Autor: Jimena Gonzalez Sánz.
Welcome back to our English space. This month we are going to focus on pronunciation. Most of us are quite aware how English is a difficult language in matters related to this aspect. In fact, this is why many native children have so many mistakes during their early years. You certainly know that you cannot say everything in English as it is written, and so to avoid mispronunciation which can lead to misunderstanding we want to focus in that aspect. So it is food for thought to consider that if you want to improve your English you are going to need to pay a little of attention to it.
Many word translators (that are best that google translator in any aspect) as wordreference or linguee offer you the possibility to listen how a word is pronounced. There is also a collaborative webpage called forvo that allows to just find the pronunciation. But what if you want to go a little further into this knowledge no problem we want to offer you some ideas to achieve your pursue.
To begin with, we hardly recommend approaching to the IPA (international phonetic alphabet.) The British council offers you the English phonemics chart as well. You just have to click on symbols to hear the sound and if you click on the top right corner of the symbol, they offer some examples that include the sound. Mnemonics is very useful to learn it. So let´s say for example you want to remember all the vowel sounds in English. You can choose a word for each sound that contains that sound and then you can create a sentence with all of them. They do not need to be grammatically correct the point is that it sticks to your mind so whenever you have a doubt you can access to it in an easy way. For example: Men, see it the man´s son put food work on the car door. So you can see in this example we made up that each word contains a specific sound related to the vowels most used in English: men/mɛn/, see /siː/, it / ɪt/, the /ðə/, man´s /mæn´ɛs/, son /sʌn/, put /pʊt/, food /fuːd/, work /wɜːk/, on /ɒn/, thr /ðə/, car /kɑː/, door /dɔː/. Use your imagination to create a catchy sentence you would remember because the possibilities are infinite.
Another very useful as well as interesting resource we found online was Rachel´s English . Here you will find that there are over 400 videos, where Rachel teaches no only the sounds of American English but also some keys related to the stress, rhythm and intonation.
We cannot forget apps. If you want to have a useful tool in your mobile phone we encourage you to have a look at this app called Sounds: Pronunciation App FREE. It is from McMillan and it will help you to practice and play with pronunciation wherever you are. It includes an interactive phonemic chart for both American and British English.
Hope all of this information is useful and you enjoy it. We expect any comments from you, ideas about topics you want we deal with or any question that arises. See you!
Jimena González Sanz.