Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak

Wilt u als een Amerikaan klinken? In deze blog, vindt u 14 Geavanceerde Tips en Trucs voor jouw Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak. Not Dutch? No worries! These tips will work for you, too.

Zoekt u een cursus Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak? Live online of in-person in Amsterdam, Amstelveen of Den Haag? Vraag uw gratis afspraak aan met een native-speaker docent.

This article is especially for Nederlanders, but the advice on this blog is good for any B1-C2 level English speaker who wants to have a better American English sound. Would you like to sound like a real Yank? Use these tips and tricks to get your American English accent in full swing! Ready? Let’s jump in!

Use intonation with abandon! (That means to use it energetically, confidently and enthusiastically.) When you speak, know the meaning you wish to communicate and use sentence stress, also called language music, to tell your story. Americans are loud, proud, and prone to excess. Strong language music is essential for the Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak.

1. What does the Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak sound like?

According to Ann Cook, the author of American Accent training, the American English sound is…

“…brash, boisterous, Immediately friendly, informal, and a little jokey.”

Are you looking for an English accent course? We offer private, native-speaker-teacher accent coaching online and in person in the NetherlandsAmsterdam, Den Haag, and Amstelveen?

Read more about English accent courses here.

Liever in Nederlands over Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak Cursussen lezen?

We offer pronunciation courses in both American and British English, and we offer English Accent and Diction coaching for Actors.

2. English Intonation and Language Music

Use descending staircase intonation a lot for statements. That means the overall trend/direction is down the stairs until the end, when the final word or word group pops up.

I love going to the MOVIES.

I hate coming home to a DIRTY KITCHEN.

My boss is a REAL PAIN IN THE ASS.

The tech department is DRIVING ME CRAZY!

OR choose the verb and relevant noun and hit them both hard!

I LOVE going to the MOVIES.

I HATE coming home to a DIRTY KITCHEN.

My colleague KILLED IT in her PRESENTATION.

3. Klink als een Amerikaan: The Amerikaans-Engelse uitspraak hum.

Spoken English is connected with an underlying hum, so please,  connectyourwords. Do-not-speak-each-word-separately. Speak like an American jazz musician plays – smooth, connected and flowing – but with pauses for phrasing.

American-English-is-not-staccato! In order to have a good, connected hum, try these exercises:

Sing these sounds in a smooth, connected monotone– Mamama, nanana, sasasasa, bababa, lalalala

Go Zen and try auming.

4. Create word groups or “sound units.”

Listen to Obama’s artful use of phrasing and pausing. Try to imitate the former American president . And remember, you cannot have phrases without pauses. Embrace deliberate pauses.

5. Klink als een Amerikaan: American English Voice Position.

• Keep your voice back in your throat and down in your chest.

• Go low and find your deep, rich “daddy voice.”

6. Pronounce R: Rhoticity in American English.

• Do not roll/trill your Rs. The English R requires a rather still tongue with no taping of the alveolar ridge.

• When expressing mid and final position Rs, keep them strong. Growl them out with deep conviction. Girl = gurrrrl. Pearl = pearrrrl.

Want to know more about the English R sound? Read The English Center post about rhoticity.

7. More resources for pronouncing the English R with a perfect Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak.

Video: The English Center, “Secrets of English Pronunciation: Rhoticity”

Are you interested in the history of the rhotic R? Video with Ben Crystal

Video: What Shakespeare’s English Sounded Like

Videos: Do you want to sound more American? Go to Rachel’s English. 300+ spoken English videos.

Do you want to have a non-rhotic R? Check out The Pronunciation Studio. “The Silent R”

8. Pronounce Mid Position Ts in American English.

To properly express mid position Ts in American English, reduce T to D

butter = budder. Better = bedder.

9. Pronounce Os whn speaking with an Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak.

• Speak the O sound in words like love, cover, ton, honey as though it is a schwa. That’s the sound in, “Up the bluff, Bud runs with the cup of love.”

Think: luv, cuver, tun, honey.

10. Know when to ignore spelling, which is, I’m afraid, quite often! :-(.

When speaking the vowel sounds in the words ferry & fair, keep them the same. Ditto pin and pen. Hen and his. Ben and bit.

11. Get the man, not the maaaahn.

To create the American English “A” sound in can’t & man, keep your mouth and jaw tight and small. Keep the sound flat and back in your throat and short. It may help to make the sound a bit nasal.

12. Reduce, reduce, reduce in your Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak!

“I’m going to” = I’m gonna or I’m goin’. I’m gonna DO it! I’m goin’ OUT t’night!

“Is” = “uz”

13. Reduce and connect: “Bob is on the phone” to Bobuzonthphone

Reduce “to” to t’

Reduce today, tomorrow and tonight to t’day, t’morrow, t’night: I’m goin’ t’ the store t’morrow, t’day, t’night

Say coulda, I shoulda, I woulda: I coulda helped him, I shoulda helped him. But I didn’.

Drop the t sound after didn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t: You shouldn’ do that. No, I definitely wouldn’ do that if I were you.  

Say “fer” not “for” – Let’s buy some gifts fer the kids.

“I want to” becomes – I wanna

“a lot ofbecomes – alotta

“for sure” becomes – fersure

“It will” becomes – it’ll

“Like it or not” becomes – likuternot

The last time I was” becomes – the last time iwuz

You don’t have to”becomes – youdonhafto or youdonhafta

“I don’t know” becomes – I dunno

”There will be” becomes – therullbe

14. And what good is an Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak (American English accent) without some fun American idioms?

Learn popular American English idioms for free with our blog post series. These American English idioms were curated for Business English speakers, but are really quite useful for casual conversation, which of course includes much of what is said, “at the office.” Plus most of these idioms are also good in British and English.

Go to Chapter 1 of our Business English Idiom series

Go to Chapter 2 of our Business English Idiom series

Go to Chapter 3 of our Business English Idiom series

Go to Chapter 4 of our Business English Idiom Series


Recommended book: American Accent Training, Ann Cook, Barron’s, 4th ed. (at Amazon)


Would you like to meet a native-speaker teacher for a free consultation appointment about Amerikaans-Engelse Uitspraak verbetering, accent reduction, pronunciation training and the R sound? We offer these appointment online and in person, with American and British English teachers. Call us at +31 20 823 0569. Or use our contact form.

We look forward to speaking with you!

Go to our Pronunciation Training Course page now.

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