All individuals learn, process and implement new concepts differently, therefore, no one nationality has the hardest time.
Many people share the same pronunciations for certain English language sounds. Brazilians, Chinese, French, Indians, Nigerians, and Russians, for example, need to amend some of the same sounds. And even some Brits and Americans need modification for complete comprehension, even though they may only speak English!
These are 5 of the most common sounds the general global population should alter for a clear Standard American accent.
1. TH – THOUGHT
The TH sound does not exist in many languages. It requires effort and focus to get your tongue in the right spot resting under the top front teeth.
Chinese, French and Ukrainians typically use an S sound.
THOUGHT will sound like SOUGHT (past tense of SEEK).
I thought your advice was good.
I sought your advice was good.
Irish, Lebanese, Pakistanis and Persians typically use a dull T sound.
THOUGHT will sound like TAUGHT (past tense of TEACH).
He thought you ordered it.
He taught you ordered it.
Some Brits and Americans use an F sound.
THOUGHT will sound like FOUGHT (past tense of FIGHT).
She thought you were late.
She fought you were late.
2. W – WET
The W sound needs a good amount of practice to build the muscle memory to recreate it effortlessly, making sure that your upper front teeth do not make contact with your lower lip.
Indians, Persians, Russians and Germans tend to use a V sound.
WET will sound like VET (a veterinarian or veteran).
She has a wet coat.
She has a vet coat.
3. V – VERY
This is another interesting sound used in the English language where the top front teeth must make contact with the lower lip.
Spaniards, Mexicans and Koreans, often use a B sound.
VERY will sound like BERRY (a fruit).
I’m very happy.
I’m berry happy.
Afghanis, Indians, Persians and Turks use a W sound.
VERY will sound like WARY (cautious).
It’s a very good concept.
It’s a wary good concept.
Austrians, Egyptians and Saudis, tend to use an F sound.
VERY will sound like FERRY (a boat).
She works very hard.
She works ferry hard.
4. A – BAD
This A requires a bit of time to create the right sound.
Armenians, Brazilians, Chinese, Germans, Ghanaians, Japanese, Poles, Russians, South Africans, Swedes and Ukrainians tend to use an EH sound, as in EGG.
BAD will sound like BED.
That is a bad idea.
That is a bed idea.
Italians, Mexicans and Spaniards typically use an UH sound, as in UP.
BAD will sound like BUD.
He made a bad offer.
He made a bud offer.
5. O – as in WON’T
This sound is very specific to the Standard American accent. Many of you say, WON’T, in a way that an American, Canadian or British person will hear, WON’T, as WANT.
No, I won’t.
No, I want.
See how important this O sound’s pronunciation is, especially with this word?
So, if you are from Armenia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, Viet Nam or Zambia and many other countries, know that you share many commonalities when going on this great adventure to learn the American accent!