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How to say foreigner

Had you asked me 10 years ago what words come up when I think of the word ‘foreigner’ I would have probably said: Difficulty, shame, struggle, barriers, accent.

Many things have changed for me in the past decade. And I’m not only talking about my accent.

As my work enabled me to dive deep into the essence of being different and ‘foreign’ by working with people who struggle not just with expressing themselves in a different language but also in dealing with cultural differences, different mentality and worldview – I realized how much strength, ambition and power is actually associated with being a foreigner.

I also came to terms with who I am and what I have to bring to the table as someone who is not an all-American speech coach.

So, if you asked the same question today I would say that ‘foreigner’ means to me courage, uniqueness, history, heritage, accomplishment.

What does it mean to you?


Hey guys, it’s Hadar and

this is the Accent’s Way

and today Abed Rahim

asked me to talk about

the word foreigner.

He says that he keeps

saying it as ‘for-reign-er’

and in fact, I’ve heard a

lot of people saying it this way

and I’ve heard ‘for-rain-er’ as well

or ‘for-en-er’ and you know what,

I have one word for you, ‘schwa’.

Because it’s all one big schwa.

There is no A and there

is no eh, it’s all reduced

except for the first

syllable so let’s start.

You begin with the ‘for’ as

in ‘door’, as in ‘norm’, okay?

‘For’, you start with an F sound

and then create an aw sound

by dropping jaw, raising

the back of the tongue

and rounding the lips just a bit.

‘Faw’, make sure not to bring

the tongue up for the R

too quickly ’cause then it’s

gonna sound like ‘furner’,

‘furener’, and that’s a different sound

and the whole word will sound

just like one big R, okay?

So, drop your jaw, keep

your tongue down, faw, faw,

and then bring the tongue

up, round your lips,

make sure that the sides

of the tongue touch

the insides of the upper teeth, ruh,

and release it to a schwa. ruh

That’s it, that’s the

middle syllable, ruh.

So simple, so short.

Faw-ruh, ruh, faw-ruh-n’r.

So that’s an N shound, another

schwa blended with the R,

so here you do wanna bring

the tongue up immediately

after the N, n’r, n’r.

It’s not ‘ner’, there is no ‘eh’ sound here.

N’r, faw-ruh-n’r.

Some people may pronounce

it with a more open sound,

fah, fah-ruh-n’r, okay?

But most people will reduce

it and round the lips

for an aw is in ‘door’.


Foreigner, or on the other

hand we have the word foreign.

I’m speaking a foreign language.

Or she’s a foreigner.

Or I’m no longer a foreigner.

Okay, that’s it, I think this

word is relevant for all of us

’cause we’re all

foreigners and we are proud

of being a foreigner so we

need to know how to say it.


Okay, so, that’s it.

Thank you for watching,

please share this video

with your friends if you liked it

and come on over to my

website to check it out

and get more great stuff

that is just sitting

and waiting for you there, okay?

So go check it out.

Have a great week and I will see you next week

in the next video.


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