Studying to pronounce English phrases appropriately could be one of many hardest elements of studying English, particularly if there are sounds that your native language doesn’t have otherwise you are likely to get tripped up by tough vowel pronunciation.
That’s why I’ve 15 suggestions for you, that will help you pronounce even the trickiest English phrases appropriately.
1. Be taught to pay attention.
Earlier than you learn to converse, you’ll have to learn to pay attention. Some sounds could be exhausting to inform aside whenever you’re listening. Did the speaker sleep or slip? Did he harm his chin or his shin? In case you can hear the distinction, it is going to be simpler to talk the distinction.
There are a lot of guides to get you began in studying to pay attention. We have now some nice articles right here about studying to pay attention from motion pictures, songs and music and podcasts. You too can discover listening workouts on-line, like this one from Rong-chang.
The pronunciation follow at Many Issues is absolutely slick, particularly its large collection of classes on minimal pairs. Minimal pairs are pairs of phrases like sleep and slip, which might be solely totally different by one sound. You possibly can click on on every phrase to listen to an entire sentence with every, then quiz your self within the second field and click on the proper reply.
2. Be taught with the very best English pronunciation dictionaries on-line.
You most likely already use a dictionary to translate English phrases, however on-line or digital dictionaries can provide many further advantages, together with pronunciation guides. These sorts of dictionaries are among the most helpful instruments you possibly can have for training English pronunciation. Better of all, they’re obtainable on-line without cost!
Listed below are among the greatest pronunciation dictionaries you’ll find and use on-line.
You might have already used Google Translate throughout your English research. Google Translate is an easy-to-use translator that additionally gives pronunciation guides for single phrases and entire sentences. As quickly as you get to Google Translate’s interface, you possibly can lookup any phrase and it offers you quite a few definitions and an audio pronunciation.
In case you’re simply searching for pronunciation assist, kind in Google search “easy methods to say (insert phrase).” You’re going to get each an audio pronunciation information (which you’ll decelerate) and a visible information that exhibits how your mouth ought to transfer when saying the phrase.
Many dictionaries don’t have pronunciation recordings made by an precise native speaker, and most don’t provide you with good examples of easy methods to use phrases in context. Dictionaries can be inefficient to make use of since you possibly can’t know which definition out of a number of potentialities you’re searching for.
FluentU’s video and audio dictionary try to right these issues. This system has many movies that provide you with context and allow you to hear phrases in pure conditions, like in film trailers, commercials, inspirational talks, music movies and extra. It makes use of these movies to help its dictionary and provide you with particular definitions proper from the subtitles of a video.
For instance, after I did a search throughout the program for “date,” right here’s what this system confirmed me:
But when I’m watching a clip from “Associates” and I wish to know what Monica means when she says “date,” I can hover my mouse over the phrase and see the proper definition:
If I click on on the phrase, I may even see different movies that use the phrase with that very same that means for extra examples. I can even add the phrase to a vocabulary checklist as a flashcard.
FluentU gives native pronunciation at each step of the best way: within the transcripts, subtitles, instance sentences and even within the quizzes that observe movies and evaluate flashcard decks.
Forvo is a user-generated pronunciation information by which native audio system submit audio clips of themselves saying sure phrases or phrases. You possibly can lookup a phrase, study its definition and hearken to how totally different individuals from totally different locations say it. There are additionally pronunciations for entire sentences and phrases as effectively!
Forvo is well-liked as a result of actual persons are those talking the phrases. You too can see how sure audio system are ranked of their pronunciations; the pronunciations with probably the most likes stands out as the ones it is best to concentrate on.
As a result of the audio submissions can come from everywhere in the world, you possibly can hearken to how the identical phrase is claimed in several regional accents; the significance of this will probably be mentioned in additional element afterward.
Merriam-Webster is also called “America’s most helpful and well-known dictionary.” It’s no shock then that it’s right here on this checklist! The dictionary provides detailed definitions and details about the phrases you lookup, in addition to clear, good-quality audio pronunciations.
You too can obtain the free app model of this dictionary, which comes with some particular options. With the app, you possibly can seek for phrases by talking them out loud into your machine’s microphone—that is nice for whenever you don’t know easy methods to spell a phrase, nevertheless it’s additionally good talking follow. If there are any phrases that curiosity you, it can save you them into your individual “favorites” checklist.
WordReference is a useful multilingual dictionary. It helps translations for lots of languages, so in case your native language is included, you’ll find a phrase in English by writing it out in your language, or seek for English phrases and get translations in your language. That is very useful whenever you wish to be sure you’re getting the appropriate translations.
WordReference additionally enables you to hearken to audio pronunciations in several English accents, greater than many different dictionaries. Most on-line dictionaries may provide one British pronunciation and one American pronunciation, however WordReference additionally specifies different particular accents reminiscent of Irish, Scottish, American Southern and even Jamaican. After you lookup a phrase, you possibly can click on on the “Hear” button to choose the accent you wish to hear and alter the pace of the audio.
Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries
Oxford’s on-line dictionary, offered by the well-respected Oxford College Press, is a good useful resource for newbie learners. Typically, dictionaries can provide a number of data that may make issues complicated—Oxford’s dictionary takes out a number of the confusion and offers you the primary belongings you want. The definitions are written in an easy-to-understand method and also you get loads of instance sentences that present you ways the phrase is used.
The dictionary has two pronunciation choices: you possibly can hearken to the phrase spoken in British English or in American English. The pronunciations are achieved by totally different female and male people (not robots!), which could be nice in your listening follow.
Collins On-line Dictionary
This dictionary provides most of what the opposite listed dictionaries have, however with some further audio options. When you lookup a phrase, Collins dictionary additionally gives audio pronunciation of the phrase in its totally different types (reminiscent of in previous tense or participle type). There are even audio pronunciations for the instance sentences that present the phrase in use, which could be very helpful whenever you wish to follow talking in entire phrases.
Collins dictionary gives barely totally different definitions: the primary “Collins” definition, the second “British English” definition and the third “American English” definition. With every definition part, you possibly can hear both the British or American pronunciation of the phrase. In some instances, there could even be a video clip of an actual individual saying the phrase!
One factor to notice is that the instance sentence pronunciations are achieved by a text-to-speech robotic as an alternative of a human. Nevertheless, the voice doesn’t sound too unnatural or unusual, so you possibly can nonetheless discover these pronunciations useful!
A dictionary is a examine instrument that you just’ll at all times wish to have round whenever you’re learning and training English. In case you ever study a brand new phrase and aren’t certain easy methods to pronounce it, then a dictionary with audio features can provide you quick assist.
3. Discover how your mouth and lips transfer.
Whenever you converse, you progress your mouth. How you progress your mouth impacts the way you pronounce a phrase.
Step one to correcting your mouth form is to note it and listen. There are a couple of methods you possibly can verify that your mouth and lips are making the proper form:
- Use a mirror. That is by far the best approach to inform what your mouth is doing when you speak.
- Put a finger in entrance of your lips (such as you’re saying “shh”). As you converse, don’t transfer your finger. You must really feel your lips shifting away from or pushing towards your finger.
Watch different individuals and spot the form their mouth and lips make once they speak. Strive following alongside together with your favourite TV present or film. Are you able to repeat the faces and sounds that the actors are making?
There are guides and photos on-line that can assist you to learn to transfer your mouth. Sounds of English has some good explanations for announcing particular phrases. This information is for individuals making 3D animations, however the photos are a fantastic begin to understanding how your mouth ought to look whenever you converse.
You too can discover nice movies displaying easy methods to correctly type the mouth and lip shapes whenever you’re talking, like this one from Georgie Harding:
Feeling stiff? Loosen up your mouth and tongue and prepare to follow your speech with this enjoyable warm-up train from Howcast!
4. Take note of your tongue.
The primary distinction between rice and lice is in your tongue. Whenever you converse, you progress your tongue to make sounds. You most likely didn’t even discover that, because you do it with out considering. To enhance your English pronunciation, it’s a good suggestion to verify what your tongue is doing.
Some tough sounds for non-native audio system to make are the letters “L” and “R,” and the sound “TH.” Announcing them appropriately is all within the tongue!
Try this video about to learn to pronounce 20 of probably the most generally used phrases in English:
There are a lot of different pronunciation guides on YouTube, so go searching for one which helps you grasp the sounds of the language!
In case you can’t work out what to do together with your tongue to make the appropriate sound, strive asking somebody. Ask them to say a phrase with that sound, then inform you the place they put their tongue. They’ve most likely by no means considered it earlier than, both!
5. Break phrases down into sounds.
Phrases are made up of syllables, or elements. The phrase “syllable,” for instance, has three syllables: syl-la-ble. Turning phrases into elements could make them simpler to pronounce.
To verify what number of syllables a phrase has, place your hand flat just below your chin. Say the phrase slowly. Every time your chin touches your hand, that’s a syllable.
You possibly can even write the phrase down in elements. Depart an area or draw a line between every syllable (each syllable ought to have no less than one vowel: a, e, i, o, u, y). Now strive saying the phrase. Say it slowly and pause after every syllable. Isn’t that simpler?
In case you’re having hassle with syllables, you possibly can take a look at How Many Syllables. This web site exhibits you the syllables in any phrase you lookup, and even exhibits you easy methods to pronounce it.
6. Add stress to sounds and phrases.
English is a pressured language. Meaning some phrases and sounds are extra vital than others. You possibly can hear this whenever you say a phrase out loud. For instance, the phrase “introduce” is pronounced with a stress on the finish, so it feels like this: “in-tro-DUCE.”
Typically, the place you set the stress in a phrase can change the phrase’s that means. Say this phrase out loud: “current.” In case you stated “PREsent,” you’re speaking a few noun which means both “proper this second” or “a present.” In case you stated “preSENT,” you’re speaking a few verb which means “to provide or present.”
You might want to do not forget that most two-syllable nouns are pressured on the primary syllable, and most two-syllable verbs are pressured on the second syllable (like “current”).
If this all sounds too difficult, don’t fear about memorizing all these guidelines—one of the simplest ways to study is by listening and training. Keep in mind that most native English audio system don’t know the principles, both—they only say what “sounds proper.” With sufficient follow, you will get what sounds proper, too.
This video about six frequent English errors goes over phrase stress intimately within the first level:
Maintain watching the remainder of the video for different helpful suggestions for avoiding among the commonest English learner errors.
Watch this video from mmmEnglish for extra details about syllable stress in English:
Sentences have stresses too; some phrases are extra vital, and are stated with extra readability and energy than the remainder of the sentence. Strive studying this sentence aloud: “I ate some toast with butter within the morning.”
The sentence ought to have gave the impression of this (the daring phrases are the pressured ones): “I ate some toast with butter within the morning.” Discover the way you decelerate each time you get to an vital phrase, and shortly cross over the much less vital ones?
Maintain training by studying out loud, having conversations and listening effectively to the place others place stress once they converse.
7. Ask your self which dialect of English you wish to study.
Selecting your dialect of English is among the first choices to make in your English-learning journey. Not solely it should decide a lot of the vocabulary you study however can even drastically have an effect on your pronunciation.
The 2 commonest forms of English for ESL college students are most likely American English and British English.
Selecting which sort will have an effect on the way you pronounce sounds. For instance, in America, the “r” sound on the finish of a phrase is way harsher.
And when a “t” seems in the course of a phrase, Individuals typically pronounce it as a “d,” whereas the British pronounce it as a tough “t.” Consider phrases like “water,” “no matter” or “lighter.”
When you’ve chosen which dialect of English you wish to tackle, base your learning strategies and instruments on that call.
Watching motion pictures and TV exhibits are implausible methods to study English and decide up accents. I significantly love watching TV collection, as a result of you could have hours of content material, and also you study to know characters’ accents over time.
In case you’re searching for a British TV present, I like to recommend “The Crown,” a drama about Queen Elizabeth II. I additionally love “The Nice British Baking Present.” This actuality present is lighthearted and enjoyable to look at, and also you’ll decide up fashionable slang.
How about English exhibits? “Associates” is a traditional choice for studying English, and plenty of Individuals will love to speak about it with you. “Brooklyn 9-9” is a sitcom that’s at the moment on the air that facilities round cops (policemen and ladies) in New York Metropolis.
Try this video breaking down a scene from “Associates” the place Monica and Chandler focus on what to do with their further bed room to learn to pronounce generally used phrases in American English:
If you wish to study British English, LearnEnglish Sounds Proper will present an English pronunciation information for individuals wanting to realize a British accent, and you’ll obtain it in your iOS or Android machine.
As you possibly can see, your alternative of dialect will have an effect on each different resolution you make relating to English pronunciation!
8. Exaggerate sure sounds (make them larger).
Relying in your native language and which dialect of English you’re learning, you could discover sure sounds to be tough. Really, I feel each ESL scholar I’ve met who’s studying American English struggles with the American “r” sound!
So how do you grasp a tough sound like this?
Imagine it or not, exaggerating these sounds will possible make it simpler for native audio system to know you. You might assume you sound corny since you aren’t used to creating these sounds. However for a local speaker, you’ll sound far more genuine than a foreigner who’s shy about these sounds.
Exaggerate. Exaggerate the sound till you are feeling ridiculous. Exaggerate till you’re certain it’s so excessive that persons are going to make enjoyable of you.
What’s the purpose? Ultimately, you’ll be so used to the form your mouth makes that you just received’t take heed to exaggerating, and also you received’t be considering of English pronunciation guidelines as you converse. And that’s when you recognize you’re on the trail to fluency.
9. Write out tough phrases by their sounds.
Having hassle with sure phrases? Strive writing them out.
No, not simply the phrase. Strive writing it out phonetically (by its sounds as an alternative of its spelling).
Let’s say you’re combating the phrase pizza. Write it out phonetically: piːtsə.
Whenever you take a look at the phonics, you possibly can see that the double-z is pronounced like a “ts.”
Strive making flashcards. Write the phrase on one facet, then spell it out phonetically on the opposite facet. If it helps, you possibly can spotlight the letters on all sides that you just’re testing your self on. (This may be particularly helpful for visible learners!)
Writing issues out phonetically could be tough, particularly if it’s in your second language. In case you need assistance, go to EasyPronunciation.com. Sort within the phrase or sentence you need assistance with, and the web site will transcribe it phonetically for you. (Bonus—it enables you to select between American and British English!)
10. Write down what you hear.
Wish to grasp English pronunciation? Sit down and pay attention. Hearken to somebody converse and write down what they’re saying.
You is likely to be considering, “Hey, I’m right here to follow English talking, not listening!”
Nevertheless, listening is a wonderful means to enhance English pronunciation.
In my highschool French lessons, we needed to take dictation (write what the trainer stated) each week. The trainer spoke for 20 minutes, and we needed to write down precisely what she stated. Attempting to decipher her accent and write down what we heard made me perceive French spelling and pronunciation higher.
Don’t have an English trainer who needs to speak aloud for 20 minutes at your disposal? There are many methods to discover a useful resource!
EnglishClub is a good dictation web site, no matter your studying stage. Select from elementary, intermediate or superior dictation.
You’ll hearken to the dictation as soon as at regular pace. Then a second time at a slowed-down pace so you possibly can write it down. Hear for a 3rd time at a standard pace. Then verify your reply.
YouTube additionally has many choices to follow your listening and writing abilities. Get began with Converse English with Vanessa’s Dr. Seuss dictation video:
You too can watch a scene from a TV present or film and write down what you hear. In case you’re watching on a service that gives subtitles, play the scene once more with subtitles to verify your work.
In case you acknowledge tough sounds whenever you hear them, it’s possible that you just’ll learn to say them.
11. Follow with tongue twisters.
When talking English, do you typically wrestle with related sounds (like “sh” and “ch,” “t” and “th” or the quick and lengthy “e” sounds)? Don’t fear—you’re not the one one.
Tongue twisters could be a enjoyable (however tough!) approach to follow differentiating between two sounds. They’re poems that may be exhausting to recite as a result of a number of the sounds are related.
In English-speaking international locations, individuals say them simply because it’s humorous whenever you mess up and sound foolish. And it’s satisfying whenever you lastly grasp the poem!
Listed below are a couple of examples of standard, efficient English tongue twisters—this one’s nice for training the “s” and “sh” sounds:
That’s a really well-known tongue tornado. However when you’ve acquired that down, strive including on a couple of much less well-known traces:
Alright, now let’s strive one to follow the “cl” and “cr” sounds:
And now one for the “sh” and “ch” sounds:
Wish to follow totally different sounds with tongue twisters? Check out this checklist.
You too can hear some tongue twisters spoken by a local English speaker on Rachel’s English (and see that even native audio system can have hassle mastering these tough twisters!):
12. Use pronunciation podcasts and movies.
There are some wonderful video and audio guides on English pronunciations that you need to use to enhance. The English Language Membership has movies that present easy methods to make totally different sounds in English. Rachel’s English has pleasant movies on easy methods to converse and pronounce American English in on a regular basis conversations.
In case you like podcasts higher, Pronuncian has over 200 audio information that assist with every little thing from pronunciation to emphasize and pitch (the way you elevate and decrease your voice when you converse).
If none of those are what you’re searching for, there are lots of extra to select from. Discover the one which’s best for you.
13. File your self.
One approach to inform if all of your follow is working is to document your self with a digicam. Use a digicam and don’t only a sound recorder as a result of it’s vital to see the way you converse, not solely hear it.
You don’t have to obtain any particular software program to document your self; most computer systems and cellular gadgets have built-in video recorders. You need to use PhotoBooth on a Mac or Film Moments on a Home windows pc. The precise packages change with time (the Film Moments program, as an illustration, may not be obtainable anymore by the point you learn this) however so long as a pc has a digicam, it is best to be capable to document movies with it. Your cellphone or cellular machine additionally has a video capturing app, normally as a part of the digicam app.
Evaluate your recording to another person saying the identical phrases or sounds. Discover a video of your favourite half from a film. Select one or two sentences and document your self making an attempt to match the stress, tone and pronunciation of the video. Then you possibly can evaluate the 2, see what you probably did otherwise and check out once more.
Ask a good friend or watch a video to verify. In case your pronunciation doesn’t sound the identical, ask your self some questions: Are you shifting your mouth the appropriate means? Is your tongue in the appropriate place? Are you stressing the appropriate a part of the phrase? Use every little thing you’ve realized on this article thus far!
14. Follow with a buddy.
As at all times, “Follow makes good!” And it’s simpler to follow with a good friend. Discover somebody to follow pronunciation with, both in individual or via on-line communities like Language Alternate or InterPals.
Training with a buddy (good friend) offers you an opportunity to strive every little thing you realized, and study new issues from one another. Plus, it’s enjoyable!
15. Converse as a lot as you possibly can.
In case you don’t converse typically, you possibly can change into nervous when it’s lastly time to open your mouth and say one thing in English.
It’s like enjoying basketball. You is likely to be good at operating, dribbling and passing, however by no means shoot the ball.
When it’s time to play and also you get an opportunity to shoot, it will be exhausting. You could possibly even change into so nervous by doing one thing new in entrance of different those that your nerves paralyze you.
It’s the identical with talking English. Not solely do you want English pronunciation follow, however it’s essential recover from your nerves so that you just really feel comfy talking in entrance of others. Nerves can result in a number of errors, particularly relating to pronunciation.
Strive making a rule for your self: You could converse English to your self at house. To start out, strive simply narrating what you’re doing whenever you’re cooking dinner or preparing for mattress.
Promise your self that you just’re going to talk aloud for no less than a couple of minutes per day.
Pronunciation is as vital to studying English as vocabulary and grammar. Thanks to those 15 suggestions, you’ll quickly be in your approach to announcing English like a local.
And keep in mind: follow makes good!