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  1. #1
    thincat is offline Member
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    Default In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    Hi,

    Recently, I have found a video on Youtube, demonstrating the American pronunciation of /tr/ as /tʃr/. It makes me wonder if it is necessary in British English, especially more "standard" accent, to pronounce /tr/ as /tʃr/? If I do not do so, will I sound "foreign"?

    Here is the video:
    How to Pronounce the TR Consonant Cluster - American English - YouTube
    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by thincat View Post
    It makes me wonder if it is necessary in British English, especially more "standard" accent, to pronounce /tr/ as /tʃr/? If I do not do so, will I sound "foreign"?
    No and no. Indeed, if you consciously try to pronounce the 'tr' in 'try' as /tʃr/ you will almost certainly sound unnatural.

  3. #3
    thincat is offline Member
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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    Thanks a lot! I guess this is also a distinction between American and British English. :)

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by thincat View Post
    Thanks a lot! I guess this is also a distinction between American and British English. :)
    I don't think so. In both varieties, the the tongue is farther back on the alveolar ridge for the t in 'try' than for the one in 'tie'; the resultant sound in 'try' may therefore may have some slight /tʃr/-ness about it. However, it would be a mistake to consciously attempt to pronounce the /tr/ sound as /tʃr/.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    It's a good question. We certainly start such TR- words with CHR-, as in /tʃr/. I wonder if we couldn't use different symbols for various /t/ like sounds here in different geolects.

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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    We certainly start such TR- words with CHR-, as in /tʃr/.
    Wha are 'we'? I don't.

    I agree with Davillas response here:

    Question: All dictionaries that I know of use /tr/ in the phonetical spelling of words such as "trash", "trail", and "true". I believe the actual pronunciation is with a ch sound or something similar. I'm wondering if the distinction in my ears might be a result of a slight accustomization to the Mandarin spoken around me. In other words, am I hearing something now that most English speakers cannot hear, or that they simply have not noticed?[...]
    Response: The pronunciation /tʃrʃ/ is considered to be incorrect (and even illiterate) in standard English. Careful speakers still say /trʃ/. However, /tʃrʃ/ is standard in Cockney and some other accents and dialects. Davilla

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    I think Davilla may be overstating the case when s/he use the term illiterate.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I think Davilla may be overstating the case when s/he use the term illiterate.
    Particularly when she is commenting on the spoken word!

    I should have made it clear that my agreement was only with the idea that it is considered incorrect in standard English.

    Having thought about it more, I think that even 'incorrect' may be a little strong. However, I do consider it non-standard, and I stand by my "Indeed, if you consciously try to pronounce the 'tr' in 'try' as /tʃr/ you will almost certainly sound unnatural". I think some people are confusing what they think they hear with what is actually produced.

    I have had trainees swear that they pronounce the word 'handbag' with /nd/ before a the /b/, and almost call me a liar when I have said that they have just listened to me use /m/. I have had to use recordings to demonstrate that I (and they!) actually produce /m/ there in normal conversation . This is a bit of a reversal of the situation with the 'tr' blend but, as both Wells (LPD) and Roach (EPD) do record the /m/ for handbag and do not record the /tʃ/ for 'try', I have faith in my views of the pronunciation of 'try' - in standard British English.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    Interesting point- I will listen out for this one, but I can hear /tʃr/ in my head without it being a particular dialect or regional form. I may have been abroad too long.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: In British English, is /tr/ pronounced as /tʃr/ as well?

    Sorry, I assumed people knew from context that I meant we speakers of AmE; I don't think I can remember hearing anyone here in North America not pronouncing TR words as /tʃr/.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Wha are 'we'? I don't.

    I agree with Davilla’s response here:

    Question: All dictionaries that I know of use /tr/ in the phonetical spelling of words such as "trash", "trail", and "true". I believe the actual pronunciation is with a ch sound or something similar. I'm wondering if the distinction in my ears might be a result of a slight accustomization to the Mandarin spoken around me. In other words, am I hearing something now that most English speakers cannot hear, or that they simply have not noticed?[...]
    Response: The pronunciation /tʃrʃ/ is considered to be incorrect (and even illiterate) in standard English. Careful speakers still say /trʃ/. However, /tʃrʃ/ is standard in Cockney and some other accents and dialects. Davilla

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