Architect With Russian Accent

Real stories of our client - a young man with a Russian accent

Case Summary

  • Late-20's male with Russian accent (errors: vowels, TH, V/W) and mumbling concerns
  • His personal goal was to sound increasingly commanding
  • Duration of therapy: 23 sessions

Accent & Speech Therapy Goals

This client wanted to learn the local accent and improve the clarity of his speech.


  • 80%+ accuracy of TH in conversation
  • 80%+ accuracy of V in conversation
  • 80%+ accuracy of W in conversation
  • Improved oral resonance
  • Decreased mumbling, qualitatively, within conversations

Narrative of our Work

Ivan contacted Well Said: Toronto Speech Therapy to discuss his concerns about his "voice" and accent. Ivan frequently makes media appearances for work and feels that sounding "commanding" is important. He reported feeling that his accent "was a barrier."

During his initial consultation, we recognized that what Ivan sought to improve was an area we, as speech-language pathologists, call enunciation. Ivan was mumbling rather than having an issue with his voice in the classical sense. Paired with an articulation assessment for accent, Ivan and his clinician decided on a treatment plan that would focus on first and foremost, on articulation targets. We followed these practices by working on over-articulation to address his mumbling.  

Our first target within his accent goal was the TH sound. Using our articulation hierarchy, Ivan was successful in articulating TH correctly at the level of conversation within six weeks. Next, we addressed V/W in the same way until Ivan was able to distinguish between the two sounds, including accurate use in conversations. 

Finally, Ivan wanted to address his mumbling concern. We determined that Ivan was not using optimal breathing habits for speech. He started with a goal of increasing the rate of deep breathing from his diaphragm (as opposed to shallow breathing). Next, we quickly moved on to over-articulation to address the mumbling concern. 

By our last session, Ivan had reduced his Russian accent by learning the way native English speakers pronounce the TH, W and V sounds and using them in his real life. He also reduced his mumbling through knowledge of, and experience with, proper breathing and enunciation techniques.