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It’s a sunny day! Wait, how do you pronounce the words “Sunny” and “day”? How did it go? Is it the correct way to pronounce it? Did you make another mistake? Don’t worry, mistakes are part of learning.
Come on! Let’s learn about English pronunciation errors today!
Learning the English language includes learning English pronunciation, spelling, meaning, and intonation. Pronunciation is the most integral part while learning the English language. We often make common English pronunciation errors. The way of our Pronunciation conveys our way of perceiving expression and meaning.
Importance of Pronunciation
We have started learning the English language by learning the alphabet. While understanding the word formation methods, learning the alphabets play a crucial role.
What about pronunciation?
Pronunciation is essential for the speaker. Conveying things in their correct pronunciation is crucial. But why?
We should convey things in the right sense. The correct pronunciation will help us to point out the exact meanings that we ought to convey. English pronunciation rules can be regarded as inconsistent. You need to learn the basic pronunciation rules to avoid making mistakes.
People often worry about English pronunciation mistakes as it affects their overall performance of them. We are not seeking for zen percentage matching accent. But you need to learn how to pronounce words correctly. If you focus on certain areas, you can avoid the pronunciation errors. Pronunciation should be intact so that the people with whom you are conversing will know about the things that you communicate with precision.
Once you get to know the basic rules of English pronunciation, you can pronounce words without errors. The standard IP rules shall be followed to attain the pronunciations correct.
People often make pronunciation mistakes as they lack the knowledge on how to tackle the major pronunciation problems they are facing. You have to mind the spelling. The next issue lies with the sound patterns of the same words. Similar words are pronounced with different sounds. That’s quite normal.
While you embark on a language journey, the first thing that you should be aware of is to learn the basic tricks to improve your English pronunciation. Not being understood properly can puzzle the listeners. The native accent may sound cool, but you can’t always avoid the fact that each word has a proper pronunciation pattern. When you speak English, you have to work on the pronunciation.
It can come in handy once you pay the required amount of attention to mend your English language skills. Improving your language pronunciation depends mainly upon the system of writing English. You have to start from the basics to know the details of how to effectively pronounce words without making silly mistakes.
Mother tongue influence is no joke! We distinguish words based on how we pronounce the same words in our mother tongue. When we discuss English pronunciation, the most important thing is to pronounce words devoid of colloquial language influence. It is not easy to get rid of our native language influence.
The English language makes use of different sets of language and is pronounced differently. Native speakers are familiar with the correct way of pronunciation. But when you consider non-native speakers, they need to work a lot more on the pronunciation part.
Most non-native speakers try to pronounce words with the words they are already familiar with. The native language influence often tends the non-native English speakers to mispronounce words.
Common Pronunciation Errors in English
Here is the list of common pronunciation mistakes in English you need to cater to find yourself improved.
Think about the common pronunciation errors that you make. You can find below the common pronunciation mistakes that you often commit while you speak in public. You need to identify the mistakes to rectify them. Committing the same mistake over and over again is no fun!
- We hope you are familiar with words like a pseudonym, psychoanalyze, psalmody, psychiatry, psychology, psyches, psalter, and psalm. How are these words pronounced in English? These words which begin with “ps” is pronounced as /s/ and not as /ps/. The combination of the words may confuse you, make sure you pay more attention to such words once you encounter them again.
- The words with “pn” in the beginning may also trigger your curiosity. The words such as pneumonia, pneumatic, pneumonic, pneumovax, pneometer, pneumography, etc should be pronounced with an /n/ sound rather than a/pn/ sound. It’s crazy, right?
- Similarly, words beginning with a combination of letters such as “kn” is not pronounced with the/kn/ sound but with the/n/ sound as in Knack, know, knit, kneed, Knaps, Knaur, Knave, Kneel, knickers, Knawe, knock, etc
- We often get confused with the pronunciation of au in English. Note down the correct pronunciation of It should be pronounced as /ɔː/. Most people easily get confused with the two vowel sounds /ɔː/ and /au/.
- When the words commence with the letter “X”, how will you pronounce it? It should be pronounced as the/z/ sound rather than the/x/ sound as in the case of, Xenophobe, Xenophobic, Xenophile, Xany, Xenial, xenophobia, Xenodochial, Xanacious, etc. Pronounce it correctly next time, won’t you?
- In English, the combination of the letter “ch” is pronounced as /sh/ sound as in the case of the chase, choose, chief, and chef. We have exceptions to this letter combination. It is also pronounced as an a/k/ sound as in the case of chrome, character, etc. It can also sound as / tʃ/ as in the case of Chaplin, chair, chalk, cheetah, chapter, charcoal, etc. Be careful while pronouncing!
- The pronunciation of the words starting with the letter “w” is the /v/ sound as in the case of the words like wow, waver, wage, etc. While you pronounce such words make sure that the lips are not touching the teeth ridge of your mouth.
- As in the case of the words beginning with the letter “v”, you should never pronounce it as the /w/ sound. Words like very, vest, veil, vent, vibrant, vein, etc shall never be pronounced with the consonant sound /w/ but with the sound /v/.
- The combination of the “eu” sound is pronounced as the/jʊ/ sound in British English as in the case of pneumatic, pneumonia, neuron,
- When the words include the letter “e” is not only pronounced as /ɛ/ sound but also as /ɪ/ sound as in the case of destroy, delete, delay, and detect.
- Based on the stress pattern, the pronunciation can also be changed, when we stress upon the combination “de”, it can also be pronounced as / ɛ/sound as in the case of desperate, despondence, designation, decorate, etc.
- The pronunciation of the English combination “th” can be either /θ/or/ð/. The words like thorn, thing, Thomas, throw, thick, etc can have voiceless sounds. It can also stand as a voiced sound as in the case of they, them, this, etc. Fascinating, right?
The above-mentioned are the common pronunciation errors that non-native speakers often tend to make. The pronunciation errors can be rectified once you pay close attention to the writing system. The pronunciation can help you to sound like a native speaker. It can help you mingle with native speakers and could make meaningful contributions while you engage yourself in a conversation.
Why Pronunciation Errors?
The native language influence has a direct role here. Your mother tongue may create a language barrier that you face always. If you wish to overcome the barriers and speak like a native speaker, know about your problems. Pronunciation errors should be rectified at the early stage of your language learning. You can learn a language starting from the basics. Language learning includes the learning of pronunciation.
The pitfalls, while you speak, include:
- Pronouncing words based on spelling
Non-native English speakers often struggle with this aspect of the language. Language is not always simple. You can’t simply pronounce words based on spelling alone. Spelling and pronunciation can be entirely different in some cases. You have to be very careful while handling English spelling and pronunciation. Some letters may remain silent or in some other cases, letters will be pronounced differently based on the stress pattern.
- Applying stress to every word
While communicating in English, you can’t pronounce words in their correct sense if you apply stress to every sound. You don’t have to stress all the syllables in a word. Unstressed words usually fall under the category of grammatical words. If you stress all the sounds that contribute to a word, your English sound robotic and mechanical. So know the difference between stressed and unstressed syllables
- Never limit the intonation
When you try to limit the intonation, your speech would sound bland instead of active. Keep yourself reminded of the fact that speech sounds can help you sound like a pro. Learn how to manage your pitch. In English, high-pitch and low-pitch sounds are there. Know the nature of the sounds before using them.
Falling intonation can be used for asking questions and a rising tone for emotional outbursts. While you watch movies, you will understand how intonation can lead to perfect pronunciation.
- Confusing short and long vowels
English language learners often make mistakes by using short vowels instead of long and long vowels instead of short. The wrong usage of short and long vowels may confuse you and your listeners. Learn the basics regarding the use of long and short vowels. The entire word and its meaning can change if you make a mistake regarding short and long vowels. Make sure you learn the words with correct pronunciation starting from the initial session of your English learning journey.
- Confusing different sounds
You need to establish a proper grip on the sounds of different words. Learning them once or twice won’t make any notable changes. You have to revisit again and again to assure yourself that you have learned in the proper sense. The same letters may sound different based on the stress pattern. Practicing with words can help you to know the sound pattern in a better way.
- Never speak too fast
Speaking too fast can leave a bad impression on your language abilities. You have to speak at a normal pace. Speaking too fast may lead to confusion and mistakes. Native English language speakers often struggle with this issue. When you speak quickly to sound fluent and to end the conversation, you may look flustered. When you slow down in pace, you can get a grip on what you’re talking about and how the listener is grasping the ongoing conversation. You have to be very careful to stop making unnecessary mistakes. Prevention is better than cure!
Here are some useful tips to improve your English pronunciation.
Learn every day. You have to learn the basic pronunciation every day and revisit them regularly. Make a short note of how the stress pattern helps in maintaining a proper pronunciation guide. Some words seem to be difficult to pronounce. You have to imagine the word before you pronounce the difficult words.
This method can help you to get a grip on the pronunciation of difficult words. You can listen to audio and videos to improve your spoken English skills. You can also make a habit of watching English movies and shows to improve your Pronunciation. Your listening skills can be upgraded along with the pronunciation of words. You can record your speech and listen to your speech. This can help you to identify the problems and mistakes and can help you to rectify the mistakes without any hesitation.
Good pronunciation is not an inborn skill. It can be a skill that you can acquire over time. The learners can improve their pronunciation with proper guidance and mentorship. The proper coaching and practice can make you a master of the English language. Mastering a foreign language is not an easy task. Make sure you use language in its proper sense to preserve its beauty and authenticity.
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