Key Differences

There are certain differences in the way Indians speak English versus the American way. The following are some of the key differences present in India between it and the States:

Presence of harder sounds
Indian accents in general tend to have a harder ‘sound’. This includes particular letters such as hard r, t, k, d. Pronunciation of specific letters may also change, such as ‘V’ to ‘W’.

Faster Speed – 220 words per minute
Speech rates in India are fast. The average person tends to talk quickly. Local Indian languages are spoken fast as a natural style. Therefore the tendency is to speak in English at this rate also. English spoken at this speed reduces clarity.

Weak word emphasis, intonation and pronunciation on English words and phrases. This is due to faster rate of speech
Due to the faster rate of speech, Indians have less time to emphasize, intonate or pronounce words while speaking. Therefore speech may sound blurred to the unfamiliar listener.

Long sentences and words used
Indians tend to use long words and sentences. In the past it was seen as being well educated to ‘show off’ language ability. Also the intent is to give as much situational context as possible to enable clarity for the listener. This is a more ‘wordy’ indirect style of communication.

Differences of syllable emphasis
Some words may be pronounced differently between American-English and Indian-English. This is due to the varying emphasis on syllables. Indians follow the British style of pronunciation. (Eg the word tomato. Americans say ‘tow-ma-doe’; the Indians say ‘two-matoe’)

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