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Questions tagged [pronunciation]

Questions about the sounds, intonation, and stress of how words are uttered or produced. When asking questions about learning or teaching the pronunciation of a specific language, pleased add a language-specific tag.

5
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1answer
43 views

The “gaps” between words in English

I am currently learning a language that does not have "gaps" in between words (Telugu). What is a "gap"? Many Telugu speakers, and Spanish or Italian speakers, perceive gaps or stops in between the ...
6
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0answers
46 views

How to speak a language that makes phonemic distinctions between /a/ and /aː/ if you're having trouble with /a/ and /aː/?

Title says it all. I'm talking specifically about Central Yiddish אַ = /a/ vs. ײַ = /aː/. My native language is American English.
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Is shadowing really a technique for interpreter trainees?

Shadowing is a technique for improving pronunciation popularised by the polyglot Alexander Arguelles. There are many YouTube videos about the technique; most of them don't demonstrate shadowing in the ...
7
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2answers
40 views

Spanish audio or video resources to practise shadowing

I am looking for audio and/or video resources in Spanish (as spoken in Spain, not Latin America) to practise shadowing. Shadowing is a technique that involves listening to audio and simultaneously ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

How can I improve my accent?

I can hear that I have some sort of non-native accent, but I just can't identify what's making me sound different. Is it the intonation and word stress? Are there certain words or sounds that I'm not ...
6
votes
1answer
59 views

Modern Hebrew alphabet pronunciation of י, ד, and ק?

Most letters in the Hebrew alphabet have only one pronunciation, but there are a few with two potential pronunciations. I know that both are acceptable, but how are Israeli kids taught to pronounce ...
6
votes
1answer
41 views

Learning Tahitian, having issues with comprehension

I'm taking a class at my school in Tahitian, it is the beginning level. However, I am having trouble with understanding and memorizing the words. I am a native English speaker and know Mandarin to a ...
6
votes
1answer
59 views

What is the impact of the new CEFR descriptors on learning the pronunciation of a foreign language?

Earlier this year, the Council of Europe publsihed an update to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or CEFR, more specifically the CEFR's Companion Volume. There was even a ...
5
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1answer
38 views

Which Konkani script is most similar to pronunciation?

The Konkani language is one of the official languages of India and is written in 5 different scripts, which are (in alphabetical order) Devanagari, Kannada, Latin, Malayalam, and Persian. For someone ...
3
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0answers
28 views

Which romanization system is closest to native pronunciation of Standard Mandarin?

The most commonly used Mandarin romanization systems are Hanyu Pinyin (most common by far), Gwoyeu Romatzyh (GR), and Wade-Giles (more common in Taiwan than China). Based on your experience, and ...
5
votes
2answers
36 views

How to find correct pronunciations for Portugal-Portuguese words and phrases?

I am going to Portugal soon to live for a couple of months and have a list of key phrases I think I'll be using a lot (a list of about 30 items). However I have been told that Google Translate only ...
3
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1answer
50 views

How to learn correct pronunciation of phrases

Some dictionaries providing transcriptions for some words. Some online dictionaries even provide a sound file for a single word. However it is sometimes useful to have a source of a phrase pronounced ...
8
votes
1answer
108 views

Is it possible for an adult to learn sounds of completely unrelated languages they have never heard before?

I once spent nearly an hour trying to show five Korean and Japanese adults the difference between English… British… European, come to that… “L” and “R” and not one of them could hear it, though we ...
5
votes
0answers
68 views

Accent/Pronunciation Feedback Software for German

Is there software that can listen to a sample of my German speech and give feedback on my accent and pronunciation? I wish to have an impartial party listen to my speech, so that I can determine ...
7
votes
1answer
49 views

How to teach someone to correctly pronounce unaspirated t and p in Standard Chinese?

Some languages, such an English and German, make a distinction between the aspirated voiced consonants pʰ and tʰ on the one hand and the unaspirated voiced b and d on the other. Standard Chinese by ...
4
votes
2answers
40 views

Is there a way to find out the IPA of words from different languages?

I want a way to be able to write the pronunciation of different words that are in different languages, does anyone have a suggestion for how to do this?
9
votes
3answers
114 views

How important are tones in tonal languages?

As a native speaker of a Slavic language, I know about foreigners trying (and sometimes failing) to use proper case for a situation, or using wrong gender declension, or an adjective non gender-...
7
votes
2answers
88 views

How can one learn a language with unpredictable pronunciation?

I've always preferred languages like Spanish, German, Japanese, with pronunciations that you can easily predict (yeah, German has a few irregularities, but they're not that numerous, the only major ...
4
votes
4answers
54 views

How to determine which of two Danish pronunciations is correct, or if both are?

There is a common word in Danish for which I have encountered two pronunciations in my learning. Both of them sound fairly reasonable. How do I figure out which of the pronunciations is correct and ...
7
votes
1answer
194 views

How can one learn English stress-timed rhythm?

In a talk about the future of Englishes, the linguist David Crystal mentions that (British) English traditionally has a stress-timed rhythm. In some (most?) countries where English is taught, teachers ...
10
votes
2answers
139 views

How to teach someone to correctly pronounce tones in tonal languages such as Standard Chinese?

I regularly meet with a small group of other learners of Standard Chinese. They have been learning Chinese for several years, though not as long as me. One of their problems is pronunciation, ...
10
votes
4answers
185 views

How can one learn a language (such as Korean), when there is no agreement as to how to properly pronounce it?

This is a problem that's been plaguing me for years. I have been wanting to learn Korean, but I just can't get the past the first step: pronouncing it. I can produce and hear aspirated consonants ...
9
votes
1answer
57 views

Standardized Phonemes and Pronunciation

I want to start from the most fundamental and hard problem to me (and maybe to everyone). Two years ago, I had started a project to teach English to non-natives only in English. Before, lots of them ...
4
votes
1answer
32 views

How do I not prioritize pronunciation over comprehension when reading out loud?

When I read an Italian text (this question is about reading out loud), what I focus on dictates how "well" I read it. For example, if I focus on pronunciation, then my pronunciation is flawless, but ...
4
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3answers
68 views

Is it good practice to learn new foreign words with transcription in my native language?

For example, the English kitchen [китчен]. Is this way suitable for children?
6
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0answers
344 views

Mastering both the French r and the German r

I have a high level in German and French, but I use a uvular /ʁ/ in French and an alveolar /r/ in German (and in Dutch, my native language). In German, the alveolar /r/ is mainly used in Bavaria and ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

Is using x-ray/MRI images of the vocal track to learn a foreign language recommended?

In this blog post the author makes a convincing case for teaching/studying the cardinal vowel quadrilateral in language learning. Apparently it's taught to actors and in some advanced language courses ...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

How can I roll the Georgian r?

Whenever I speak to Georgians, I always have to try and pronounce 'r' right before I can have a conversation in Georgian. It's annoying but really comical at the same time because I am absolutely ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

How can I understand the difference between the 'D' sound and 'T' sound?

I have started learning English. Currently, I can't understand the difference between the 'D' sound and the 'T' sound while listening to someone speaking or in audio. How can I learn how to ...
8
votes
2answers
90 views

Does a good pronunciation improve one's ability to learn a language?

My father is a native Spanish speaker. He struggles with English pronunciation, and even though he has studied many English courses, he seems to be stuck. Once I talked with a phonetics teacher, with ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

What does “linking” mean?

When I am learning about pronunciation of English, I found a word called linking. The word seems about pronunciation. What is linking? And how can I learn correct linking in pronunciation?
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Even if the pronunciation and the alphabet don't correspond to each other, is phonics effective?

Phonics, a method of correlating sounds in a language to letters or groups of letters, is often used to learn proper pronunciation of words in a language. However, in the case that a language's ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Are minimal pairs for learners of a given L2 independent of their L1?

As mentioned in this question, Gabriel Wyner attaches a lot of importance to minimal pairs in the early stages of learning of foreign language. Gabriel Wyner is a native speaker of English, and his ...
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2answers
100 views

Is there a web site for minimal pairs in arbitrary languages?

Gabriel Wyner puts a strong emphasis on studying minimal pairs to improve pronunciation. But I have yet to find a good resource for actually finding minimal pair lists. It seems I'm not alone. When ...
14
votes
2answers
127 views

Can reading aloud be an alternative to practicing speaking skills with other people?

The reason might be that we can not easily find people with the same language that we learn or just feeling more comfortable when we read out loud and try to make correct sounds by ourselves.
4
votes
1answer
64 views

How can I learn all the rules and exceptions about the Vowel Reduction in Russian?

I've been trying to find the rules and exceptions about this subject, but I can't really find a good source. At this point, I don't know if I'm supposed to learn this in this way. Sorry, I'm kind of ...
12
votes
1answer
76 views

How could we know that the pronounciation of an ancient language like Aramaic is correct?

This question is directly related to my former question on Aramaic: How to learn the vocabulary of an ancient language like Aramaic, which is based on scripture only? I'd like to know how and on ...
6
votes
2answers
103 views

How can I remember the pronunciation of Danish words?

I've been studying Danish for 6 days. I can have an easy conversation and ask some basic questions like: hvad koster det? (How much does this cost?). Anyway, I have a big problem: I can't remember ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

What is the name of this particular language learning class (technique)?

Back in 1988 or 1989, I took a three month French immersion program at the University of Tours. We had classes in reading, grammar, writing, etc. Amongst the various classes there was one that stood ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Have you any ideas on how I can improve my Russian pronunciation? [duplicate]

I want to practise my speaking skills in Russian but I have no conversation partner knowing Russian pretty well to correct all my mistakes. What should I do?
10
votes
3answers
120 views

How to avoid an English accent in Hebrew

I speak fairly fluent Hebrew as a second language, and I have a UK English accent. I want to know what pronunciation issues generally would be an issue for English speakers and would sound strange/be ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Does the quality of audio recordings affect their effectiveness in exemplifying pronunciation?

Some of the FSI free language courses are accompanied by audio recordings which were originally on cassette tapes. This means that those recordings are not quite on par with the more modern audio ...
14
votes
4answers
571 views

What advantages, if any, are there for learning the IPA when studying a language with phonetic spelling?

The IPA provides a standard, unambiguous way of writing the pronunciation of words, which can be quite helpful when learning a language like English, which has very irregular spelling (with respect to ...
11
votes
1answer
81 views

What techniques can I use to master nasal vowel pronunciation?

I'm referring to those encountered often in French and Portuguese for example. In Portuguese they may be denoted by "ão" or "õe". When first learning these new pronunciations from my native English, ...
12
votes
4answers
644 views

Pros and cons of using IPA over other phonetic alphabets

I've taught myself to use the IPA as an aide for pronunciation training, but I'm well aware that other phonetic alphabets are in widespread use in language courses. Where does the IPA fall short ...
16
votes
4answers
560 views

How can I teach someone how to roll their r's?

The sound I'm referring to is the alveolar trill (/r/), as found in Spanish word "carro", though that is just an example in one language. I learned how to make this sound by making positioning my ...
11
votes
1answer
121 views

How can I teach someone to pronounce phonemes non-existent in their native language?

As I learned other languages I realized that some phonemes which are common in one language are not so familiar in others. There are even cases where some phonemes do not exist in other specific ...
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vote
1answer
277 views

Are vowels more difficult for English speakers than consonants? If so, why? [closed]

When learning Japanese, I didn't often get words wrong, but it felt like when I did, it was the vowels I got wrong, not the consonants. As background, I learnt Japanese using romaji for a while, but ...
16
votes
3answers
137 views

How can I help a person improve their L2 pronunciation?

My wife is a native Spanish speaker. I'm a native English speaker. At home we speak both languages nearly interchangeably. But now she has a job speaking English. How can I most effectively help her ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

How important is accent for being understood in a given language? [closed]

When I learned English at school (in France), my teachers asked me to make effort to have an "England-like" pronunciation (which was difficult for me). Today, I use the English language for my work (...