The top American English pronunciation for error for Indians
In my Skype accent reduction coaching program I work one on one with many professionals from India.
These engineers, scientists and physicians come to the US with a strong command of English vocabulary and grammar.
Their challenge is American English pronunciation.
The top pronunciation error for Indians
One top error that Indians make when speaking American English is stressing the wrong syllables in words.
Indian English speakers (Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Telegu, Tamil, Gujarati) very frequently stress words on the wrong syllable.
This is a critical error.
That’s because when you stress a word on the wrong syllable, American listeners will struggle to understand you.
Syllable stress in verbs & nouns
Let me explain syllable stress with a few examples.
In American English we have many nouns and verbs that are spelled identically.
The way these words are stressed determines if they are a noun or a verb.
- When you stress the word pro➝duce on the first syllable, it’s a noun. It means fruits & vegetables.
- When you stress the word produc➝e on the second syllable, it’s a verb. It means to make something.
- When you stress the word re➝cord on the first syllable, it’s a noun. It means documents & receipts.
- When you stress the word recor➝d on the second syllable, it’s a verb. It means to record something.
Are you surprised?
The Indian professionals who I coach are always surprised to learn these rules for syllable stress.
They’re very surprised to learn that using the correct syllable stress is so critical for clear communication.
But believe me, it’s very, very important!
Learn the rules for clear American speech
Most Indian English speakers believe that they’ll be able to communicate clearly if they work on their W sound, their R sound or their TH sound.
However, you absolutely MUST learn the rules for syllable stress if you want Americans to understand you.
Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Learn to stress words correctly
I teach you to American English syllable stress correctly in my training course called American English Communication for Indians.
If you’d like to take a free trial lesson, select the link above.
You must learn this skill if you want to speak clear American English.
About the author
Susan Ryan is an American English communication and accent reduction coach.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions about speaking American English clearly and correctly.