Accent in America is not a hindrance

It is hard for both Americans and foreigners to understand each other though we all speak the same language-English. I still have my Indian accent but manage to teach undergraduates and communicate with professors, co-workers, and friends. just by following some suggestions and hints that 10 years of my experience taught me.

Here are some helpful points which helped me during my initial days:

Basics:  Speak slowly, audibly, and separate words in a sentence. Most importantly, remember that English language has its own grammar and rules, so try to get out of the habit of speaking English like native language. If you follow these two rules then it is easy for the other person to understand us even if we have accent.
    Spell It Out: If it is hard for others to understand what you say then spell it out or use phonetic alphabets.There are two types of phonetic alphabets lists available, NATO and western. Find the  lists below (courtesy www.osric.com).
    For example: Juan  phonetically spelled as 'Juliet Uniform Alpha November'  or   'John Union Adams NewYork'.        
    My story: I still remember my first conversation with a customer support employee of a credit card company. He asked my name  but he did not understand because I have Indian accent and my name is very uncommon. So I repeated it twice. Well, it did not work the third time either. My husband was hearing all the conversation from restroom, he shouted from inside  "use phonetic spelling".  At last, it worked.             

    Learn to pronounce correctly: Quickly want to learn how to say words then go to dictionary.com, search for a word and simply click on the sound symbol next to the word.  You can hear the correct pronunciation and learn without others help.

    Subtitles or Closed caption: If you are interested in learning American accent or want to know more about American culture then I suggest to turn on the CC on your television remote. This way you can read and listen the words at the same time. This helps in comparing your pronunciation  with Americans' and also slowly catch up with the American accent.
               
               NATO Phonetic Alphabet
    1. Letterphonetic letter
      AAlpha
      BBravo
      CCharlie
      DDelta
      EEcho
      FFoxtrot
      GGolf
      HHotel
      IIndia
      JJuliet
      KKilo
      LLima
      MMike
      NNovember
      OOscar
      PPapa
      QQuebec
      RRomeo
      SSierra
      TTango
      UUniform
      VVictor
      WWhiskey
      XX-ray
      YYankee
      ZZulu

      Western Union Phonetic Alphabet

      Letterphonetic letter
      AAdams
      BBoston
      CChicago
      DDenver
      EEasy
      FFrank
      GGeorge
      HHenry
      IIda
      JJohn
      KKing
      LLincoln
      MMary
      NNew York
      OOcean
      PPeter
      QQueen
      RRoger
      SSugar
      TThomas
      UUnion
      VVictor
      WWilliam
      XX-ray
      YYoung
      ZZero
       

    6 comments:

    1. very useful information, i am learning so many things,, keep going..

      ReplyDelete
    2. UK from Ind1/26/11, 3:16 AM

      getting to know many things, good keep it up!!

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    4. Useful when talking with customer support.

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