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Why does U sound like W in words like “penguin”?

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Language/Spoken English

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Master Coach

Actually the pronunciation of 'gui" in penguin, languid and sanguine sounds somewhat like w due to the transition of the vowel sounds, but if you say pengwin and penguin you will realize the difference. So try not to consciously pronounce it as pengwin.
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Online and One on One Personality Development/Soft Skills/ Spoken English/ IELTS Trainer (9 yrs Exp)

U doesn't sound like W it's just the natural transition the lips make going from the /u?/ sound to the /?/ sound.Try it yourself: say "goo-in" making sure not to deliberately say "gwin". It's there anyway.
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Learning Made Easy

Veena is right when "ui" comes together in a word, then it's pronounced as "wi"
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E-Tutor for Spoken English, French and Communication

That's because, usually, when "ui" comes together in a word, then it's pronounced as "wi". For example, "Quilt" is pronounced "Qwilt"; "Quill" is pronounced "Qwill", and so on. (There are exceptions to the rule, of course. But this is generally the case.)
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