ESL: The Letter T (A Trick for American English Accent)
Spelling and Pronunciation
Mastering the American accent can be tricky if you base your pronunciation on spelling alone. In this article, we introduce you to one pronunciation variation. This pronunciation variation involves the letter T.
Example of T-Pronounciation Variation: British English
My husband and I were watching a NOVA special on public television. He suddenly repeated one of the words that the British narrator had mentioned. It was quite endearing; “paTTern!” my husband uttered before he smiled. The narrator was speaking in a British English accent. The only difference between the British pronunciation and the American pronunciation was the way the letter T was stated in the word.
T-Pronunciation Variation Important for Speaker of English as a Second Language
This British and American T-pronunciation difference highlights a challenging area for speakers of American English as a second or other language. Knowing the T-variation component of American accent helps speakers of American English as a second or other language reduce their communication barriers. Using this “trick” can help make the American Accent less “tricky.”
Rule for Flap T
The British say the word with what we call a stressed T or precise T. The Americans say it with what we call a flap T. The flap T actually sounds like a D. The word “Pattern” is said as “PATTERN” by the British (and by many individuals who speak English as a second language). They pronounce the letter “t” as “t”. The word “pattern” is said as “PADDERN” by Americans. Americans pronounce the letter “t” as “d.” We call this the Flap T.
Individuals speaking American English with a first language background other than English can run into barriers if they don’t know the rules for pronouncing T. There are multiple pronunciation variations for the letter T. Knowing the pronunciation rules for this one simple letter can open up opportunities for you to communicate much more effectively and efficiently. If you would like additional information on how to change your accent and make it sound more American, contact Cher Gunderson at (920) 362-2359 or email her: email@example.com.
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