When you think of Fran Drescher in her role as The Nanny, what thought first comes to mind? Her beauty or her nasal voice? For many people, their first thought is her whiny voice which, over time, can be quite annoying, even nerve-wracking, for her listeners. While Drescher’s infamous sound is typical of some who live in North Jersey or one of the five boroughs of New York City, nasality doesn’t just affect those in the Big Apple or the Garden State!
Nasality is found in many regions of the United States as well as in some areas of Canada; and, it involves sending more of your vocal sounds through your nose than necessary (or wanted). In the English language, we have 3 nasal sounds – the n, the m, and the ng. All words which have one or more of those sounds are called nasals and they will vibrate in your nose. The problem for those who have excessive nasal sound is that they are sending other sounds through their nose as well.
In addition, if you are sending your non-nasal sounds through your nose when you speak, there is a very good possibility that you are also producing excessive nasality on your nasal sounds, which can make your words even more strident and harsh. Words like many, Maine, finger, and Nancy certainly should vibrate. The question is how much?
To see if you are a nose-talker, take this test:
Place your middle fingers on each side of your nose – gently – you are just grazing your nose. There should be no pressure. Now say the word hay. Did you feel any vibration in your nose? If you did, then you have some nasality issues. Next, say the word he, again with your fingers gently grazing your nose. Did you notice any vibration?
In both of these instances, you should not have felt any vibration whatsoever because the words hay and he are not nasals. They have no business coming through your nose when you say them.
Now say the word go. Did you vibrate? Hopefully, you didn’t vibrate on that word because the long o sound is one of the lowest vowel sounds we produce in the back of the mouth and is the least likely to travel through the nasal passages. However, if you did vibrate on that word, then you indeed have a serious issue with extreme nasality.
For the sake of your listeners, learn how to talk without most of your words traveling through your nose for the journey – they will be most grateful.
If you would like to see a wonderful before and after change for a young woman who wanted to eliminate her nasality, watch Katie on the Before & After page of my website.