10 English Pronounciation Errors by Hindi Speakers

If your native language is Hindi, you might find some sounds in English to be more difficult to express than others. ELSA presents you some of the most common errors made by Hindi-speakers.

1: /v/ vs /w/

Most speakers replace English /v/ and /w/ by [V] — because of this, the difference between “vest” and “west”, or even “vine” vs “wine” is lost.


“I wear a vest when I travel to the west.

2: ‘t’ can sound like ‘d’

Some speakers pronounce “they” like “day”

“Katie drinks a lot of water”

3: “R” is pronounced as a trill /r/

The “r” sound is very trilled — for example, in “Ferrari” there’s quite a bit of vibration of the tongue. You must relax the tongue.3“I drive a Ferrari.”

4: Indian speakers sometimes replace /s/ for /z/

“House” has /s/ as the final sound whereas “noise” has /z/. Indian speakers are used to a ‘spelling pronunciation’ — they go by the sound suggested by the spelling.

Their house is very noisy.”

5: Some Indian speakers have problem with vowels and thus don’t know the difference between “tell” and “tale” or “cot” and “caught”

Indian languages have fewer vowel sounds — so it’s important for speakers to be aware of differences between certain vowel sounds

“He will tell you a tall tale

6: Indian speakers sometimes place the accent on the wrong syllable of a word.

For example, the word “tournament” might be pronounced “tawr-na-ment”

“The tournament is going to start”

7: ‘Th’ vs ‘da’

To avoid this, the tongue needs to go between your teeth to make the “th” sound.

“That man is very daring and cool”

8: ‘S’ vs ‘sh’

Some new English speakers have this issue — the difference between “Sue” vs “Shoe”2“Sue bought herself new shoes”

9: /ɔ:/ sound

Indian learners like to replace the long vowel /ɔ:/ with /ɑ/

“She was born to live in a dorm”

10: Indian speakers have trouble with aspirating sounds such as p, t, and k.

Aspirating while using these sounds makes a big difference in being understood.

People talk to me all the time.”

3 Life Lessons from Megan Smith, CTO of America

Vu Van and the Elsa team is privileged to attend the GES 2016 at Stanford University. Yesterday at the conference, the Elsa Team met with Megan Smith, the Chief Technology Officer of the United States of America.

Slack for iOS Upload

Here are the 3 top things we learned from Megan Smith:

1. Grow your TQ (Technical Quotient)

TQ, similar IQ and EQ, measures your propensity to be good at technology. Like most things in life, TQ can be developed through practice. If you think you’re not good at technology, then just practice using your technology, and your TQ will grow.

2. Join the conversation

There’s a conversation going on in the world right now, between the people who build and use technology, and the people who make the laws/policies around technology (like Megan Smith). Megan Smith told us that she and President Obama are very concerned about how they’re going to bring everyone into the conversation. They hear from tech CEOs in the bay area, but they don’t hear enough from the engineers/founders who make those technologies. At GES, Megan Smith pleads in a serious tone:

The people who make the technologies come from all over the world. All genders. All colors. They represent humanities greatest talents. We want them to join our conversation.

If this is one of you, please join Megan Smith and the White House in conversation. Say what you think, over Twitter, YouTube, Medium. Fluency in English not required.

3. Learn to code

Megan Smith and Obama recently started the program “Computer Science for All.” She explains excitedly:

It’s a program to encourage all schools in the United States to offer computer sciences classes to their students. And to encourage the media, to be aware of what they’re doing to make it harder for people to play in tech. Because we showing on TV Computer Science classes with 10 to 1 boys to girls ratio. Kids watch TV.

Kid see things that make them think that that’s the way the world should be. But that’s not the way the world has to be.

Megan appeared a frustrated at what’s going on in the world.

Then, a twinge of courage flashes through her face.

Thank you for joining this conversation. I’m really appreciative of all of you joining this conversation.


Author: Tia Gao

#ELSAStory – Meet Vahan Aslanyan: Wrong stress = “Jumble of sounds”

Welcome to the second part of ELSA’s Interview Series! I now introduce Vahan Aslanyan! Vahan grew up in Yerevan, Armenia and started school at the University of California, Berkeley this past year. Vahan took major steps to improve his English – we asked him a few questions and he was ecstatic to share his English-learning journey.

  • Vahan, where are you from, where have you lived?
    • Vahan: I am from Yerevan, Armenia. I lived there my whole life before starting school at Berkeley.
  • In a few words, describe how being an English Language Learner has affected your living on a daily basis.
    • Vahan: Learning American English took a lot of energy during my first semester. However, as I got accustomed to English, it was not a big deal anymore. On the bright side, being a language learner helps me organize my thoughts better as they pass through more filters.  
  • Was there ever an embarrassing situation when you said something and someone misunderstood you because of the way you pronounced the word
      • Vahan:  I also know Russian; Russian language borrowed some English words. Whenever I wanted using that word I would pronounce it in Russian, confusing my listener. I would put the stress on wrong vowels and all they could hear was a jumble of sounds.


  • Tell us about one time when not being confident and great at speaking English severely affected you
    • Vahan: People speak faster in America, so it was hard to keep up with the pace of my peers. Not being confident in your speech makes you appear uptight too and that is not the impression you want to give people when you meet them.
  • How have you improved your English? Has it been successful?
    • Vahan: I am far from reaching the level. Just living in an English speaking environment helped me improve my speaking skills by catching up with their pronunciation and learning common phrases present only in daily speech.
  • Would you be more successful if you spoke English at a higher level? Why or why not?
    • Vahan: Better knowledge of English is an advantage when you are applying for any program abroad. It is the accepted international language for most international companies and if you want to speak with someone who doesn’t know your language, you should speak to them in English.
  • Do you have any advice for other English Language Learners?
    • Vahan: Practice makes a good base, but if you really want to speak English you need to challenge yourself to get out of the safety zone. It is also important to have people criticize your pronunciation and correct you when you speak to avoid letting those mistake become a permanent part of your speech.

English as a second, or even third language is very tough. Vahan was accepted to one of the best colleges in the world and persevered through all the adversity which came with not knowing American English very well. He’s now a very successful Math major at Berkeley and aspires to do great things. Vahan can do it, and you can do it too!

Tune in next week for another great story! Let us know if you have a story to share!

Speak Your Way to Europe #EuroWithElsa


(Scroll down for Vietnamese)

You heard it right! You can win a FULLY PAID round-trip airfare ticket to one city in the country that wins the EURO championship this year! We’re choosing one ELSA user to go on the adventure!

As the EURO Cup 2016 is happening, ELSA has released a new module with the theme of soccer. We want to help you in your English learning journey by incorporating what’s trending, as well as reward you for practicing!

How do I enter?

Eligibility: The Campaign is open to current ELSA Android users who have completed the first 10 levels in the ‘Euro Cup’ module on ELSA app and who are 18 years of age or older (worldwide).

Download our free ELSA Speak app for your Android phone here.

To enter the promotion, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Share with us your video (30 second maximum) talking about your favorite team of the EURO Cup 2016 or your favorite destination in Europe, in English. There’s no limit on creativity. Submit as many videos as you want. The more entries, the higher chance to win.

Step 2: Use the hashtags #EuroWithElsa and #ELSASpeak.

Step 3: Tag @elsa_speak and submit your video on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter

Read more about rules and eligibilities here.

What do I win?

Our Winner will receive a free round-trip airfare to the home of the EURO 2016 Champion!

718315 2-01

Winner will be announced at the end of the EURO Cup 2016. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to get notified when you win!

You can contact us via Facebook or email support@elsanow.io for any questions. 

For more information, check out our website here.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and #EuroWithElsa!




Trong cơn sốt của giải bóng đá Euro 2016…

Bạn có bao giờ mơ về một chuyến du lịch Châu Âu?

Hãy cùng học nói tiếng Anh với ELSA và biến giấc mơ du lịch Châu Âu thành hiện thực.

ELSA là một ứng dụng di động giúp các bạn đang học nói tiếng Anh có một trải nghiệm thuận lợi và dễ dàng. Không những thế, đội ngũ ELSA luôn cố gắng để cập nhập những chủ đề hot và mới nhất để bạn có thể luyện tập và áp dụng trong những cuộc đối thoại hằng ngày. Nhân dịp EURO 2016, ELSA vừa ra mắt các bạn học một chủ đề mới xoay quanh bóng đá. Các bạn có thể vừa xem EURO và làm mọi người xung quanh té ngửa vì vốn từ phong phú và phát âm ‘chuẩn không cần chỉnh’ của mình.

Trong cuộc thi lần này, một bạn may mắn đang sử dụng app sẽ được chọn để tiếp bước khám phá đất nước châu Âu vô địch EURO 2016 năm nay.

Làm sao để tham gia?

Điều kiện: Để tham gia chương trình, bạn phải hoàn thành 10 vòng đầu của topic Euro Cup trên app ELSA và ở độ tuổi từ 18 trở lên. 

Tải ứng dụng ELSA Speak miễn phí trên Android tại đây.

Thực hiện các bước như sau để tham gia cuộc thi:

Bước 1: Đăng một đoạn clip (tối đa 30 giây) chia sẻ về đội bóng đá yêu thích của bạn tại EURO 2016 hoặc về một đất nước Châu Âu mà bạn ưa thích nhất bằng tiếng Anh. Các bạn có thể thoả sức sáng tạo mà không cần lo lắng về giới han số lần nộp. Nộp càng nhiều lần cơ hội càng cao.

Bước 2: Sử dụng hashtags #EuroWithElsa#ELSASpeak

Bước 3: Đề cập @elsa_speak và nộp video của bạn trên Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Đọc thêm về luật chơi và điều kiện tham gia tại đây.

Mình sẽ thắng gì?

Người thắng cuộc sẽ nhận được một cặp vé khứ hồi miễn phí tới đất nước của nhà vô địch EURO 2016.

718315 2-01

Người chiến thắng sẽ được công bố vào ngày cuối cùng của mùa giải bóng đá EURO 2016. Bạn có thể cập nhật tin tức thắng giải trên những kênh mạng xã hội của ELSA: Facebook, Instagram và Twitter.

Mọi thắc mắc xin liên hệ ELSA qua Facebook hoặc email support@elsanow.io

Thêm thông tin cụ thể hơn, xin ghé qua website của ELSA tại đây.

Mọi người còn chần chừ gì nữa? Tham dự ngay và tiến lên với #EuroWithElsa!

ELSA Interview Series: Welcome!

Welcome to ELSA’s Interview series!
Throughout the journey of learning English, there are times when learners struggle to comprehend, and even struggle to pronounce some words, which can lead to very embarrassing moments. ELSA had the opportunity to interview some English language learners and learn about their interesting experience of acquiring this language.

Each week, ELSA will bring you a new inspiring story about one of our friends who might have struggled with the English language as a non-native speaker, but took initiatives to improve their speaking skills. We will also feature stories of those who have found their way to reach mastery in Englishthey can tell us what their secret sauce is. We hope to build a community where everyone shares their English learning story so that we can learn from each otherbecause who knows, there might be a word that you’ve been pronounced incorrectly all the time but don’t realize?

Oh, and these stories are not about having a perfect accent—as keeping our accent is our keeping our identity. It is who we are. It makes us authentic. This is about being able to speak confidently, to tell your story and convey your message fluently, as well as to step beyond your comfort to achieve and reach new opportunities in life.

Think of an embarrassing and/or memorable experience in your English learning journey, along with triumph. If you have an #ELSAStory and would like to be featured on our blog, please let us know! We’d love to share your experience with the ELSA community! Email us at mudit@elsanow.io

Now, get ready for our very first and special featured story of Margaux Remize, a French exchange student turned a super star water polo player at the University of California, Berkeley.


#ELSAStory – The Story of Margaux: Hungry… or angry?

ELSA now introduces Margaux Remize. Margaux was an exchange student from France at UC Berkeley this past year and took major steps to improve her English during her stay in the US. She grew up in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France and then moved to Bordeaux. We asked her a few questions about her experience and she was delighted to share her English learning journey.


  • Can you describe how being an English language learner has affected your living on a daily basis.
    • Margaux: It was hard at first; I had learned some British English in France but we didn’t really interact in English, just wrote, read, and listened. It was tiring because I had to concentrate very hard to be understood and to understand when in the US.
  • Tell us about one time when not being confident and great at speaking English severely affected you.
    • Margaux: On my first day at Cal, I wasn’t able to understand the professor and had to drop the class and choose a less interesting one. Thankfully I didn’t have to do this with all my classes.
    • Was there ever an embarrassing situation when you said something and someone misunderstood you because of the way you pronounced the word
          • Margaux: In French, we don’t pronounce some letters; thus, sometimes in English I forgot to pronounce some letters. I never pronounce the “H”.  I also never pronounced “hungry” correctly and said “angry”, it took me 6 months to finally understand the difference. Also, I’m really embarrassed because I cannot tell the difference between “beach” and “biatch”


        • What have you done to improve your English speaking skill and gain more confidence while speaking? Have you succeeded?
          • Margaux: During my two first years of college, I read a lot in English, watched English movies/TV shows, and tried to speak to myself aloud to improve my speaking skills. When I arrived at Cal, I decided to join the water polo club team in order to interact as much as I could with native speakers. Also, two French friends and I decided to only speak English together.

      Cal Water Polo Team

      • Do you think you’d be more successful if you were better at English? How?
        • Margaux: Yes, I am still not fluent but I’ve made a significant improvement. As I look around and observe from my friends, it’s quite clear to me that if you have the chance to be fluent in English, you are more likely to have a job/internship.
      • Do you have any advice for other English language learners?
        • Margaux: It is really important to be surrounded by English speakers or people who do not speak your language; thus, you have to speak English with them. Also, it is important to ask your friends to correct you when you’ve made a mistake.

      Margaux isn’t alone in her experience. There are a lot of people who come to America whose native language isn’t English. Margaux overcame adversity and made the best of her one year in the US. She played on UC Berkeley’s club water polo team; though she had never played water polo before. She had the courage to join the team and was willing to learn. She was surrounded by English speakers and persevered and became a fantastic player and is missed dearly by all of the friends she made on the team.

      Margaux’s story is just one out of many other success stories of those who come to America not being so great at English. Tune in next week for another great story! #ELSAStory

      You can follow Margaux on instagram and twitter!


2016 is the year that all the soccer lovers have been earnestly waiting for since EURO 2012 happened.

This year, for the first time, 2016 UEFA EURO European Championship will be contested by 24 teams. The finals will take place in France, from the 10th of June to the 10th of July. This tournament is undoubtedly one of biggest events of summer 2016 all around the world. People will be gathering and living of the tension on screens. “EURO 2016” is what all people are going to talk about. So, don’t be left behind the hype!

The following list will prep you for the “Euro-ful” season. Check it out! 😉

euroo 201666png

Make these words yours by learning how to pronounce them with ELSA app, available on both Apple Store and Google Play.