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.

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18 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I learn IPA?

There are many resources that I wish I could use, but can't, because I don't understand the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) fluently. I constantly need to refer to a table of characters, and I'm ...
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  • 787
45 votes
6 answers
2k views

How can I verify my pronunciation without a native speaker?

I've been learning Japanese for a short while, and it uses some sounds that aren't in my native language (English). (For example, the "r" sound, which has been described to me as a combination of "d", ...
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  • 4,885
18 votes
1 answer
706 views

How can I develop an accent in a foreign language?

I have been teaching myself Italian for 2 years so far, and I still sound very foreign. When I am speaking Italian with someone else, it is difficult to imitate their accent properly, and when I try, ...
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14 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
254 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 ...
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  • 5,042
4 votes
2 answers
211 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 ...
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32 votes
4 answers
626 views

How can I avoid learning an incorrect pronunciation due to a word's spelling?

I've noticed that I and others (sometimes entire communities) mispronounce words in a second language, which they could in theory pronounce well using phonemes of their first language, because of the ...
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  • 628
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
228 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, ...
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  • 19.3k
4 votes
2 answers
248 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 ...
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  • 43
17 votes
3 answers
164 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 ...
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  • 5,042
8 votes
2 answers
150 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 ...
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  • 645
4 votes
2 answers
92 views

Why Is Pronunciation Not Mastered First?

Almost all of the language teachers I've seen place perfect, native-level pronunciation pretty low on the priority list, yet this is the most straightforward thing to learn and will save someone a lot ...
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