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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13
votes
5answers
371 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-...
1
vote
0answers
7 views

About the -er pronunciation in German [migrated]

Ok, so I understand -er is almost always pronounced as a shwa or "uh". Often it goes all the way to an "ah" sound in German in my experience. Non-native speakers of German that ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

Pronunciation of “ll” in the Romance languages

I have noticed that all the Romance languages (Spanish, Galician, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and French) usually pronounce the "ll" like the "y" in "yacht". ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

What age group should a 17-year-old man imitate to acquire a General American Accent?

I am a 17-year-old male. I want to learn to speak a general American accent by imitating native speakers with this accent. What age group should I be imitating, so I don't sound weird? Should I ...
8
votes
2answers
134 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

Why is the Greek alphabet pronounced wrong all the time?

I've noticed that the Greek alphabet is systemically mispronounced in the English speaking world. What is the main reason for that? Examples and remarks I've never heard anyone pronounce the letters β,...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

How to understand German when listening to a native German person?

I'm learning German on Duolingo also watching Learn German on YouTube, and I've completed the 1st phase (the basics). There are probably 6-7 phases of total in the app. But I don't wanted to depend on ...
11
votes
4answers
238 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

The correct pronunciation of ᙯ (q) in Inuktitut? [closed]

According to Wikipedia and various internet source the consonant of ᙯ (written "q" in Latin script) is pronounced [q] (IPA notation), but when I hear it spoken in songs or videos (for ...
4
votes
2answers
76 views

Problems teaching the 'gn' and 'gh' to an English learner

I'm teaching a French girl English (I'm not a qualified teacher, I'm more of a language assistant, I'm an English native, I'm at university at the moment). She is having trouble with pronouncing words ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

What languages have words which you can pronounce reliably purely based on the way they are written? [closed]

It appears that Spanish and Chinese (Pinyin) are languages which you can accurately derive the pronunciation of the words purely from their spelling. Whereas English is definitely not that type of ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

What are some effective methods for improving one's accent?

I am a non-native English speaker. I've started learning the language roughly ten years ago, and have been practicing it ever since, be it through exposure to English-spoken content (movies, music, ...
9
votes
2answers
127 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
208 views

Should I learn Japanese pitch accent right from the start?

I just started learning Japanese regularly, and I was wondering if it's worth it to work on pitch accent while learning grammar and vocab or forget it for now and start working on it when I can speak ...
5
votes
3answers
119 views

Is there a browser extension to pronounce the words?

I might be missing some cool tools: Are there browser extensions to pronounce the words in some/several languages? I know I can select a word, right-click, search, get dictionary result, and click on ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

Digital dictionaries with sound for French learners

I had been using Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English on a computer app. It was a great experience working with a dictionary that gives you pronunciations, examples with sound, thesaurus, and ...
32
votes
4answers
568 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

French pronunciation

I'm looking for a guide to master my French pronunciation. Ideally, pictures with proper tongue positioning inside the mouth. For now, after 10 years of living in a French-speaking country, I ...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

Why learn on purpose 'foreign accents' in English?

Today I upgraded to the 'new Microsoft Edge' browser. Fine and dandy, and there are functions for improving the user's reading or listening to texts. In the 'read aloud' function, you can hear ENGLISH ...
4
votes
2answers
85 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
113 views

How could we know that the pronunciation 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

How can I learn the pharyngeal ע pronunciation?

The Hebrew letter Ayin (ע) was traditionally a voiced pharyngeal fricative, but has mutated to a glottal stop in Modern Hebrew, merging it with the letter Aleph (א). How can I learn the pharyngeal ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Source for physical instructions to pronounce Danish vowels and consonants?

I am trying to learn Danish, and I cannot find any instructions on the physical movements necessary to make Danish vowels and consonants. I can find plenty of sources that say this or that letter ...
4
votes
0answers
36 views

Is there evidence that tongue twisters help with listening and pronunciation?

The motivation for this question is a Chinese.SE answer: Have you tried practicing with tongue twisters (绕口令)? ... They can help with both listening and pronunciation. Repetition is really the only ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

How can I make sure my pronunciation based on IPA is correct?

I have read this question and answers titled "How can I learn IPA?" and now start to (finally) learn IPA and phonetics. However, while the question asks about the way to learn the IPA, which focuses ...
14
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

How important is IPA to learn pronunciation for learners with non-roman alphabet

I think there is general agreement that IPA is crucial for learning pronunciation of a language like English, because there are no strict rules of pronunciation, and plenty of exceptions. IPA is ...
45
votes
6answers
1k 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", ...
10
votes
1answer
97 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.
3
votes
0answers
68 views

Are there any languages in the world that contain no sounds foreign to English?

Are there any languages in the world that contain no sounds foreign to English? It need not contain all or even most of the sounds in English. Just no additional ones that native English speakers ...
5
votes
1answer
241 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

How can I avoid the huge gap between paper and oral skills?

I learned four foreign languages but all of them have one thing in common; reading is the best and writing follows it, and then after the huge gap come listening and speaking. My reading and speaking ...
3
votes
0answers
25 views

Should I mix different dialects on minimal pairs deck?

After posting this question, I investigated why I don't understand the sound difference, and I found out that one of the reasons must be the different dialects that exist in the deck. I installed the ...
7
votes
2answers
365 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

Are there any software tools which can deeply analyse pronunciation errors?

I have only ever seen pronunciation taught in terms of body mechanics, that is, "In language X, the "I" sound is produced with the lips more rounded than the English "I"", for example. There are apps ...
11
votes
1answer
176 views

How to start hearing the difference between similar sounds

The question I have is something that every student of a second language should have. That is about not being able to hear the difference between similar sounds, because of the first language. For ...
8
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Rolling the r's that end syllables [duplicate]

I think that I am ok, but not amazing, at rolling rs if they begin a syllable (onset). (For example maybe "red".) However if the r is what ends a syllable (coda) (for example maybe "emperor or ...
18
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

How to be in constant contact with the IPA to improve one's pronunciation of a language?

Recently I've been consulting a few words in the dictionary and after seeing their phonemic transcription I realized how my pronunciation differed from that of natives. The dictionary may then seem ...
10
votes
2answers
204 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
46 views

Tongue exercises relaxation (Flap T/D)

I have a question about pronunciation. I've been studying English practically for my whole life, but for some reason I have such a hard time pronouncing the FLAP T. I do know how to make it perfectly, ...
4
votes
5answers
93 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
96 views

Is passive learning effective for learning pronunciation?

Background I am currently trying to learn new languages. Question I've heard of this method calling passive learning for language learning. However, there are many articles that say it's useless (...
6
votes
1answer
154 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
votes
1answer
324 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
602 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
526 views

Can I have C1-level proficiency in a foreign language even if my pronunciation is poor?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and its A1–C2 scale is often referred to when discussing one's skill in a language. I've never been tested, but, based on the Wikipedia ...
16
votes
3answers
304 views

Can the McGurk effect also help develop pronunciation?

Seeing someone's mouth movements can influence what your brain processes a word to be (see McGurk effect), and hearing someone talk can also help you develop your pronunciation for that language. ...
3
votes
2answers
226 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 ...