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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زوم»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زوم»

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Pronunciation

Let’s talk about pronunciation. This is an important, important part and many students forget that. So first, why is it important? Well, if we take a range from hard to understand to easy to understand. In general, on average, grammar errors are easier to understand than vocabulary errors and those are easier to understand than pronunciation errors.

So, why is that? Why do I say that? Let’s look at some examples. First a grammar error, my brother is be dentist, okay. If you have the right words and you say them clearly, if all you really need is, brother, dentist, I understand.

Grammar errors are usually pretty easy to figure out what the person wanted to say even if they make a mistake, I can figure it out. On the other hand, vocabulary errors can be a little bit harder. My brother is a tooth doctor. Well, okay, now I have to think what is a tooth doctor. He means dentist.

This isn’t the right word but I can figure it out. What if they say this, my blowdeh is a dentist, blowdeh. So this is not brother, right? And it’s very hard to decide that they mean brother because it doesn’t sound like brother. This is a realistic mistake because that r and the t-h sound, those can be very difficult depending on your native language, your mother tongue.

So this is actually the type of error that we can hear sometimes and can cause total confusion. Because all meaning is lost if you don’t pronounce correctly. If I don’t understand your pronunciation, then the vocabulary and the grammar, they don’t even matter. Because I don’t know what the vocabulary is.

And I don’t know what the grammar is. So everything else can be correct. But if that pronunciation isn’t there, then all meaning can be lost. And that means these errors can be the worst errors. The most important errors. So pronunciation is important.

Now, I’ll admit this is an over-simplification. It is not really so simple. This is too simple up here. In real life, well, some grammar errors can be really, really severe they can be very hard to understand. And sometimes pronunciation errors can be small.

They can be easy to figure out. But in general, on average, pronunciation errors can cause the most trouble. Now, I say pronunciation errors but let’s compare that with an accent. Because you probably have an accent and it might be okay. Accents are not necessarily a problem for the TOEFL. Some accent is all right.

So by accent, I mean a consistent issue. If you say instead of th, d, or t, every time. So instead of they you always say day, well, I probably understand you, okay. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t work on this, you should work on this.

This th to th, ta and da is one of the easier pronunciation problems to fix. You can fix this, it takes time, it takes work, but it’s possible. But, if it’s consistent I might understand it. If it’s predictable because it’s consistent I know it will happen again. Then it’s easier to understand.

And if it’s mostly about vowel problems, for example, instead of saying it sounds like eh. Well, there’s some variety in English anyway that is someone from America pronounces their a little bit different than how someone from England pronounces their. So, those vowel issues, they’re really more about accents, and keep in mind there are different English accents too.

Pronunciation errors on the other hand are not consistent they’re isolated. I’m talking about one word that I could not understand because of problems that are very large, it’s not small repeated problems. They can be very surprising because of that, I don’t know what will happen. So when you say blowdeh or if somebody says, blowdeh, instead of brother. It’s surprising.

I wasn’t able to predict that error. I wasn’t able to predict that problem, and it can be about any aspect of the word not just the vowels, a, e, i, u. It can be also about, for example, let’s just use the word example. It can also be about stresses, so this word should be example, with the stress here, example.

If you say, example, example, then that’s not an accent, that’s a pronunciation error. It’s about the stress of the word, and it causes a problem. It’s surprising and it’s isolated. It’s not easy to predict like an accent. So it needs to be pronounced as example for me to understand it.

So accents can be okay, but that depends completely on communication. If your accent is so strong, it can be consistent and predictable and it’s mostly vowels, it can just be an accent but if it’s so strong, so strong that the person who listens to your TOEFL responses can’t understand you then you will lose points. So it’s all right up until a level.

If it is too strong then it’s a problem. Now what is that level? What is too strong? If you have trouble with th, okay. If you have trouble with th and r. Well, that’s not great, if you have trouble with th, and r, and l, and sh, well, now that’s a lot of sounds.

If you have trouble with all these and the vowels, now it’s going to be very hard to understand you. So, one single sound, or two sounds that cause trouble might be all right, that could be an accent. And if it’s just vowels in your accent, it’s just that your a is a little funny, or your o is a little funny, that’s not such a big deal, but when it’s many sounds all together then it can really inhibit communication, it can cause problems for communication.

So consonants and vowels, consonants and vowels, well, vowels are those a, e, i, o, and u, and those sounds are really difficult to change. It’s a big part of accent. And they’re difficult to change because there’s a lot of variety. Even among native accents, there’s a lot of variety. So the sound can be a range of different sounds.

It can be. It can be. It can be eh. They’re small differences, but in different native accents they can change. Consonants on the other hand are a little bit easier for you to work on, and there’s less variety.

Th as in the, that only has one sound. All native speakers make the same sound. They all say th, so these are a little bit more important for you to get correct, because native speakers are not used to hearing that they are pronounced incorrectly.

We are used to hearing them pronounced the same by everybody. Vowels, it might not be possible to get them perfect, but that might be okay because native speakers are used to hearing some slightly different vowels, even from other native speakers. So I really recommend starting here. Start with the consonants.

Be sure that your sh sound is correct that your vuh sound is correct. If you’re trying to improve those, it helps to start with some research. Make sure that you know what your mouth position should be. Look at diagrams, so when you see a diagram of a mouth showing the way your tongue is when you do a sound th, after you do that look in a mirror and put your tongue in that position, and mimic, imitate the diagram.

Imitate what you see. Check out some slowed-down pronunciation videos. I recommend Rachel’s English. This is a website, oops, no w, Rachel’s English. I believe it is just rachelsenglish.com with no apostrophe. And on YouTube, as well, you can find lots and lots of these pronunciation videos.

I don’t need to provide them here because there are so many free pronunciation videos that will be a big help for you. And again, I do recommend Rachel’s English in particular. Record yourself speaking. Why would you do this? Well, you want to hear the comparison between yourself and native speakers.

Hear how it sounds different so that you can imitate better and try to avoid the same mistakes. Imitation is really key. After you’ve done this research, listen to native speakers, stop, play it again. Stop it and play it again, and then try to make the same exact sounds yourself. Repeat what you heard.

Repeat what you saw in videos. Now, this can feel weird. Sometimes, it feels like you are insulting the person who you are imitating. Like you are mocking. It sounds like you are mocking them. This is a good word, it means to imitate and insult at the same time.

So for example, if someone has a high pitched voice, they have a voice that is very high. And I make that sound and I talk like this and I am trying to insult them by imitating them, that is mocking. It feels like mocking, but that’s okay. It’s good because your natural feeling, the way you speak naturally comes from your native language, it does not come from English.

If you want the English accent then you need to feel uncomfortable because feeling comfortable is your native accent. Feeling uncomfortable? Feeling weird? Is more likely to be English sounding. So you want to try to use that accent of an English speaker and here’s an interesting trick, try it in your native language too.

So find a video or an audio clip of an English speaker like me, trying to speak your language. So for example, an English person speaking Spanish and they probably have an English accent or an American accent when they speak Spanish. Try to imitate that accent in speaking your own language try to imitate the accent of an English speaker in your language.

And this can help you learn the types of mouth movements that are natural when speaking English, and then you can bring that back into English and use those same mouth movements when you speak English too. So to recap, pronunciation errors are very important. They’re more important than accent. Accent is hard to define, but it’s very consistent and small.

Pronunciation errors can be surprising and totally destroy communication. Work on your consonants first. Work on the bs, cs, ds, and the vs, and th, and sh. Work on those first, imitate natives speakers and feel weird, feel uncomfortable that’s okay. Just try to sound as similar to the native as possible.

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