News about American “oo” and British “yoo” that you never knew

By Ilana Shydlo / May 1, 2015

This is the second blog post in a multi-part series on the subject of differences between British and American English. For more information on this topic, also see parts 1, 3, and 4 of the series: 1. British versus American “a” 3. The “oo” sound: American versus British pronunciation 4. Words Pr...

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British versus American “a”

By Ilana Shydlo / April 1, 2015

This is the first blog post in a multi-part series on the subject of differences between British and American English. For more information on this topic, also see parts 2-4 of the series: 2. News About American “oo” and British “you” That You Never Knew 3. The “oo” sound: American versus British...

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Why don’t accents go away by themselves?

By Ilana Shydlo / March 1, 2015

Many of us know individuals who came to the United States as teenagers or adults. Maybe they’ve even lived in the United States for decades, and their English language has become more and more fluent and native-like- and yet still they retain their original accent, as they had when they first arr...

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Dropped Syllables

By Ilana Shydlo / February 1, 2015

A “dropped” syllable is a syllable in the middle of a word that is not pronounced. The unpronounced syllable can even be a single vowel sound in the middle of a word, for example pronouncing “every” as “EV-ree”. The technical term for this phenomenon is “syncope”. When are syllables n...

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An Exceedingly Exciting, Exact Guide to Pronouncing “Ex”

By Ilana Shydlo / January 1, 2015

The English language has many subtleties that can lead to confusion. This includes letter combinations that may be pronounced differently in different contexts. For example, many words in English begin with two simple letters: “ex”. This is just one letter combination, but it has two very differe...

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The 5 types of “t” sounds in American English

By Ilana Shydlo / December 1, 2014

Working as an accent coach, people constantly ask me about the “t” sound in English. The question often goes something like this: “Am I crazy, or is the ‘t’ sound in button different from the ‘t’ sound in butter? What’s going on here?” Maybe this is something you’ve wondered about too. Let me set...

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Fun and Easy Tip for Learning an American Accent At Home

By Ilana Shydlo / November 1, 2014

As an accent reduction instructor, people often ask me about tips for improving their American accent on their own. One fun method can be through TV shows. This can help you improve accent, vocabulary, and overall style of communication. What aspects of communication can watching TV help you impr...

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5 Myths about why you have an accent

By Ilana Shydlo / October 1, 2014

As an accent reduction instructor living in NYC (the city with the largest foreign-born population in the USA), I’m constantly surprised at how many myths surround accents. This article will give the truth behind the myths of why people have a foreign accent when speaking American English.

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