Ship or sheep: 6 secrets of training English pronunciation
If the pronunciation of English words is your weak point and the ship in your performance sounds exactly like a sheep, it's time to correct the situation with the help of these tips.
In the English alphabet, 26 letters and 44 sound recalls Life hacker. If in some languages each letter is responsible for only one sound, then in English one letter can transmit up to four sounds, and in some cases even up to seven. Hence the favorite saying of the English: “We write Liverpool, and we read Manchester.”
In addition, articulation (movement of the tongue, lips, mouth) is significantly different from the Russian. There are sounds similar to the Russians, but when pronouncing them, the articulation organs work differently.
If you want to get rid of the accent, or at least come close to English speaking, all the differences need to be taken into account. Here are some tips on how to set yourself the correct English pronunciation.
1. Learn the alphabet
Many adults consider this a child exercise. But one day you will surely be asked: “Please spell your name” (“Spell your name”). Here is the knowledge of the letters of the English alphabet. In addition, abbreviations, street names, house numbers and flights may have letters, and, for example, at the airport they will definitely be pronounced as in the alphabet.
2. Practice articulation by pronouncing consonants.
After you have mastered the letters of the alphabet, boldly proceed to the study of the sounds that they transmit. Train yourself to correct articulation right away. Learn to first pronounce the sounds separately, bring it to automatism, and then go on to words, phrases, and sentences.
In English, there are consonants that at first glance (or rather, hearing) are pronounced as in Russian.
1. Check where the tip of the tongue is when making the sounds [d] - [t], [n], [r], [s], [z]. Rests on the teeth? Congratulations, you pronounce the Russian alphabet. The native English tip of the tongue at this time is on the alveoli (the largest tubercle in the upper palate). Try it. Now you get pure English sounds. Practice: bed [bed] - ten [ten], not [nɔt], rat [ræt], sun [sʌn], zoo [zu:].
2. Picture a hare when you make sounds [f] - [v]. Upper teeth must be placed on the lower lip. Practice: fat [f æt] - vet [vet].
3. Remember that sound [l] is always solid: London [ˈlʌndən].
4. When training the sound [w], take a candle: this is the best way to learn how to pronounce it correctly. Fold your lips with a straw and stretch it forward (like little children pull in a kiss), and then smile sharply. Then get this sound. When training, keep the candle at a distance 20 – 25 cm from the lips. If the flame goes out when you make a sound, then you are doing everything correctly. Practice: say the word well [wel].
On the subject: Perfect English 17 movies to help improve pronunciation.
5. Warm your hands when training the sound [h]. It has nothing to do with Russian [x]. Imagine that you are very cold and are trying to warm your hands with your breath. You bring them to your lips and breathe out. During exhalation, a light, barely audible English sound is formed [h]. As in the word home [h əum].
6. Train the sound [ŋ] with a bad headache or imagine that you have it. There is no such sound in Russian, it is transmitted by a combination of ng in English. Press your tongue like a spatula to the upper palate and let the sound through your nose. A bit like [n], if you pronounce it with a strong cold. Do not forget that your tongue is still touching the alveoli, not the teeth. Practice: interesting [ˈɪnt (ə) rɪstɪŋ].
7. Stay a serpent and a bee for training [ð] - [θ]. These sounds are absent in Russian and are formed by a combination of the letters th in English.
[ð] - a ringing sound. Bite the tip of the tongue slightly and utter the sound . If during training the tickle and lower lip, then you are doing everything right. If not, then perhaps you too bit the tip of the tongue, slightly loosen your teeth. Say the word this [ðɪs], it turns out?
[θ] is a dull sound. Articulation is the same, just pronounce the sound [s]. To train a dull sound [θ], say the word thank [θæŋk].
3. Learn the four types of vowel syllables
Reading vowels depends on the type of syllable in which they are located:
- open (syllable ends in a vowel);
- closed (syllable ends in a consonant);
- vowel + r;
- vowel + re.
In the first type of syllable - open - the vowels are read as in the alphabet (so the knowledge of the alphabet was useful to us!). For example: plane [plein], nose [nəuz], tube [tju: b], Pete [pi: t].
In the second type, you need to memorize the pronunciation of each vowel:
- [æ] - open sound, not long. It is given by the letter A in a closed syllable. Check yourself: sit at the table, straighten up, put one elbow on the surface, bend the brush under the chin. Between the chin and the brush you will have room, unless, of course, you straighten your back. Now lower the lower jaw down so that it reaches the brush, and pronounce [e]. Practice with the word bag [bæg].
- [e] is often confused with the previous sound. When pronouncing [e], you only need to slightly raise the corners of the lips up, as if smiling slightly. These are two different sounds, and they are not similar to each other, and even more so to Russian [e]. Practice: pet [pet].
- Brief sounds [i], [ɔ], [ʌ], [u] are pronounced intensively, without chanting: big [big], box [bɔks], bus [bʌs], book [bʊk].
In the third and fourth types of syllables, the letter R is not readable, it only forms a syllable and lengthens the vowel sound: car [ka:], sort [sɔ: t], turn [tɜ: n].
[a:], [ɔ:] - special sounds. Imagine that you are on a visit to a doctor who examines your throat. The root of your tongue is pressed with a wand and asked to say "A-ah-a." It is precisely in this position that the language should be when pronouncing the sounds [a] and [o]. If at the same time you wanted to yawn, then you are on the right track! Try it now: car [ka:], sort [sɔ: t].
4. Remember the correct accents
Most often in English the stressed syllable is the first. If you need to pronounce the word, and ask no one who has a dictionary or not, place emphasis on the first syllable. Of course, it is better to immediately memorize words with the correct emphasis or check yourself in a dictionary.
5. Do not forget the four important rules
- In English, there are no soft consonants.
- Voiced consonants are not stunned at the end of a word.
- Vowels are long (in transcription they are denoted by [:]) and brief.
- No unnecessary - especially sharp - lip movements.
6. The main advice for practicing any skill: exercise!
Learn a few phrases to practice correct pronunciation:
- Very well ['veri' wel].
- World Wide Web or WWW ['w əuld' waid 'web www].
- Eleven benevolent elephants [ɪˈlevn bəˈəˈnevələnt ˈelɪfənts].
- Stupid superstition [ˈstjuːpɪd ˌsuːpəˈstɪʃ (ə) n].
- Pirates Private Property [ˈpaɪrəts praɪvət ˈprɒpəti].
And remember: different sounds have a distinguishing function. For example, man [mæn] ("man", "man") and men [men] ("men"); ship [ʃip] (“ship”) and sheep [ʃi: p] (“sheep”) and so on. Many of the word three (“three”) read as [tri:] (which means “tree”) or [fri:] (“freedom”), without taking into account that th [θ] is read differently, it is just not in Russian (think about the exercise "bee").
Knowing the correct pronunciation of words, you will definitely not be mistaken!
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