Saturday, March 21, 2015

Excerpt from How to Say

How to Say is a website with information geared toward people who are interested in learning different languages. It features vocabulary sets for over 10,000 words and phrases in ten different languages. It also includes posts about languages, travel, and related topics.

The following is a guest post reprinted with permission from How to Say.

Improve Your English Pronunciation

Let us be honest with ourselves. Reading about pronunciation is not going to take you anywhere. You have to speak English to master the pronunciations, and it doesn't matter if you go wrong. You fall down; you learn to get up.

Every English speaking country has its own form of English. There is the American English, British English, Australian English, etc. And then we have our own Indian English. Pronunciations are different in each country's English. Learning them all would be inane. Start with clarifying and neutralizing your own regional English accent and then move on to learning the accents and slang of other countries.

Learn the phonetics

There are phonetic symbols which indicate whether a word should be pronounced as "cat" or as "cut." These symbols are often found in dictionary. It is advisable to have a dictionary by your side all the time for quick meaning and pronunciation references.

Watch movies, and listen to songs and radio

The best way to improve pronunciation is not through reading grammar books, but by watching native English programs and movies with subtitles, and listening to English songs with the lyrics in front of you. Listening to the radio is another excellent way. You have less distraction visually and your entire concentration is on what is being said.

Understanding stress

Words that can be split into two or more syllables will have distinct stress. The shift in stress changes the pronunciations and in some cases their meaning. Stress markings can be referred to in a good dictionary.

Miscellaneous tips

If you have to communicate in English with another person and you are not sure about your pronunciation, it doesn't matter. Just give them a background of what you are going to talk about so that they can tune in.

For example, it will be a good idea to ask, "Can you help me? I need directions to this address," rather than jumping directly to the address.

Write down the words that trouble you often. There are plenty of websites where you can listen to pronunciations.

Just a word to conclude: "Practice makes perfect." Speak good English taking cues from the above-mentioned tips, and make your way up the ladder of mastering English.

No comments:

Post a Comment