English Accent Words: New, Nyoo and Noo
Summary: English Accent Words
Once we have trained our brains to listen to a language and we mimic the pronunciation of that language we forget or just don’t notice that we all pronounce words differently depending on where we are on the planet. So today we cover some English accent word pronunciation.
My son was watching a game review or hints and tips type gaming channel on YouTube, talking about a game called “Call of Duty”. Two things jumped out at me, one, the way the American presenter said “News” the way he pronounced “Tube” and then the word “Duty”. It was a perfect word storm of words pronounced completely differently to the way you would say them if you have a British accent.
So today's podcast talks about the differences between British and American pronunciation. It’s not about video games, but it covers some common everyday English words you would expect to use in normal conversation.
Don’t forget! Listening to the podcast is helping you learn much more than just the topic, you will learn a lot of common English vocabulary, practice listening to a native British English speaker and you will train your brain to listen to sounds of English language, helping you with automatic English fluency.
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Audio Transcript: English Accent Words: New, Nyoo and Noo
Hi there and welcome to this short podcast from Adept English.
English Accent Words is our topic today and more specifically, just wanting to share with you some tips, some advice on pronunciation. English Accent Words meaning some more of those words which tend to differentiate – that means ‘show the differences between’ - to differentiate your accent as English, UK English rather than American English. When you’re learning a language and actually even after the point where you’re fairly good at a language, it can be difficult to hear accent. But sometimes it’s useful to be able to pick this up. When you’re really good at English, you pick up all kinds of things about people from their accent. I’m a native speaker of English as you know, so when I meet someone, I’ll immediately pick up quite a lot about them from their accent.
The difference between British English and American English
So I’ll know immediately whether they are native British or whether they learned English as a foreign language. You may recognise what country in the world a person comes from – and then there are other countries I might not necessarily recognise the accent from - I haven’t heard it enough. And if the person is native British, I may be able to tell quite a lot about where they’re from, which area of Britain they come from. And also probably something about their social class and their level of education. Social class is a whole other area, of course. And also there are always people whose accent is misleading, whose accent may seem to say one thing about them, but actually the truth is something different.
So when you’re learning English, it may be useful to have some pointers on this. I recently did a podcast for you on British Accent Words, and this gave you some help on telling the difference between British English and American English. So as this is a short podcast, I’m just going to add one more thing, one more tip to this, one more piece of advice. So in this podcast on English Accent words, lets have a look at another pronunciation, which shows the difference between UK English and US English. And depending upon where you are mostly learning your English from, you’ll have made a decision about which pronunciation you’re going to use. Do you have a British Accent, when you speak English or do you have an American Accent? Has it happened already? Are you aware of it, or is it still to be decided? So test yourself out on this one.
So another set of sounds, another set of words, which help you to tell the difference when you hear it. So how about these English Accent Words, with their American equivalents?
So the words are, and this is British English, first of all:-
- New or News
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Well there’s a basic difference in pronunciation, depending upon whether you’re speaking UK or US English. So if it’s US English, it’s more likely to be ‘noo’ or ‘noos’. So new is spelt N-E-W and news is spelt N-E-W-S, (that’s me speaking, so it’s the British way) but the American pronunciation is more as though it’s spelt N-O-O or N-O-O-S, ‘noo’ or ‘noos’. And the British pronunciation – well, it’s as though there is a letter ‘Y’ in there, ‘nyoo’ or ‘nyoos’, so as though it’s spelt N-Y-O-O or N-Y-O-O-S. Of course, those aren’t the correct spellings, but that’s just to give you the idea of the difference. Noo and Nyoo, Noos and Nyoos. Can you hear that?
So this is a way to tell immediately whether the person you’re listening to has British English or American English. I think this pronunciation varies, in other English speaking parts of the world. So in Canadian English, it’s a bit mixed – you might hear ‘nyoos’. There are lots of words that are said a little bit more like the English pronunciation in Canada. So Canadians may say ‘Proe-cess’ like an English person, rather than pro-cess like an American. And in Australia and New Zealand, you’re more likely to hear ‘news’ said the British way - ‘Nyoos’. I can’t do an Australian accent, but it’ got that little ‘y’ in it, like the British way of saying news.
So what about other words?
‘Tube’, T-U-B-E. So in British English, if you were to spell it as you say it, it would be more like C-H-Y-O-O-B, ‘chyoob’. And in US English, more like ‘toob’, ‘toob’, T-O-O-B.
So if you’re talking about the London Underground system, most of us here call that ‘the tube’, so there’s a difference there ‘toob’ and ‘chyoob’. And the same if you’re talking about a tube of toothpaste.
The word ‘duty’, D-U-T-Y is another one. So your duty is the thing that you must do. If you have a particular job role, you might talk about ‘your duties’ – the things that you must do to perform your job. ‘Duty’ may include...I don’t know….looking after your elderly parent – that’s your duty perhaps, some people would think. So in US English, it would be ‘doody’ as though it’s spelt D-O-O-D-Y. So ‘doody’. Notice that other part of US pronunciation – and I spoke about this in my previous podcast – the ‘t’ at the end of the word, changes to something that sounds more like a ‘d’ sound. So the actual spelling of duty, D-U-T-Y, but a British person would say...say it as though it’s D-Y-O-O-T-Y, ‘dyooty’.
And finally, the word ‘tune’. So a tune is what you might recognise in a piece of music. I could take a famous piece of music, that everyone knows, and I might play it to you on the piano, or I might sing it to you – or I might play a version of it on YouTube. There you are ‘YouTube’ - YouTube to you. But the thing that would come across as the same across all three is the tune – that’s what you’d recognise.
There’s also a verb ‘to tune’, so if you have an instrument like a guitar, it needs to be tuned, before you play it. Whereas for a piano, you would have a piano tuner, a specialist, to come and do that for you. So ‘tune’ is spelt T-U-N-E, but in British English we say ‘chyoon’, so as though it’s spelt C-H-Y-O-O-N. And in American English, it’s more like ‘toon’, T-O-O-N.
Exceptions To The Rule
It doesn’t happen like this for every word in American English though. For example ‘cute’ C-U-T-E still has the ‘y’ sound in it for Americans and so does ‘fuse’ - F-U-S-E.
Now I’ve never heard of this before, but there is apparently a technical term for the disappearance in US English of this ‘y’ sound – the ‘y’ sound in ‘tune’. If a word started out in its history as ‘tube’ or ‘duty’ or ‘tulip’ even, and then it becomes ‘toob or ‘dooty’ or ‘toolip’, then that’s called ‘yod dropping’. There’s actually a term, a phrase for this stuff! I never knew – ‘yod droppping’ - I like that! I learn a lot by doing Adept English too! And actually, if you go to East Anglia – a region in the East of England, they do’ yod dropping’ too. So instead of saying ‘beautiful’, they might say ‘bootiful’ and for ‘music’, ‘moozic’! That’s crazy!
Anyway, if you like what we’re doing and you want more of it, then go to our website at adeptenglish.com and have a look at the page where you can download our podcasts. You pay a small fee, because it costs us for you to do this, but you can download our podcasts – 50 at a time, onto your phone. That is an immense number of minutes listening time, so that you can practice your English. And this way, you make sure that wherever you are, you’ve always got some Adept English material with you, so that you can practise listening regularly and ensure your English keeps improving.
So that’s more material for you on English Accent Words. Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
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