? Saying the /ı/ with too much facial tension can create breakdowns in communication.
Russian & Turkish speakers do this too
And it’s not just Spanish speakers who over pronounce the /ı/ sound. In my experience as an accent reduction coach, I’ve found that Russian and Turkish speakers make the same mistake.
Understanding the 15 American English vowel sounds
Once you understand the 15 American English vowel sounds:
- how to differentiate each sound
- when to use each sound (due to the numerous spellings for each sound)
You’ll be able to communicate with more clarity and more confidence.
I can show you how
If you’re a non native English speaker, an international professional, who needs to communicate clearly in American English, check out my training programs by following the link below.
My training programs will teach you how speak American English in a way that your North Americans colleagues will respect and understand!
About the author
Susan Ryan is the author of the ConfidentVoice blog and an American English communication and accent reduction coach.