Author: Ela Britchkow, Speech Therapist, Certified American English Pronunciation, Accent Reduction Specialist
"You're not a star until they can spell your name in Karachi."
- Humphrey Bogart
"Never worry about bad press: All that matters is if
they spell your name right."
- Kate Hudson
So many people love the experience of going to Starbucks. You order your choice of Chai and then the barista says: what is your name so I can write it on your cup? You tell her and the next thing you hear is: “Oh! How do you spell that?” This is where a simple thing like going to Starbucks can become a problem and an embarrassment. People from India, Europe, Asia and South America pronounce the letters of the American alphabet differently.
You tell the barista that your name is Priya (pronounced as Pree-ya). She says: “How do you spell that? You proceed to name the letters of the alphabet your own way, which is different than Americans call the letters. Confusion may arise because your /p/ sound sounds more like a /b/, your /r/ sound is trilled, the “ee” sound is spelled with an “‘i”, but you called it an “e”.
Another experience you may have is when you’re talking to someone on the phone or in person and you are trying to relate your email address and your name, but the person you’re trying to communicate with cannot understand you and will not be able to send you an email.
Has this ever happened to you? I would love to hear your story.
From my point of view, I just spoke with someone on the phone, and it was very frustrating struggling to get the spelling of his name and email address.
Knowing how to spell your name, your address, the name of the company that you work for, and some other important information that may come up in your life is not only important to communicate with a barista, but it is important for you to manage in your everyday life – perhaps when you’re dealing with your bank, trying to purchase something on the phone, getting technical help over the phone, making a doctor appointment, but they have to go into your account first, etc.
This problem is actually an easy fix with the right help. It involves precisely and clearly pronouncing the names of the letters of the alphabet. Can you do this on your own? Yes, probably, but there is a good reason this specific pronunciation problem persists for you, along with the other much more serious concern that most non-Indians are just having a lot of difficulty understanding your speech. Even so without doing anything about your accent can you still find work?
Again the answer is probably yes. Will you receive the salary, promotions, good job opportunities and other benefits you deserve? My opinion is clearly No! If you think I am wrong stop reading, but if you are ready to admit, that you need to improve English speaking, learn American English, I have shared a basic truth keep reading. We teach clients how to be effective communicators pronouncing and using American English correctly. The lessons we give provide these advantages:
Want a more affordable alternative-check out our one of kind interactive software. Learn more: https://www.clearenglishspeech.com/software.html
By Ela Britchkow, Speech and Language Pathologist
©2017 Ela Britchkow