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Three of the Most Commonly Mispronounced English Sounds for Indian Speakers

Three of the Most Commonly Mispronounced English Sounds for Indian Speakers


In India, about 10 percent of the population are English speakers.  Of these, 226,449 speak English as a first language, while 125,000,000 speak English as an additional language. About 4 percent of the population consider themselves fluent

 Our Indian students live in:

  • Boulder & Denver, Colorado; California; Florida; Virginia; North Carolina, Pennsylvania; Louisiana and in Canada.

  Why do Indian people have such difficulty with clear English pronunciation?

  •  They use the pronunciation from their 35 native languages on their English speech.
  • In those languages, most speech sounds are spoken quickly.  In American English, some sounds are spoken quickly but others are spoken slowly.
  • Multiple syllable words are especially difficult to understand because the sounds are spoken so quickly
  • There are different positions of the tongue, lips, teeth and jaw for many of the Indian-English speech sounds.
  • The stiffness or tenseness of the speech muscles are greater for many Indian-English speech sounds than in American English.


What are three of the most difficult sounds for our Indian students to say accurately in English?

    • “w”  


    • “t”  


    • “th”  


Why are these so difficult?

  • Two of these sounds are produced slowly in American English – “w” and “th.”
  • Positioning of the lips for “w” and the tongue for “th” is quite different than Indian-English
  • The tongue is more relaxed for the “t” in American English than in Indian English



Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

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