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Pronounciation

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It is important to learn how to pronounce words because sometimes the way words are said could mean something completely different or you will find people still don't understand you. To do this it is a good idea to get a video or sound clip of words that you have troubles with so that you are able to play back and repeat what you are hearing.

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3 hours ago, NATASHA said:

It is important to learn how to pronounce words because sometimes the way words are said could mean something completely different or you will find people still don't understand you. To do this it is a good idea to get a video or sound clip of words that you have troubles with so that you are able to play back and repeat what you are hearing.

 

Well said! I agree 100% I'd just like to add that with pronunciation, repetition is the key. Listen to your native speaking source (video, audio, or actual native speaker) and repeat and compare to the native speaking source. Repeat and compare. Repeat and compare. Just like an actor practicing for an accent specific role.  Once you are confident that you sound as close as you possibly can, then repeat the phrase over and over again until you feel comfortable with it and it just rolls off of your tongue.

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Pronunciation is by far one of the most important things that you should master when learning a new language. Apart from the fact that words could have different meanings when not pronounced correctly, not pronouncing words correctly is also a giveaway that you are not really fluent in a certain language and should practice more. Only through practice can you master pronunciation.

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We have a lot of ongoing threads about pronunciation. You might wanna have a look at this one here:

Or use the search function to get more threads about the importance of pronunciation.

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I actually just finished up a research paper about pronunciation and accents for my graduate program.

The relationship between accent and pronunciation is completely inseparable.  For English, the two most taught accents are Receive Pronunciation (Queen's English) and General American.  Typically learners like to focus their English studies on a popular accent and learn that pronunciation.  It's hard for someone who is a NS of English to not teach towards their own accent, but I think it's important to expand your students' input in the classroom from one general accent to others.  Perhaps the other accents could include some fluent NNSs and other NS accents.  If you don't expose them to these other pronunciations, could it harm their learning? That's not necessarily proven, but it's good to walk into a classroom with the concept of English being an International Language and not one that is bound to a certain group just because that's where you learned to pronounce it. :)

I'm geeking out over here.

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I have one of the hardest time with pronunciation.  I need to hear a word several times before I am able to pronounce it correctly.  I believe this is why I have a hard time with online language study guides.  I need to have someone help correction me when I need it. 

I also have a hard time learning a language by simply studying or reading it.  I find the easiest way for me is to engage in conversation and get corrected.   

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I wrote something similar in this topic yesterday in another thread, and yes you're totally right. I've been taking French lessons for two years now and even though my vocabulary list is pretty long right now, when I listen to a French person speaking I can barely get anything because of the pronunciation. I do listen and receive my lessons with audios that feature native French speakers but still can't pronounce as they do. When I watch a French movie, for example, I don't understand a thing because they talk so fast and with this smooth and perfect accent that even if I know the words that are being spoken I don't get them. I blame this to the pronunciation issue you're talking about.

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I have found that many can communicate in the language but if the pronouncing is incorrect then you have trouble understanding what the person is saying. I think it would harm the learning in a way because not being understood even when you are trying so hard to learn a language, can make you despondent and you might feel like giving up

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I use two websites to check my pronunciation. For English, I mostly use howjsay.com and for other languages I use forvo.com which is an amazing site that offers audio clips of native speakers pronouncing words. I think the best way to acquire a good pronunciation is by listening to the native tone/flow.

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Whenever I am not sure about the pronunciation of certain words I use this site: http://forvo.com/languages/nl/    Other languages are available as well.  While creating my Memrise course this site has helped me enormously to find the pronunciation of words that  are unknown to me :)  I love it!     I don't know what I'd do without it. 

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On 12/6/2015, 1:49:31, KimmyMarkks said:

I have one of the hardest time with pronunciation.  I need to hear a word several times before I am able to pronounce it correctly.  I believe this is why I have a hard time with online language study guides.  I need to have someone help correction me when I need it. 

I also have a hard time learning a language by simply studying or reading it.  I find the easiest way for me is to engage in conversation and get corrected.   

 

Hahaha, same here!  Sometimes  a word is harder to pronounce than others, so I need to listen to it several times.   Sometimes I need to review a word several times before I memorize it, this is the case now that I am learning Dutch :)  I believe that working on my own Memrise course is helping me though, because I am adding the auio myself, and I often have to repeat the same word over and over while the recording process, I do so until I get it right and then I proceed to upload it on the site. 

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16 hours ago, Trellum said:

 

Hahaha, same here!  Sometimes  a word is harder to pronounce than others, so I need to listen to it several times.   Sometimes I need to review a word several times before I memorize it, this is the case now that I am learning Dutch :)  I believe that working on my own Memrise course is helping me though, because I am adding the auio myself, and I often have to repeat the same word over and over while the recording process, I do so until I get it right and then I proceed to upload it on the site. 

Wow Dutch is a difficult language to learn.  Good for you!  Yeah I definitely struggle with this the most.  I have no problem reading a foreign language I just for some reason can't memorize how to pronounce it! 

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8 hours ago, KimmyMarkks said:

Wow Dutch is a difficult language to learn.  Good for you!  Yeah I definitely struggle with this the most.  I have no problem reading a foreign language I just for some reason can't memorize how to pronounce it! 

 

You think so?  I've been learning it for one year (not seriously thought), only started to study it more seriously recently (one month).  At first I got kinda scared wen I noticed the fact the second verb always is at the end and other weird rules regarding to word order.  Word order was and still is my biggest problem, but I think I'm starting to get it :)  I have no choice really. 

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7 hours ago, Trellum said:

 

You think so?  I've been learning it for one year (not seriously thought), only started to study it more seriously recently (one month).  At first I got kinda scared wen I noticed the fact the second verb always is at the end and other weird rules regarding to word order.  Word order was and still is my biggest problem, but I think I'm starting to get it :)  I have no choice really. 

If you're talking about "daarom" and "omdat", do you remember how I talked about "want"?
I often suggest foreigners to use "want" instead of the other 2 if they are below B1 level.

This is why:
English: I am home, because I am addicted.
Dutch with "omdat": Ik ben thuis, omdat ik verslaafd ben.
Dutch with "daarom": Ik ben verslaafd, daarom ben ik thuis.
Dutch with "want": Ik ben thuis, want ik ben verslaafd.

Admitted, the sentence is a bit bullshit.
But it still demonstrates the different word order of 3 sentences that mean exactly the same thing.

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Exactly what I used to do while learning English. A lot of repetitions, almost considering myself a parrot at once. :)

I used to do the thing with the cassette tapes and my old radio, and record myself, thought my voice sounded so funny. But, it helped. Repetition is the to successful and correct pronunciation, if you have learned the correct pronunciation prior to your repetitions - you may be learning a  wrong way to pronounce the word all along, which may later affect your learning process. Once you learn it in a wrong way, it is very hard to correct your pronunciation later, plus it requires a lot more work.

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15 hours ago, Blaveloper said:

If you're talking about "daarom" and "omdat", do you remember how I talked about "want"?
I often suggest foreigners to use "want" instead of the other 2 if they are below B1 level.

This is why:
English: I am home, because I am addicted.
Dutch with "omdat": Ik ben thuis, omdat ik verslaafd ben.
Dutch with "daarom": Ik ben verslaafd, daarom ben ik thuis.
Dutch with "want": Ik ben thuis, want ik ben verslaafd.

Admitted, the sentence is a bit bullshit.
But it still demonstrates the different word order of 3 sentences that mean exactly the same thing.

 

Thank you!  As usual a very clear and good explanation, very nicely done.  The colors really make it much better :)   I will stick to Want for a bit ;)   You should really consider teaching Dutch!  

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pronounciation is so important as it can completely alter what you express to say and it might mean something very different if you cannot pronounce the word correctly.

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It is very important that you understand the pronunciations of different words in the language that you are learning, because in many languages, two words spelled the same, but pronounced differently have different meanings. You would not want to look foolish in a conversation by pronouncing a word incorrectly and changing the meaning of what you said completely. Also, learning the correct pronunciation of words in the language you are learning will increase your proficiency and knowledge in that language. I know that personally, learning Spanish is difficult because of the accent marks on each word, which changes the meaning of what you are saying completely.

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28 minutes ago, sofia.lopez said:

It is very important that you understand the pronunciations of different words in the language that you are learning, because in many languages, two words spelled the same, but pronounced differently have different meanings. You would not want to look foolish in a conversation by pronouncing a word incorrectly and changing the meaning of what you said completely. Also, learning the correct pronunciation of words in the language you are learning will increase your proficiency and knowledge in that language. I know that personally, learning Spanish is difficult because of the accent marks on each word, which changes the meaning of what you are saying completely.

I think it's more an issue to languages that don't have any variations, like Polish, Mandarin, etc.
Because I don't see why an American and a Brit would misunderstand each other due to pronunciations (notable example: "can't" (as in "cannot"), Americans say something like "khent", while Brits say more like "kaahnt") and yet both understand each others "can't" perfectly fine.

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Whenever in doubt about pronunciation, I use Google translate to listen the word or phrase, then repeating it until I have the correct pronunciation in mind... or at least the closer if Google is not that good with this.

There are also some speech engines online that help but synthetic voices may not compare with natural speaking clips.

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I agree that pronuntiation is very important.
What I usually do is watch films or tv shows with subtitles in the goal language, then i try to keep in mind the pronuntiation of the words that i have a little trouble and repeat them properly through the day.. Another thing that i usually do is repeat what i am reading out loud in order to get used to pronouncing words in the goal language the more, the merrier.

They also say that repeating the trouble words in a exaggerated way helps to pronounce them better but i have not tried it yet.

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On ‎12‎/‎4‎/‎2015‎ ‎5‎:‎56‎:‎10‎, Yessica11 said:

I actually just finished up a research paper about pronunciation and accents for my graduate program.

The relationship between accent and pronunciation is completely inseparable.  For English, the two most taught accents are Receive Pronunciation (Queen's English) and General American.  Typically learners like to focus their English studies on a popular accent and learn that pronunciation.  It's hard for someone who is a NS of English to not teach towards their own accent, but I think it's important to expand your students' input in the classroom from one general accent to others.  Perhaps the other accents could include some fluent NNSs and other NS accents.  If you don't expose them to these other pronunciations, could it harm their learning? That's not necessarily proven, but it's good to walk into a classroom with the concept of English being an International Language and not one that is bound to a certain group just because that's where you learned to pronounce it. :)

I'm geeking out over here.

I get what you are saying about expanding the students' learning, but how could you possibly teach all of the accents in a language?  Let's take American, for example.  We have Mid-Atlantic, Bostonian, Southern, Midwestern and New England, just to name a few.  Most of them have not only their own accent, but their own words, as well.  I'm not sure how you can fit all of that into a curriculum.  Mentioning it to them so that they are aware is one thing, but I have no idea how anyone would have the time to teach/learn all of that.

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This is where I struggle the most. Even when speaking English, sometimes I commit mistakes when it comes to pronunciation. And for a language like Korean, they do have certain accents and pronunciation techniques as well. So you have to look out for that, because if you don't, you aren't really grasping the whole concept of the language. So I like watching television series because that has helped me learn a lot about pronunciation of different words whether in English or in Korean.

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On 1/17/2016, 5:01:24, czarina84 said:

I get what you are saying about expanding the students' learning, but how could you possibly teach all of the accents in a language?  Let's take American, for example.  We have Mid-Atlantic, Bostonian, Southern, Midwestern and New England, just to name a few.  Most of them have not only their own accent, but their own words, as well.  I'm not sure how you can fit all of that into a curriculum.  Mentioning it to them so that they are aware is one thing, but I have no idea how anyone would have the time to teach/learn all of that.

I don't think we should teach all of the accents, just expose the students.  Like you said, it's impossible to teach all of them.  I know that I cannot even successfully imitate the majority of American accents.  I'm Southern, so I have a southern accent.  

On the other hand, I believe when we teach English as a second or foreign language, our speech is altered.  I have noticed that when I speak to people whose first language is not English, I tend to minimize my accent in order to be easily understood.  I have spoken with other ESL instructors who say the same thing.  Because of the altering, they are not taught a specifically southern American accent, but probably a more general one.  I hope that makes sense.

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It is important to learn how to pronounce words because sometimes the way words are said could mean something completely different or you will find people still don't understand you. To do this it is a good idea to get a video or sound clip of words that you have troubles with so that you are able to play back and repeat what you are hearing. 

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