CRESS Simple Quick Start

You automatically learn tongue position from CRESS

Say the alphabet vowels…

Basic Vowels In CRESS use Tongue position order: Front to Back, High to Low Order

  • i as in pit (front, high)
  • e as in pet (front mid-low)
  • a as in father (central low)
  • u as in put (back high)
  • o as in port (back mid-low, ignore the r)

Tongue position is from left side of face (SEE DIAGRAM TODO)

Three OBVIOUS arrows show tongue ADJUSTMENTS in CRESS:

  • ^ means raise the tongue
  • < means front the tongue
  • > means back the tongue

Raised Vowels

Tongue position order: Front to Back High to Low Order

  • i^ as in pit, but raised in Pete  Pi^t (front, high)
  • e as in pet, but raised in paid  pe^d (front mid-low)
  • a as in father, but raised in put pa^t (central mid)
  • u as put but, raised in boot bu^t (back high)
  • o as in port, but raised in boat bo^t (back mid-low)

Consonants-Front to Back, most with NOTHING DIFFERENT TO LEARN

  • p pin b bin ( lips close at front, no tongue)
  • w wet  ( lips narrow at front, no tongue)
  • t tin d din (tongue tip behind upper teeth)
  • s sin z zen (tongue tip on ridge behind upper teeth)
  • l lit (tongue top on ridge behind upper teeth, air flow to sides)
  • r rip (tongue tip curled back toward middle of roof of mouth, or option further back)
  • y yet (tongue center raised to center of roof of mouth)
  • k kin g get (BUT NOT GIN) (back of tongue against roof of mouth)
  • h him (furthest back down in the voice box)

Some letters are not used: c, j (except advanced shortcut), q, x

Digraphs (two letters for one sound) are never used 

sh, ch, th, ph, ai, ae, ea, ee, ei, eo, eu ie eu, oa, oe, oo ou,ua ue ui uo 


  • When there are really TWO SPOKEN VOWELS: bye ai, bow au, boy oi
  • Or really TWO SPOKEN CONSONANTS: gin dz>in, chin ts>in 

Don’t use two letters when only one sound, can be hidden in traditional spelling

th as in ‘thin’ and ‘then’ (different but both tongue tip fronted between teeth)

  • t tin but push tongue forward < gives th as in thin, in CRESS t<in = “thin”
  • z zen when push tongue tip forward < symbol th as in then, in cress z<en = “then”

sh as in ‘shin’ 

  • s sin but pull tongue back to middle > gives sh as in shin, in CRESS s>in = “shin”

Beware of sounds hidden in traditional spelling

hidden ‘zh’ sound: s, as g in beige,  z in azure, s in measure, z as in azure (z sound with tongue tip backed toward center)

  • z zen but push tongue back > gives sound in beige, in CRESS z>in = “be^z^”