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  1. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #1

    Dropping t's and d's

    Hi,

    This text sounds natural to me and I just wanted to ask somebody to proofread it to see if you spot anything wrong and
    if you understand what is 'an aid', not sure about the article here.

    Also, would appreciate any thoughts on the subject.

    Thanks!

    #English Dropping and softening t's and d's
    Listening to a group conversation today at work, it just got my attention how people get to drop t's and d's,
    bringing my memories back to when I just came to the country and thought I would never going to be able
    to hear the difference between "can" and "can't". Now, that's when considering I have hearing challenges and
    able to figure that out without
    an aid , it just amazes me how adaptable human's brain is. Now here are a few examples,

    let me know = lemee know
    interface = innerface, inner face? really ? :)
    interesting = inneresting
    don't understand that = don understan that (these are a very soft, almost inaudible t and very soft d turning into the 'th')
    plenty = plenny
    can't = can, with either a very soft n, or very soft t which to me sounds identical.

    Not everybody does that, may be it's related to Midwestern accents.



    Last edited by AlexAD; 13-Sep-2014 at 20:08.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Dropping t's and d's

    The writer (speaker?) has already referred to "hearing challenges" when he/she mentions "an aid", which I am sure refers to a hearing aid. The rest talks about how people say things in conversation. Context is key to understanding what is said. Indeed, you won't hear any of those examples outside of a context which will usually give you all the help you need to understanding what is said.


  3. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Dropping t's and d's

    So it's 'an aid' then.
    I thought 'the aid' would sound cool too so as to refer to the aid I own, what do you think?

    How about the subject, do you hear people dropping those letters only in particular regions of America or is it commonly spread?

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Dropping t's and d's

    Well, if you refer to "the aid" without previously telling me that you own a hearing aid I might not understand what you are talking about.

    I haven't been everywhere in this country, so I can't talk with confidence about the linguistic differences of different regions. However, as I previously stated, context will generally give you all the help you need. For example:

    Boss: Bob, how are you coming along with that project?
    Bob: Everything is on schedule.
    Boss: Lemme know when you're finished.

    I guess that's all for now.

    Last edited by Tarheel; 15-Sep-2014 at 19:48. Reason: spelling

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Dropping t's and d's

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    How about the subject, do you hear people dropping those letters only in particular regions of America or is it commonly spread?
    This is only my subjective opinion, but I think it's an immensely regretable trend. Naturally, Americans can speak as they want, and will develop what others consider unhelpful pronunciation (as we Aussies also do, I admit), but it makes it harder for learners and the hard of hearing to understand.
    No, it's not widespread. I sometimes wear a hearing aid, when I can be bothered and need to, and I like people to speak clearly.
    I don't think "innernet" and "innernational" have anything to recommend them, and would advise learners to pronounce their Ts.

  6. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Dropping t's and d's

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This is only my subjective opinion, but I think it's an immensely regretable trend. Naturally, Americans can speak as they want, and will develop what others consider unhelpful pronunciation (as we Aussies also do, I admit), but it makes it harder for learners and the hard of hearing to understand one.
    No, it's not widespread. I sometimes wear a hearing aid, when I can be bothered and need to, and I like people to speak clearly.
    I don't think "innernet" and "innernational" have anything to recommend them, and would advise learners to pronounce their Ts.
    Thanks for your input, Raymott.

    Although I understand you, I still tend to think that an evolving spoken/written language is simply a reflection of the fact that people naturally get rid of all the impediments on the way to speak faster. Now, "I don understan that" is a more elegant and robust version of the standard one.

    You say that makes things harder for learners. I admit, it does. However there's a but. Problem is learners don't listen to real life English conversations which you can freely find on the Internet now. They are given books with texts and audios which are .. synthetic, created to simplify their life. I wish teachers would give learners a lot English movies, study the modern language, including slang. That'd be so much fun for all the parties and the process would go so much faster. They still can be taught to speak clear and right, but at least they will be able to get the grasp of a casual conversation when they talk to natives speakers. And why in the whole universe we used to study a lot of fancy words? 800 - 1500 base is all a learner needs, then they would immerse in a country an learn other words more easily.

    I regret that many teachers are not keeping up with the pace of our modern life and as a learner I had to walk an extra mile on my own to find working techniques that I wasn't taught.

    The language turned out to be much more challenging to master in the amount I wanted to. I envision it as four components,
    - how you read
    - how you write
    - how you comprehend
    - how you speak
    and those four are linked with each other. Something that you read and understand, you may not be able to remember or spell it, catch it in a conversation or build a sentence with it. Etc. etc. So each component can be considered as a separate practice.

    And also, I thought that after a few years (now it's been two) in the States I would be able to freely speak in casual situations.
    That didn't come out true. I'm still don't feel my words coming out at ease when I speak. I still have to rack my brain for a word sometimes, even a base one.
    In some situations like a hole in my jeans needs to be fixed, I don't even know what to say. Why wasn't I taught that? Why would I read some nonsense texts that are by far less usable in the real life? A lot of questions to ask..

    That's is the result of never being taught how to speak. When you speak you don't want to think about words and sentences. You just let out something that you've been repeating many times. You combine the patterns you learned on the go. You don't give it much thought. That's the way natives speak, isn't it?
    Why my teacher would correct my pronunciation instead of working on my fluency? I mean, I've met Americans from rural areas who have so horrible accents you almost cannot understand them and they wouldn't get slapped on their hands in their childhood. They live and communicate and most people are cool with that. Why would teachers keep doing that with their learners?

    Sorry, a lot of text. I just had to spit it out :)
    Last edited by AlexAD; 13-Sep-2014 at 23:39.

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Dropping t's and d's

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    Now, "I don understan that" is a more elegant and robust version of the standard one.
    How is that more elegant?; how more robust?
    Problem is learners don't listen to real life English conversations which you can freely find on the Internet now.
    Why do they not choose to do this?
    They are given books with texts and audios which are .. synthetic, created to simplify their life. I wish teachers would give learners a lot English movies, study the modern language, including slang.
    The teachers probably aren't paid to teach slang. Once you have teachers using slang, it will change very quickly. It would self-defeating.


    I regret that many teachers are not keeping up with the pace of our modern life and as a learner I had to walk an extra mile on my own to find working techniques that I wasn't taught.
    Good. You've taken some responsibility for your own learning. Perhaps you are smarter than you teachers, as well. Teaching courses are notoriously easy to get into; teaching generally doesn't attract the smarter school leavers. (No reflection on any of the thoughtful and resourceful teachers we have here!)

    And also, I thought that after a few years (now it's been two) in the States I would be able to freely speak in casual situations.
    That didn't come out true. I'm still don't feel my words coming out at ease when I speak. I still have to rack my brain for a word sometimes, even a base one.
    Yes, students learn at different rates. Did someone guarantee you you'd be speaking like a native after two years?
    In some situations like a hole in my jeans needs to be fixed, I don't even know what to say. Why wasn't I taught that? Why would I read some nonsense texts that are by far less usable in the real life? A lot of questions to ask..
    You may have a lot of question, but I'm not sure I can respond. I don't set syllabuses.

    That's is the result of never being taught how to speak. When you speak you don't want to think about words and sentences. You just let out something that you've been repeating many times.
    No, I think you're asking too much. If you were asked to chant daily "I have a hole in my pants that needs fixing", you'd probably end up getting a hole in your shirt, and you'd be cactus, based on that teaching method.

    Aren't you learning any grammar? Even native speakers tend to think before opening their mouths.

    You combine the patterns you learned on the go. You don't give it much thought. That's the way natives speak, isn't it?
    You can't expect to learn like a native. Everyone knows that learning a second language is different.


    Why my teacher would correct my pronunciation instead of working on my fluency?
    What's the point of speaking fluent drivel if no one can understand your pronunciation?
    Have you spoken to you teacher about your concerns?

  8. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Dropping t's and d's

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Have you spoken to you teacher about your concerns?
    See, this is a problem. I've had a handful of English teachers and all they were following methodologies that didn't work out for me.
    From a whole lot of all of my teachers, I can name only three who really taught me something!

    Contemporary world is crazy about money, everybody is a teacher. I haven't really looked for teachers, because
    1. Many of them just want my money.
    2. I realized that there's a whole lot there I can do by myself.
    3. I believe the mentor comes when the student is ready.

    If I had somebody who would talk to me on a daily basis, I'd be immensely happy but this is not easy to achieve as you can't expect to make a close acquaintance with a native speaker if you don't speak well.

    As for your reply, I would like to thank you for taking your time to do it. All your points make perfect sense, indeed, but you're being defensive.

    If you were asked to chant daily "I have a hole in my pants that needs fixing", you'd probably end up getting a hole in your shirt, and you'd be cactus, based on that teaching method.

    Disagree. You know how to say you have a hole in your pants, you hear 'shirt' used in other phrases. Voila! Your brain will do the rest of the work for you so quick you won't be able to blink.

    Aren't you learning any grammar?
    I am. But I am learning it through the phrases I hear and read daily, not grammar books.
    Of course it's not a 'casual' grammar, but at least it real. I don't see any reasons in learning written book English.
    Only people who can be close to use that kind of language are lawyers. I'm not one of them.

    Even native speakers tend to think before opening their mouths.
    Yes, I agree. If you need to shape your answer, there's nothing wrong to give it a little bit of thought as you speak.
    But there is a set of phrases you should be able to speak automatically, e.g.

    'I've gotta go'
    'Let me check that spreadsheet for your'
    'I would've called you back if you let me know in advance'
    etc. etc.

    The better you're at it, the easier to master a language fluency.

    You can't expect to learn like a native. Everyone knows that learning a second language is different.
    To certain extent yes. For example, it's hard to find somebody who would talk to you daily if you don't speak well.
    But at least you can listen a lot and exercise base phrases with yourself/mirror.

    What's the point of speaking fluent drivel if no one can understand your pronunciation?
    Take Sir Alex Ferguson. He speaks this Scottish English I couldn't get a single word(!) at some point of time.
    I couldn't even tell that was English..

    I'm pretty sure many Americans would get confused conversing with someone like him. On the other side most British people probably wouldn't.
    Why? Because much more Scotts live in the UK than USA.
    Americans understand Indian-English accents well, though Europeans may not be that good. Why? For a similar reason.

    The point is fluency means confidence, confident people are listened and respected. That means you are easy to find friends and practice it even further.

    Conversely, if you rack your brain every time you have to talk, you will be treated like a looser. This is the hard truth.


    Ever wondered why so many immigrants "wouldn't have a grace to learn how to speak the language"? Because it's hell hard to hang out with people who would avoid you because your communicative skills are way lower.
    Last edited by AlexAD; 14-Sep-2014 at 13:36.

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Dropping t's and d's

    Gosh, Alex! Don't be so hard on yourself. Your English is much better than my Russian. In fact, while you make plenty of mistakes, I can understand what you are "saying" with no trouble.

    (I wish I had somebody who would teach me Spanish, but I don't.)


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