The Filipino accent often has similarities to the Spanish accent, largely due to the Spanish influence. Although there are similarities, there are distinct differences as well. Here are some sounds that you may find are challenging for you.
1. The “f” and “p” sounds are often confused Confusing the "f" and "p" sounds makes a very distinct pronunciation difference. Because it is distinct, mispronouncing these sounds will noticeably affect your accent.
The “p” and “f” sounds are formed completely differently in English.The “p” is formed by placing the lips together, then forcing out the air.To form the “f” sound, you will need to lightly bite your lower lip and push your voice and air out.The “f” sound needs to continue, while the “p” sound is very short.
The word “Filipino” may sound like “Filifino” The word “person” may sound like “ferson”
2. The “ih is often pronounced like “ee” These sounds are both made with the front of the tongue and are often difficult to distinguish for many people who speak English as a second language. Both the Spanish and Filipino languages pronounce the "ih" sound this way.
To pronounce the “ee” sound, you will need to smile, and place your tongue high in your mouth. You should feel the sides of your tongue pressing against your upper side teeth in the back of your mouth. You will feel your tongue tighten in your mouth.
When you say the “ih” sound, you should not feel any tension. Your mouth should feel relaxed and your lips will be flat. Your tongue is lower in your mouth and should be pressing against your side teeth.
The word “sit” will sound like “seat" The word “fill” will sound like “feel”
3. The “t” sound is often pronounced like “d” The “t” and “d” sounds are formed in exactly the same way. To form these sounds, begin by placing the tip of your tongue just behind your upper front teeth.Right now you form these sounds by pushing your tongue tip right up against the back of your upper teeth.You may even be sticking out your tongue slightly when you say these sounds. This way of pronouncing "t" and "d" is common to both Spanish and Filipino.
For the American English “t” and “d” sounds make sure you use just the tip of your tongue; avoid flattening out your tongue and pressing it against your teeth.In American English, the tongue tip never touches the back of the upper teeth for these sounds.
Feel your throat as you say “d.”You should feel it vibrate because you are using your voice to say it.When saying the “t” sound, you should not feel any vibration because you are not using your voice; only air is pushed out.This is the only difference between these two sounds in American English.
The word “to” will sound like “do” The word “tell” will sound like “dell”
"f" sound "p" sound
Your upper front teeth and lower lip must touch. Feel your lower lip vibrate as you continue the sound.
If you place your lips together and then force the sound out, you will create a "p" sound instead.
"ih" sound "ee" sound
Keep your lips flat and your tongue relaxed. Raise your tongue half way up in your mouth.
If you tense your tongue and raise it high in your mouth, you will feel it press against your upper side teeth. This will create the "ee" sound instead.
"t" sound "d" sound
Place the tip of your tongue behind your teeth and hold your breath. Push out air as you force the sound out.
The "d" is formed just like "t" only you will use your voice.