I once dated a Texan named Drew who made fun of the way I said his name. It seems that my pronunciation of his name sounds more like “jrew” than “drew”. I started thinking of other /dr/ clusters and I realized that I said most of them as /jr/, so what I say sounds more like jry, jragon, jrawer, and jrapes rather than dry, dragon, drawer, and drapes. Another interesting one is the /tr/ cluster that is sometimes recognized as /chr/ so that tree sounds more like chree.
So, how about you? Might be interesting to know from which part of the world you hail. For the record, I’m originally from New York City but I’ve moved around a lot.
This is a typical phonological phenomenon, at least for American English. The tongue position for the /r/-sound kinda mushes in with the tongue positions for /t/ and /d/, and you get something that sounds like out /ch/ and /j/, respectively. Linguists call this ‘assimilation’ — when two different sounds kinda moosh together like that.
Mine are very separate, but that may be because I revamped my childhood south’n accent to a very distinct way of speaking when I started teaching nawthen’rs and didn’t want to deal with the flak. When I’m tired or sick, I tend to revert, and those kids nail me every time.