Pronunciation

Perfect your pronunciation

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How can we have perfect English pronunciation? It can be easy if you follow the correct guidance and read material with all the hard pronunciation errors pointed out to you from the get-go, such as; diphthongs, ‘sts’, and the ‘ed’ suffix etc. It’s vital you get these sounds sorted out from the very beginning.

Down below I’ve taken an excerpt from the BBC and located all the hard bits for you to pronounce, and then highlighted in bold where you need to be extra careful with diphthongs etc. Plus I’ve colour-coded all the ‘ed’ suffixes so you’ll know how to produce the correct sounds by the colour of the suffixes. (more…)

Pronunciation

Quick introduction to IPA

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International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

The International Phonetic Alphabet is a system of phonetic notation that assigns a unique symbol to each sound that we can find in a language. Its symbols are applicable to any language, that is, if two different languages feature the same sound, the exact same symbol is going to be used to transcribe it. Let’s see an example: (more…)

Pronunciation

Why having “an accent” is not a bad thing

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One thing I’ve noticed virtually all language learners want to achieve, as soon as they can, is getting rid of their accent. That is, the specific phonetic features of their speech that are a dead giveaway of the speaker’s first language. And when it comes to native accents, most learners seem to have made their choice – whether their preference leans towards the old prestige, fancier British accent, or the modern, hollywood reminiscent and snappier American accent. Because, let’s be honest, nobody really thinks of beautiful New Zealand as their first choice (anyone?).