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Improve English pronunciation -- tips and tricks

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. It is no different with English. 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 slangs 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, listen to songs and radio Best way to improve pronunciation is not through reading grammar books, but by watching native English programmes, 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. Understand the alphabets Pronunciation differences start right at the alphabet level. What we commonly say as K is pronounced as ‘Khay’ by native speakers. Same thing goes for ‘Phee’ and ‘T-hee’ The ‘R’ is a lightly spoken letter. It is not ‘arrrr’, but merely ‘ar’. There is no ‘ta’ sound in English. It is ‘thhought’, ‘thhink’, ‘thhank’, etc. like in the ‘th’ of ‘theta’ θ. The ‘P’ in words such as ‘properly’ and ‘population’ and similar words become ‘phropherly’ and ‘phophulation’ where there is more stress on the ‘p’ making it sound like ‘phee’. The same vowels will have different sounds depending on the letters. In combinations, vowels can produce a whole lot more. Example: ‘Cut’ and ‘put’ have same vowel but are pronounced differently. 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. E’xecutive -- an administrator; while ‘Execute ­-- put into effect ‘Project -- is an assignment; while Pro’ject -- is to show or communicate 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 cue from the above mentioned tips and make your way up the ladder of mastering English. Further reading: Pronunciation tips for non-native speakers: http://hubpages.com/hub/ESL-Pronunciation-Practices-Tips-Tricks-to-Help-You-Sound-Great Video on pronunciation from BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/pron/ Read more articles on how to improve English grammar
  1. Improve your English vocabulary -- Tips and Tricks
  2. Tips for Speaking English with Neutral Accent
  3. How to Speak English Fluently -- Few Tips
  4. Improve English grammar -- Tips and Tricks
Related useful links: English speaking classes in India English speaking classes in Bangalore English speaking classes in Mumbai English speaking classes in Delhi


Share your thoughts with the community or ask a question

Ganesh 02/01/2017

What is difference between little, a little and the little?

Susan | 11/07/2017

Regardless of it's use, the word 'little' is a term to describe size. The word - in each of the three examples provided - is an adjective (a word that describes a noun). A person who is small might be described as 'little' as in "Would you look at the little girl over there; isn't she the most precious child you have ever seen"?. One could omit 'the' and the word 'little' would...  more»
Regardless of it's use, the word 'little' is a term to describe size. The word - in each of the three examples provided - is an adjective (a word that describes a noun). A person who is small might be described as 'little' as in "Would you look at the little girl over there; isn't she the most precious child you have ever seen"?. One could omit 'the' and the word 'little' would still have the same meeting such as in this reply to the example phrase above: "My little girl is just as precious, let me show you a picture". 'A little' is used in casual conversation and often in combination with the word 'bit' ... "Are you hungry?" - "Yes, a little bit, how about you"? or simply "Yes, I am a little hungry, are you"? In either case, 'a little' still describes size - 'a little hungry' describes the size of one's appetite. If one's appetite was not little, the reply might be "Yes, I am very hungry, are you?" «less
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SAWAN 01/10/2014


Reginald Chan 16/04/2014

Hi. Great posting you have indeed. If you ask me, you have explained everything and I've even jot them down for future usage. Continue the good work and many thanks for writing the useful info.

Tips for speaking English with neutral accent and correct pronunciations | ThinkVidya.com 25/11/2013

[…] Improve English Pronunciation – Tips and Tricks […]

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