Major English Accents: Standard American, Southern American, New York American, British RP, Australian
Use this list to see how a few key sounds can cause major pronunciation changes. This list shows the most common and most diverse English language accents (or dialects). Note: the point of resonance is a linguistic term. This means the place where the sound appears to be reverberating in the mouth. Some languages, for instance, use more throaty sounds, others nasal sounds, others the front of the mouth, others the back of the mouth, and so on. Visualizing and speaking from the point of resonance can be key in mastering an accent. Once you see all of these differences, you may be interested in the free Learn by Language classes.
Note also: Standard American and British RP are the accents used for national communication.
Point of Resonance
Middle of the mouth
3 sounds, Short A in cat,” “ah” in “all,” and Long A in “late”
3 sounds: short O as in “hot,” long O as in “boat,” reduced “u” sound when unstressed as in “compute.” O in “to” reduces as in “t’day.”
2 sounds: short I in “sit,” long I in “sight.” Sometimes “E” is from other languages
Not thrilled, always pronounced whether first, middle, or last letter
5 sounds: regular T in table, T = D between vowel sounds (water), silent T after N (internet), Stopped T before N (written), T has stopped sound when the last letter, as in “hot.”
Americans generally emphasize vowel sounds, with consonants pronounced clearly, but smoothly. Lips move with ease, in a relaxed way.
Front of the mouth, the mouth is more closed than in American speech
A is generally “ah” as in “after,” for Long A as in “late,” the A sound is not literally long as in American., some words use short A as in “that.” This short A is also not as emphasized as the American short A.
O in “to” reduces as in “t’day,” Long O is relaxed “oo” often with a short “e” sound first, “progress” and “process” are pronounced with Long O (Americans pronounce with Short O).
“ile” reduces in American and not in British. Americans say short I in “mobil” for “mobile phone” and British say a Long I.
Drop the final R sound and the R sound before a consonant (as in “work”)
T does not reduce to a D sound between vowels; stopped T when T is the final letter can be more emphasized. Stopped T’s are used in some dialects when T is in the middle, as in “bottle.”
British L is stronger than American L (tongue is pressed more); British English emphasizes consonants.