Secret #5: Sounds Like

Secret #5: Sounds Like

A common misperception is that strong accents are caused by mispronunciation of individual sounds.  As we will see in the next secret, the bigger issue is usually rhythm.

Never-the-less most people with strong accents will have a few sounds that need some attention.

Nearly all language groups have difficulties with the ones below:

Problem Sound Example Description


as in The

The two Th sounds are probably the trickiest to master.


as in Thin


as in Wish

W & V have similar vocalisations but are shaped differently at the front of the mouth.


as in Van

A, E, I, O, U

All vowel sounds

Vowel sounds are often insufficiently differentiated.

Some nationalities have difficulty with other specific sounds like R and L for Chinese speakers and some sibilants for Latin American Spanish speakers. Typically this is because of the absence of the sounds in the mother tongue.


Ask your friend (the one from the third secret), which sounds you’re having difficulty with and make a list of the problems.

Practice the problem sounds.

Continue Introductory Course:

The Fine Print:

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