Lose your accent! Dental consonants (t & d)

Make sure you use your teeth right!
Make sure you use your teeth right!

Many people get overwhelmed with the idea of sounding like a native in studying a foreign language. Speaking with an accent seems like a normal state. However, with a few tips on being aware of how our mouth makes sounds, a little concentration can produce great results. I made this video series to show you how to increase your awareness of all the parts of your speaking apparatus. Speaking a language feels wonderful as you work to move your mouth like a native.

This video focuses on consonants, specifically, the sounds “t” and “d”. English (and German) speakers tend to pronounce these sounds in a peculiar way, which is distinct from how Russian and Spanish speakes do. Watch so you can make this subtle change for a great improvement in sound.

Dr. Thomas Coates blew my mind. He taught me how my tongue, lips, jaw, and teeth create language. Like a Chinese calligrapher learns how each finger holds a brush, like a yogi breathes with specific depth and stretch of her diaphragm, I took the first steps towards mastering language: losing my accent.

Photo credit: Rupert Taylor-Price / Foter.com / CC BY

2 thoughts on “Lose your accent! Dental consonants (t & d)

  1. Pingback: Lose your accent! Dental consonants (t & d) | overblogdotcom

  2. Rachel

    A broad T or D in Gaelic is halfway in between – it’s definitely more dental than English, but not as much as Spanish. (Then again, I’m thinking of Spanish Spanish, which pronounces “Madrid” as “Madh-rith”, so maybe it *is* the same as a Spanish T or D for you). Anyway, there’s not as much puffy air behind it as in English, so it shouldn’t “pop” as much as a T in English. It was one of the sounds we were drilled in at the Sgoil Naiseanta recently because it’s easy for Australians to slip up on. Or non-native speakers in general – apparently at the Mod, the “Gaelic T” is one of the sounds they watch out for!


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