The New York dialect is a blend of many different languages and dialects. It is thought to have originated from the Dutch who settled in New York in the 1600s. The New York dialect also has influences from English, Irish, Italian, German, and Yiddish. This unique blend of languages makes the New York dialect unlike any other and so recognizable that you can easily pick out people who sound like a New Yorker.
The New York dialect is known for its distinctive pronunciation and vocabulary. Some of the most iconic features of the New York dialect include the “r” sound being pronounced as a “d” (ex: water becomes wader), dropping the “g” at the end of words (ex: going becomes goin’), and using words like “youse” (pronounced like you + s) and “ain’t”.
The Vowels: How to Pronounce Them
If you’re learning to speak like a New Yorker, you’ll need to perfect your pronunciation of the city’s vowel sounds. While some of these may be similar to the vowels in your own dialect, others will be distinctly different.
The first vowel sound is what’s known as a monophthong. This means that it’s pronounced with one uninterrupted motion of the tongue and lips. To produce this sound, start by saying /ɑ/ as in “father.” Next, round your lips as if you were about to say /o/ in “boat.” The result should be a long, drawn-out vowel sound that starts at the back of your throat and moves forward toward your teeth.
Like the vowel sound in “boat.” This vowel sound is also sometimes called a diphthong because it’s pronounced with two quick motions of the tongue. To pronounce this sound, start by saying, ae as in “pay”.
The Consonants: How to Pronounce Them
If you’re from New York, you know that the key to sounding like a local is nailing the pronunciation of certain words. And while some of these words might be easy to say, others can be quite tricky for out-of-towners.
The consonants in New York City can be difficult for outsiders to pronounce. There are many different dialects within the city, so it’s important to listen carefully and imitate the locals. Some common consonants that are often mispronounced include: “th” as in “the”: This one is tough for non-native speakers because we don’t have this sound in our own language.
Intonation and stress
To a New Yorker, intonation is everything. The way you say something can change its meaning entirely. For example, saying “I didn’t do it” with a rising intonation at the end could mean that you’re innocent, while saying it with a falling intonation could mean that you’re guilty.
Another important feature of New York speech is stress. In other dialects, words are stressed evenly throughout. But in New York, certain syllables are emphasized more than others.
Common words and phrases
When you’re trying to sound like a New Yorker, there are certain words and phrases you should use. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to the store,” you would say “I’m going to the bodega.” And instead of asking for a soda, you would ask for a seltzer.
Here are some tips to help you sound like a native New Yorker:
- Use slang words and expressions. Some popular examples include “dope,” “lit,” “on fleek,” and “go hard.”
- Speak quickly and with a lot of energy. New Yorkers are known for their fast-paced speech.
- Pronounce words differently than they are written.
New Yorkers have developed their own unique way of speaking that has been heavily influenced by the city’s linguistics. This dialect is characterized by its use of slang and its fast-paced cadence. For outsiders, it can be difficult to understand what natives are saying. But with a little practice, you can start to sound like a New Yorker in no time.