Hi, Can any-one explain what is MTI, what are the characteristic traits of MTI and can MTI be corrected by training. Thanks
From India, Noida
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Please may we know what you do and why you have raised this query? I am sure you will have come across people whose mother tongue is different from the language they are speaking and you could say so when you hear them. For example, I met an Englishman in a lift in the UK. He spoke to me in Hindi and when I responded, he said "Your mother tongue is not Hindi". I asked him as to how did he know. He said "From your accent".
Yes, it can be corrected with a caveat. When we are angry and not conscious of what we are doing we may revert to our original accent. Please see SCHOLAR’S MOTHER TONGUE – AKBAR AND BIRBAL STORIES | Entertaining Stories | Kids Stories – ITSAPERFECTSTORY

From United Kingdom

MTI: The three dimensions of accent are articulation, pronunciation and intonation. Articulation is how we produce the speech sounds- Vowels and Consonants. For example: A person says joo instead of Zoo. A person says Another instead of Unother. (phonetically)

Pronunciation is how we stress on the right part of the word (syllable). A person says CommunicaTION instead of CommuniCAtion.

Intonation is the music of the language. (The ups and downs in a sentence)

MTI (Mother tongue Influence) could be any aspect of articulation, pronunciation or intonation that is reflected from the mother tongue in the speech. Listen to this speaker ( <link no longer exists - removed> ) and you shall notice the MTI in the speaker's accent.

Some typical characteristics of MTI would be:

1) Incorrect Articulation: Either wrong consonant sound or vowel sound. Elongation or clipping of vowel sounds.

2) Wrong Pronunciation: Stressing on the wrong syllable.

3) Incorrect Intonation: Not using the correct word stress and rise and fall of pitch and tone while speaking.

Yes, MTI can be worked upon with training and practice.

From India, Delhi

Dear friend,
Mr.Atul has well explained the important aspects of accent and Mr.Simhan's citation of the anecdote of Birbal further explains how indeIible MTI is. Another citation, of course in a different angle, from a Tamil movie "Naan Avanillai" directed by K.Balachander casting Gemini Ganesan as an impostor - up on his arrest the Police try to find out his true identity and nativity as he cheated different ladies in their own languages by his multi-lingual skill and decide to give him a shock-treatment and one Officer suddenly slaps him in his cheek but he would respond crying "mushe"holding his cheek in pain.The interrogators in their utter confusion refer to dictionaries of various languages and find out the word to be Chinese and their confusion gets worse confounded.So if we are conscious of the language we speak, MTI can be reduced considerably.To the maximum extent it can be corrected by continuous training and close observation of native speakers.

From India, Salem

I really like the explanation given by the member learningnovo. I would like to add the following...
It takes lot of years to speak in the way Englishmen speak. I wont say it is the influence of mother tounge. It is becasue the way you are taught and learned English from KG to what ever your learned in Universitites. Unfortunately None of our universities include dictionary in their syllabus. But all well known universities does it. Now we have an easy way. down load English-English dictionory in your adndroid mobile free from Google play store. The moment you click a work it will pronounce the word. Try it, repeat it again and again. You can speak international English(R P). Or that is the way English to be spoken.
The other influence you will have is from most of the people whom you talk daily. They may not like even the idea to improve their pronunciation.
You may also try other applications like idioms and phrases, proverbs etc. all are free of cost.
Warm Regards

From India, Mumbai

MTI - Mother Tongue Influence.
It refers to specially being observed in English Language in spoken form.
It is occurred in the spoken accent of an Individual while speaking English Language, owing to the spoken practice of one's mother tongue.
It can be eliminated only by practising the right pronunciation of English Language. For example, North Indians have the accent of pronouncing "SH" as "IS" . This is known as Mother Tongue Influence. While pronouncing "S" it is as "J" Example: the word "position" as "bojision.
It could be corrected by understanding the right pronunciation with the CD available in the Dictionary known as "CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH PRONOUNCING DICTIONARY-CD-ROM USER'S GUIDE. The price is Rs.400/- approx.
Of course, the CD gives you both American and British accent, but you may choose the neutral accent, i.e., our Indian accent which eliminates MTI.
Best wishes

From India, Pune

Though in the Indian context we think of MTI in relation to spoken English, the MTI can be found in the use of any second language. For example, please read and digest the content at Michael Swan | The influence of the mother tongue on second language vocabulary acquisition and use
Our children were born in the UK; though we spoke to them in both Tamil (our mother tongue) and Kannada (the regional language of my birth place), they can speak those languages with an "English" accent. Incidentally, my wife and I can't read or write in Tamil. Our Tamil is labeled as "Kannadiga Tamil" by Tamilians from Tamilnadu.
So, we may have to coin a new word "Primary language Influence", as our children's mother tongue is not English but that's their Primary language.

From United Kingdom

[QUOTE=sundar_mpm;2072236]MTI - Mother Tongue Influence.
..., but you may choose the neutral accent, i.e., our Indian accent which eliminates MTI.
Good answers to your question of reducing MTI. However, I definitely don't think the 'Indian accent' is Neutral! All of us, irrespective of our country or state of origin have some sort of an accent. One can at best pronounce many words the way native speakers of English do. Again this depends on whether one is aping the Brits or Americans. This is mainly done we hope to facilitate communication, especially if one's working in a BPO Industry
However, it's not only completely taxing but also ridiculous to make it our life's mission to perfectly imitate their accent. At best people sound like good mimics, at worst completely fake and obnoxious.
I personally love a natural Indian accent. This doesn't have the guttural articulation like some native speakers do. So be proud of your natural accent not try and kill it completely.

From India, Mysore

Ann Cook (master accent trainer) says that no accent is good or bad. They are just different.
Some trainers don't prefer the term 'neutral accent' as they say that it is redundant. They prefer to use 'Global Accent'.
'Acquiring a Global accent' is a process and it depends upon a person's job requirements or personal needs (e.g. someone shifts to another country). Acquiring an accent is different from imitating an accent.

From India, Delhi

It's just not MTI that causes problems; regional variations also do. For example, please see
From United Kingdom

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