An accent occurs when sound patterns from a native language(s) influence the pronunciation in the second or third language. Although every accent is different, there are popular mispronunciations for adults who learned Arabic before they learned English (referred to as A1 speakers below). Here is a description of frequently occurring Arabic accent sound targets.
T & D Sounds
How To Pronounce T & D Sounds
T and D
A1 adults commonly pronounce their "t" and "d" sounds with their tongue farther forward in their mouths than a native English speaker. The result is that the "t" and "d" sounds are heavier than the flickering Canadian/American English "t" and "d" sounds. A1 speakers will benefit from learning a new tongue placement pattern for the "t" and "d" sounds, and then systematically and hierarchically practicing this new way of making these sounds.
How To Pronounce The R Sound
A1 speakers tend to have stronger “r” sounds than the typical Canadian or American English speaker. Part of our work is to reduce the rolling and robustness of the Arabic R sound to make it sound more like the Canadian/American English R.
How To Pronounce TH Sounds
A1 speakers often pronounce the TH sound with their tongue farther back within the mouth than native Canadian and American English speakers. Native Canadian/American English speakers generally pronounce these sounds with the tongue sandwiched between the top and the bottom teeth. As a result, A1 speakers often substitute the TH sound with something that resembles a D or T sound. Consider the word “the,” do you pronounce it the same way as “duh?”
The word “through” becomes “true”
The word “although” become “aldo”
Hooked U Sound
How To Pronounce The Hooked U Sound
English is a tricky language from a pronunciation perspective. There are more vowels than most other languages and often the intended vowel is not clearly indicated by the spelling. For this reason, A1 speakers often have a hard time with a sound called the "hooked u." The "hooked u" is a sound that often is symbolized by a double "o, " like in "look." Consider for a moment the difference between "look" and "Luke". Do you pronounce them the same, or differently? If you are a A1 speaker without specific practice with this sound, you probably pronounce them the same. This "hooked u" is an easy skill to grasp and we are here to guide you through this minor pronunciation adjustment.
How To Pronounce Voiceless Consonant Sounds
A1 speakers tend to use more "voicing" than native Canadian/American speakers when pronouncing sounds. For instance A1 speakers often pronounce a "p" sound as a "b" sounds, a "t" sound as a "d" sound and a "k" like a "g" sound. This is likely caused by more commonly occurring vibrated sounds in the Arabic language. A1 speakers are, as a result, lacking experience in pronouncing sounds without the vibratory component.
The word "pan" can sound like "ban"
The word "tip" can sound like "dip"
The word "cat" can sound like "gat"