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Studying the IPA

Janderson Santos

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Hello guys, I'm new here and to my first post I'd like to talk about phonetics. I made a video about it, check it out:

So, do you enjoy studying Languages? Are you a polyglot? Someone that study professionaly the phonetics? What’s the importance of it to you? It helps me a lot to learn a new language. Comme on there, tell me what you think!!


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First, I think it's pretty cool and brave of you to post a video about this here. The video was really nicely done, and your English is quite fluid. You have a way to go on pronunciation, but it's great that you are working on it. 

I have very strong opinions about how pronunciation should be integrated into a language learning plan. 

1) The first thing you should do when learning a language is to master the alphabet and pronunciation of the phonemes, the smallest units of sound, in the language. Always listen before pronouncing for the first time, and listen periodically to check yourself. This is also the correct time to start listening to the language in general on a regular basis, just please don't do any reading, writing or conversing at this point or it can forever mar your pronunciation.

2) Then it's time to learn the pronunciation of words and sentences. I recommend listening to and repeating lots of native sentences. Pimsleur is perfect for this, but there are many other options. Ideally, after you've become comfortable listening to and repeating a sentence many times, you can read that sentence out loud, which marks the beginning of your reading component in a language. Only read stuff for which you've already mastered the listening and pronunciation at this point. After putting in many hours, and working on thousands of sentences this way, your pronunciation should be pretty good.

3) It's now safe to do anything you want with the language without seriously damaging your pronunciation. Continue to read out-loud as much as possible. Periodically check your own pronunciation, first by paying attention to it when you converse, second by recording it and checking it yourself, finally by asking for a native speaker's input. Keep doing this periodically, and you'll almost certainly have excellent pronunciation in the target language.

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