I am familiar with the British as well as American pronunciation of the word or. British people pronounce the r sound very lightly, whereas Americans tend to roll their tongue.

But interacting with fellow Indian people, when I try to pronounce it either way I sound utterly weird.

How should I pronounce it in Indian English?

  • Presumably because American English is a rhotic dialect. You should pronounce it as other Indian English speakers do, of course! Feb 20, 2021 at 17:13
  • "British people pronounce the r sound very lightly" or don't pronounce it at all... Feb 20, 2021 at 17:44
  • One of the things that makes Indian English accents distinctive is the common use of retroflex consonants where most Englishes use alveolar ones (ट rather than त for English 't', for example). I believe that some speaker also use a retroflex 'r'. In any case, as Kate says, pronouncing /r/ as your neighbours do will work better for you than trying to choose a foreign realisation.
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 20, 2021 at 18:52
  • @ColinFine so you mean to say that there is no set of rules for Indian pronunciation. It arbitrary, and I will have to learn it from my neighbors.
    – user100323
    Feb 21, 2021 at 3:48
  • Yes, It is exactly the same for RP and General American pronunciation. There are no rules and it is learned from neighbours (or more often, parents) But with high status dialects there tends to be 1) More descriptive work on the dialect and 2) prescriptive texts that teach the dialect. With low status dialects there are fewer of (1) and almost no (2)
    – James K
    Feb 21, 2021 at 13:40


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