How To… Dialect

DIALECT EXERCISES

British

Father passed down the primrose path.

  • The a’s in this sentence sound more like ‘ah’.

He did not know he possessed the old and holy stone.

  • Make your mouth into a circle to annunciate the ‘o’ in the words know, possessed, old, holy and stone.  Hold each ‘o’ out to emphasize the sound, and gradually make it shorter until you can get your mouth to say ‘oh’ without spending too much time on one syllable.

Two totally tired toads tried to trot to Tetbury.

  • Over pronounce the t’s, making sure every ‘t’ has the same amount of sound and intensity, including ‘to trot to’.

Is it tea time?

  • The way Americans speak, we tend to cut off sounds to make the words shorter.  For instance, you might say ‘Is i’ tea time’.  The ‘t’ in ‘it’ is important.

Have a go at it.

  • Again with the ‘t’ in ‘at’ and ‘it’.  Also apply the ‘oh’ to ‘go’.

I can’t get the ant off the basket, but Aunty can.

  • This particular exercise is very tricky.  The difference between ‘can’t’ and ‘can’ are very different.  Can is said the same way we say it, like a can of soup.  Can’t is pronounced with a more ‘ah’ sound.  Ant is said the same way we say it, however Aunty has a ‘ah’ sound for the ‘a’ and the ‘u’.

Cockney

I don’t think I know him, but I’m sure I don’t like him.

  • Cockney is the dialect of native Londoners.  The t’s are not pronounced firmly, neither are the h’s.  In the case of the word ‘think’, I believe it should be pronounced more like ‘fink’.
  • This dialect is hard, and if it helps put the inside of your wrists on your jaw bone in front and slightly below your ears.  Slightly press the skin downwards, therefore mouth movements are made minimal.
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