Tone Intent & Intonation....You'll be surprised at what intonation can do and how without it you could be misunderstood. Tone is the driver to convey intent behind the words you use. In effect what do you want to convey. So when you get tone right you
The funny part is not knowing when we are making a mistake. The only hints could be a sudden silence, a discreet cough or a ummm or uuhhh stuff....what we call in English as humming and hawing. Im taking about simple words like later which can sound like 'layder' and compounded when you say 'layt/dest'...or take a common "interview" which would be pronounced as inturrview ...just as in purrchase.
All this brings me to a simple conclusion. We Indians tend to speak as we write. We also tend to overemphasize the vowels wherever they be. Reduced reliance on this breed of vowels is a lost art. In fact we go overboard as in "how are you" or another wonderful example could be 'one hour' The simple thing to do would be to say 1R and a 'howru'
The solution lies in going to the origin position and shape of the alphabet at the time of delivery...get this straight and you would have a great platform on which to build your American dream. The search should be for a Coach who has been there and has done it all and also happens to hail from India. Smart people hire great coaches. Isnt it time you tried to hire an Indian Coach
So if you are US bound or bound to take calls from the US or attend meeting with many from the North America, then it would be prudent to check out a high-end English Academy. If you don't find the time then somebody else will. That will definitely lead to perspiration. You may want to break out into a sweat!
Chief Facilitator & Trainer Beejay's English Academy
If you've ever lost a passport you know how edgy you would be feeling. Imagine this gent strolls by from immigration or Homeland Security [ if your unlucky ] and starts what could turn out to be a long night. Suddenly from out of the blue you get a maverick trouble shooter breezing in and asking" you Indian" and after much mumbling and a few tries at accented mumbo-jumbo sounds... finally a solution emerges. You're asked ....to say the word Manager.....and lo and behold you're let free. You say it as man...Age...jjer with some hidden reference to the aging process. The same thing holds good for damage which is another 'age' defying Indian rope trick. The real solution could be to practice the words like edge/wedge/ledge and then make a progression of sounds that lead to man'edge' The whole process is to try to keep things simple, sharp and crisp. I would like to say tighten the script during delivery. Sometimes working with a good language coach really helps to iron-out the mistakes that keep cropping into the system.There's an audio clip that makes things a lot easier and I hope that puts things in a better perspective.
An Extract from Beejay's Accidental Musings
Take a walk down a busy street....not too difficult if you are in India.... and you can easily hear as many versions of the letter R as to give you an accent shock. One moment... a 'girl' will probably sound like curl with a growling rumbling sound. A stab at "never ever leave her" may leave you gasping. The "var part could sound like fur with as much of the guttural as you could muster. The mistake lies in finishing the R R R's with the tip of the tongue. All you need to do is ...to imagine yourself seated on a dentist chair....off-course opening your mouth and wait for a smart quick jab of pain that injections bring. The shout that comes out could sound like aaah or aaaar as in far, car, star. Get this one right and you're well on the way to leaving a billion behind in your progress towards right English pronunciation. A good coach who has actually traveled to the United States may actually be the right one to guide you with more tips on how to change. As they say , you have nothing to lose but your accent.
The thought of defining accent as the representative sounds of a common language spoken by a group of people from the same geographical area is enticing. Pretty Complex no its Pretty simple. That's exactly how you're identified as an Indian or British or American. In fact the identification is done even at a distance of 6 feet on a crowded railway station where a group of people say from Bengal or Kerala for that matter, have assembled for a words-laughter and mayhem-session before departure whistles demand to let-go. Nine out of ten times the listener without knowing much of the language rightly guesses where they come from or hail from. So to get accent right it's better to go through a program from a reputed coach or an English Language Academy. The simple sounds the letters sing is one way to go. The Origin Position and Shape of the nose mouth, tongue etc could be great guides to move you along the right path. I suggest check out a weekend workshop or a free demo class and decide for yourself where you stand and whether the tutor/facilitator/coach can really help you to make it big as a communicator. That's one to mull on this weekend.
For the last 25 years Beejay has run his own business with a Degree in Technology. a grounding in Management , Experience from being a Serial Entrepreneur coupled with a score of US visits Coaching On Demand O n l i n e Voice & American Accent. He works from home for Organizations and Project managers all over the world to improve Soft Skills and many of them have been counted as good friends. He often writes a helpful but sometime irreverent blog Beejay's Accidental Musings at http://www.beejaysenglish.com/blog