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
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 ...
44
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", ...
18
votes
1answer
573 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, ...
14
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
194 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
2answers
138 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 ...
32
votes
4answers
553 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
858 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
213 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
216 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
156 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
82 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 ...