English Pronunciation Problem? Solve it!

English pronunciation can be really  confusing, messy and frustrating. This is because English language spellings and pronunciations rules are not consistent.

Nothing can explain in more clear terms  complexities in English words pronunciation than Bernard Shaw who insisted English word, ‘Fish’ should actually be pronounced as ‘Ghoti’. He explained it thus;


CouGH-------- Sound, ’F’

WOmen------Sound, ’I’

StaTIon--------Sound, ’SH’

The reason for this is English is not a phonetic language. It means, while in most languages every alphabet represents a distinct sound. i.e. one letter, one sound so that each alphabet SOUNDS the same every time it is used. But,  English Pronunciation  comprises 48 sounds made out of 26 alphabets.

Here is how,

1.       Short and long sound

2.      Combination like: C,H, S, CH,SH,T,TH,P,PH,D,G,DG..................etc.


 English is an inconsistent language because it not a phonetic language.


What is a Phonetic Language? 

How to learn English pronunciation?

You could check the standard pronunciation of words in online dictionaries. These dictionaries provide pronunciation sound in audio format. Here is a list of online dictionaries.


A typical dictionary gives information about a word in total, like its meaning, definition, pronunciation etc. When a user looks up a word in a dictionary, s/he sees a lot of information about the word including several pronunciations (some English words have different pronunciation when used as a noun or a verb e.g. Content {Noun pronounced, con (o as in top) and tent. Verb pronounced as Con (o as in run) and tent} in the form of phonetic or phonemic transcription.


If you are someone who carries a pocket dictionary or are a die hard paperback dictionary fan, you will need to learn these sound/ Phonetic symbols to understand pronunciations given in a dictionary.



Ask somebody who is well versed in the language for the correct pronunciation. But, this option will not enable you to tackle other English pronunciations when there isn't anyone around to answer your query.


Difficulty in learning English Pronunciation

Standard pronunciation: We all know there are variety of Englishes- Australian, South Africa, New Zealand, UK, USA, Canada and their innumerable dialects. Most often English language learners get confused about the right pronunciation.


Well, there are two predominant pronunciations for English words, British and American.


Mostly, hard bound dictionaries do indicate the most usual and common pronunciation along with other varieties of it i.e. British and American sound articulation.


How to understand pronunciation from a dictionary? 

Once you know sound symbols you will be able to understand the correct intonation/elocution of that word,  you will feel confident when you use that word.


But, know that no matter how hard you try, you will make mistakes in the beginning when learning the right or standard articulation of the word. But with practice you will be able to use it accurately.


It is being said by experts that when you use a word for at least 6-10 times you will know it permanently- its definition, spelling/, pronunciation, correct usage.

So the golden rule.

Patience, Practice, Perseverance

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