55

Your speaking voice is really lovely and not difficult for me to understand. However, I live in a part of the United States where there are a lot of immigrants from India and I've had many Indian co-workers over the years. Here are some suggestions for making you accent more understandable to North Americans who are less familiar with hearing an Indian ...


53

The use of these words varies between countries. Your friend is clearly employing the Indian English colloquial use of the word. I have visited India several times and it doesn't take long to pick up the differences. I assume the Indian variation is due to the prevalence of vegetarians in the country and the limited number of animals that are eaten. In ...


34

Without hearing you speak it's difficult to say what you should work on. Indian English embraces native speakers of many different languages and dialects, and each brings different problems to English pronunciation. With respect to phonology—pronunciation of individual sounds, what you call ‘alphabets’†—this Wikipedia article ...


34

Most non-Indians have the same habit! It's called a dysfluency because for a moment your speech stops flowing (fluent literally means "flowing freely"). And Codeswitcher's answer is correct; these are often referred to as filler. Of course, we don't usually write this sound down, but when we do we usually spell it uh, not a. Even though it sounds like ...


22

In US English (and likely most non-India regions), we refer to these persons as simply brother-in-law or sister-in-law. My wife has a sister, and that sister is married. I refer to both husband and wife as my brother and sister-in-law. In the same way, my mother has a brother who is married. I refer to both husband and wife as my aunt and uncle. In both ...


19

That's called filler (honest!) and is a form of speech dysfluency.


18

No, we would not say "I slept at 10". (AmE). Either say I was sleeping at 10. (this means you were also sleeping some before and after 10) or I {fell asleep/went to sleep} at 10. (means you were not sleeping before 10.)


18

In American English, meat is a general term for any flesh, so your question was perfectly logical. Asking for something more specific than "meat" should generate a response such as "beef", "chicken", etc.


17

I see a few answers suggesting you speak too quickly. I don't think that's the case at all. You speak very slowly. You rarely even get into the ballpark of four syllables per second (four syllables per second is pretty standard for English), and I rarely have trouble being understood even when I speak at six to seven syllables per second. What's missing are ...


16

This is more about culture than about fluency. Americans prefer direct requests. Let's work with your example. A polite desi will imply a course of action and request to "kindly do the needful." Mr. Singh, I'm sending my cousin who is interested in learning guitar. As you have better contacts with musicians, kindly do the needful. This is well received ...


15

You can't use 'wake' and 'sleep' in the same way because they have significantly different meanings. 'Wake' is specifically a transition from one state to another. When I wake, I stop sleeping and start being awake. This happens at a moment in time, so I can specify just one moment. "I woke at 10." 'Sleep' is an ongoing process. I start sleeping, sleep ...


13

I'm a native speaker, and we use "get ready" in exactly the way you describe. Even though we sometimes qualify the phrase by saying: Get ready for [some event], that "for" clause can be omitted when the listener already knows where we are going. In other words, although get ready can mean different things in different contexts, I can still usually say: ...


11

The husband of one's wife's sister is called Co-son-in-law. The wife of one's husband's brother is called co-sister-in-law. In the United States, the husband of your wife's sister is called your "brother-in-law". Note that we use the same term for the husband of your own sister. The wife of your husband's brother is you "sister-in-law". This is the ...


10

Do the needful is Indian English, which has been covered on ELU. If you're only interacting with other speakers of Indian English then feel free to use it, but avoid it in any other contexts (most Americans and Brits will think it's quaint/uneducated). In general, the "standard" form is do what[ever] is necessary, but in OP's specific context most likely ...


10

As I wrote elsewhere, I'm not a big fan of "do the needful". I said: I find it a little too condescending and dictatorial for my tastes, as though the details of what is necessary are too trivial for the speaker to even know what they are. However, that take was rebutted by an Indian user who responded: In Indian English, "please do the needful" is ...


10

There is no one and only "correct way". I would not use "myself" as part of the introduction, though. Hello, my name is ... Good morning/afternoon, I am ...


9

Intonation is a general term for the pitch of your voice rising and falling as you speak: It includes things like the pitch of your voice rising at the end of the sentence to signal a question, or lowered pitch to indicate a parenthetical phrase. It excludes phonemic pitch contrasts used to distinguish words as in tonal languages (Thai, Mandarin) or pitch ...


9

Loud Mouth First of all, having worked with a fair number of Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis over the last few decades, I can say that you have a very mild accent overall. This leads me to assume that your interlocutors are either linguistically naive (have not spoken with very many non-native speakers), or willfully stubborn (not willing to make any ...


8

An 'IE' speaker here, and I actually made an account just to share my views about this topic. Over the 2 past years, I have worked at a multinational audit firm and also a reputed research institution in India where I have seen common use of the phrase "Please do the needful". It is usually a good closing sentence after explanation of the context has been ...


8

The two main problems in following Indian speakers of English are a) the sounds t, d, and r, and b) aspiration. For t and d - these need to be pronounced using the tongue against the alveolar ridge, just slightly back from the teeth. It's important not to touch the teeth when pronouncing these sounds. The r is pronounced with the tongue pulled slightly back ...


8

I understand your confusion. At least in India, both are in practice. However, if you typically go by its Hindi origin 'लाख', the spelling 'Lakh' is proper. It's worth noting that OALD has an entry for 'Lakh' and not 'Lac'. [Personally, I prefer/practice 'Lakh'].


8

OALD says that 'meat' is a flesh of an animal or a bird that we can eat. It includes mutton as well. But, mutton is not a word for every type of meat as mutton denotes meat of only an adult (fully-grown) sheep. Check also the Merriam-Webster definition of mutton. Therefore, you were right when you asked "What meat?" When we say meat, we mean the flesh of ...


8

This is an example of the very common problem of how to refer to people of unknown or irrelevant sex. Native speakers disagree, often very strongly, about the best way to deal with this. Many native speakers do not even agree there is an issue to be addressed. Historically, prescriptive grammarians tended to give "he" as the "correct" way to describe a ...


7

As I said in my comment on your question, the tricky part is quantifying how many doubts you are having. Sure, in your title here, you've said ONLY ONE (in capital letters). However, your sample sentence (the one I edited) initially read as follows: I have a doubt, a clear doubt. I'll pay you for this. Just snoop around my wife and find out whom does she ...


7

This is a matter of tone or "register". "Kindly" is seen in America as being old-fashioned and overly formal. Not incorrect, but rare and getting rarer. See, for example, this ngram result for "kindly reply" vs. "please reply". The last time the former was as common as the latter was about 1910. As of 2000, "please reply" was about 25x as common. I ...


7

The common term is missed call Since the type of call is intentionally not to be answered (usually the caller will hang up after a ring of two) and it will show up as "missed" on the recipients phone. The term is widely used in the UK. I will give you a missed call when I am there.


7

While this is not a typical question for this site I compliment you on asking it here and especially on including an audio clip. I cannot think of a better combination. I have worked with many people from India and environs and have frequently had trouble understanding them. You do not have many of the problems I have seen before but for your current ...


6

StoneyB's answer is really excellent and I will only add a few words to his keyword imitation. Imitation includes mimicking. When you learn a foreign language you are playing a part. So listen and watch as much as you can when natives speak. Speaking certain sounds is a complex activity that necessitates to place your phonatory organs in a particular way (...


6

Yes, learn the phonemes of English (44 sounds), not the 'letters'. Find out which ones you have difficulty with, for example many Indian people need to change the way they say r, d, t. Find out here http://accent-expert.com Also rhythm and intonation (the tune) really make a difference to your accent and how well you communicate. Many Indian people speak ...


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