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Eng­lish Pro­nun­ci­a­tion Errors That Made Eng­lish What It Is Now.

Hi,

This time I thought I would bring you an inter­est­ing arti­cle on Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion that I found in the Guardian news­pa­per enti­tled “8 pro­nun­ci­a­tion errors that made the Eng­lish lan­guage what it is today.”

It’s very inter­est­ing to see how Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion has devel­oped over time and the influ­ence it has on our cur­rent pro­nun­ci­a­tion.

I have also not­ed in my work with peo­ple, that cer­tain errors con­tin­ue to come up when peo­ple are learn­ing to pro­nounce Eng­lish clear­ly, that are often based on how the word is spelt.

Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion errors

1) Pro­nounc­ing the /g/ in the ‘ng’ phoneme

The /g/ is not pro­nounced in the ‘ng’ com­bi­na­tion. So it isn’t run­ning but run­ning. The ‘ng’ is nei­ther pro­nounced as an /n/ or a/g/ but has a total­ly dif­fer­ent sound just like ‘sh’ isn’t /s/ or /h/ but some­thing else. There is a whole sec­tion in my accent reduc­tion pro­gram (click for the British course or Amer­i­can course), teach­ing how to say this phoneme prop­er­ly.

2) Pro­nounc­ing the /r/ in vow­el com­bi­na­tions for Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion of British and Aus­tralian accents

So you would think that if the /r/ was there in the ‘or’, ‘er’, ‘ar’ phono­grams that you would pro­nounce it!  Not so when you are learn­ing a British or Aus­tralian accent. Of course you do pro­nounce it when using an Amer­i­can accent just to con­fuse the issue.

For a British and Aus­tralian accent the ‘or’ ‘er’ and ‘ar’ are pro­nounced each as sep­a­rate vow­els with­out the /r/ sound. This train­ing is also includ­ed in the speak more clear­ly accent reduc­tion cours­es.

3) Pro­nounc­ing the silent /b/ at the end of Eng­lish words

In the fol­low­ing words the /b/ is not pro­nounced :

lam not lamb

com ( coem ) not comb

tom (toom)  not tomb

bom  not  bomb

4) In Eng­lish Pro­nun­ci­a­tion ‘ed’ doesn’t always say /ed/

This can be con­fus­ing at times but here’s the rule:

If a past tense reg­u­lar verb ends in /t/ or /d/ then the ed says /ed/ e.g. want­ed, indebt­ed, raid­ed

If a past tense reg­u­lar verb ends in a voiced con­so­nant ( the last thing you pro­nounce is the voiced con­so­nant- in ‘love’ the last pro­nounced sound is the voiced /v/), then the ed says /d/ e.g. loved, hugged, rubbed, hosed. ( the /s/ is say­ing the voiced /z/ sound in hosed)

If the past tense reg­u­lar verb ends in an un -voiced con­so­nant the ed says /t/ e.g. hoped ( it becomes a con­so­nant blend of two unvoiced con­so­nants – hoept), clicked, walked, fished.

Have a look here for more detail, and an audio train­ing clip for when ed says /d/

Last but not least, here is the link to the arti­cle I was speak­ing about at the begin­ning of this arti­cle.

Enjoy! Best wish­es,

Esther

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