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  • Hi.

  • Welcome to engVid.

  • I'm Adam.

  • Today's lesson is a pronunciation lesson.

  • I'm going to talk to you about 10 words that many people find very difficult to pronounce,

  • especially non-native English speakers, but even sometimes native speakers have some trouble

  • with some of these.

  • We're going to look at the first five and I'm going to show you two things, two ways

  • to look at this word.

  • One...

  • Or these words.

  • One is the phonetic, basically just: How does it sound?

  • And two is looking at the actual phonetic alphabet to see how it's spelled according

  • to the phonetic alphabet, and I'll talk to you about that as well.

  • So we're going to look at: "months", "clothes", "little", "queue", "chaos".

  • So you already heard me saying them, but I'll go through each one carefully.

  • A lot of people try to pronounce the "th" in this word: "months", "months", you're just

  • confusing your tongue, you're confusing your listener.

  • Don't try to always put "ths", they don't always work.

  • Even native speakers don't bother trying to separate the sounds.

  • What...

  • The way it sounds like to us, like the way I say it is: "muntz".

  • The "ths" I just switch to a "tz".

  • So if you think about the word "plants", you know...

  • Everybody knows how to say "plant", one plant, many plants, this is the same sound as here:

  • "tz".

  • So this is the same sound here: "mun", like "sun", "run", "munt", "muntz".

  • Okay?

  • Again, don't try to separate them.

  • This is what it looks like in the phonetic.

  • Now, if you want to really improve your pronunciation and sound like a native speaker, you must

  • learn the International Phonetic Alphabet.

  • I took this phonetic spelling from the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, that's the American dictionary

  • if you want to get the North American accent.

  • Look at the Oxford Dictionary, for example, if you want to get the British phonetic spelling

  • of things, if you want to get the different accents, etc.

  • Get to know these symbols.

  • This is like an "ah" or sometimes even an "uh", as we're going to see in other words.

  • Make sure you understand the different symbols and what sounds they represent, that way any

  • word that you want to pronounce correctly, you can do according to this.

  • Now, you can also go online: m-w . com or just www . Merriam-Webster . com, you can

  • hear all of these words and you can practice saying them and saying them correctly.

  • Now, this word, and it's the same idea.

  • You still have your "t", "h", and "s", but you have the "e", the extra vowel in the middle.

  • A lot of people try to say: "clothes", but if you say "clothes" to a native speaker...

  • Okay, usually the context will help them understand what you're saying, but if you say the word

  • out of context they actually won't know what you're saying because we don't have a word

  • "clothes".

  • Okay?

  • It sounds like "cloze".

  • Close the door, wear clothes, sounds exactly the same.

  • And again, the phonetic with be "o" there, "k", and the "z".

  • We don't have the "th" because we don't pronounce it.

  • So most words that have a "th" and an "s" very close together, we generally just basically

  • squeeze them in into a "ts" sound or a "z" sound.

  • Okay?

  • "Clothes".

  • So when...

  • After you take the clothes out of the closet, close the door.

  • Okay?

  • Clothes.

  • "Little".

  • Now, some people try to say "little", which is okay.

  • Everybody will understand you if you say "little", but most people in, again, native...

  • Native speakers in everyday sound, everyday speech, everyday pace will say: "lidol".

  • I have a little bit.

  • Little bit.

  • So it sounds like a "d", the "tt" sounds like a "d".

  • This "i" is almost not pronounced.

  • It's more like the "d" drops into the "l".

  • This is what it looks like here, that's where the "t" drops.

  • They put it as a "t", but when you have two t's together and in normal speed, it sounds

  • like a "d", so: "lidle".

  • Some people say: "I have a little bit", some people will say: "I have a lidle bit."

  • Little.

  • Okay?

  • Now, this word, this word is very frightening because everybody who doesn't actually know

  • this word will actually try to pronounce it.

  • But you have to remember English is a crazy language.

  • We have many words that don't sound anything like they look.

  • Okay?

  • So this is not "queue", nobody says "queue", because nobody will understand what you're

  • saying.

  • This word basically means "q" or is pronounced-sorry-"q".

  • It means a line up.

  • When you go to the bank and you go to the teller, but there's a lot of people, get in

  • queue and wait until your turn.

  • Get in line.

  • Queue, very simple, just like the letter "q", and there is the alphabet.

  • Now, this one I've heard all kinds.

  • I've heard: "cows", I've heard "ka-os", but the actual correct way is "k", we pronounce

  • the "a" as a diphthong, as like a two-vowel sound, "ke yos" or "key os".

  • Okay?

  • Depends.

  • Some people say it differently.

  • Some people say: "ke yos", some people say "key os".

  • They'll put the accent...

  • Technically it should be this one because the stress is on the first part: "key os".

  • So look...

  • Notice that these are both a's, but these symbols on top tell you that they're diphthongs,

  • or they're longer, or they're shorter, what kind of sound they should be.

  • If you start to study the IPA, it's like learning a new alphabet so it does...

  • It will take some work from you.

  • Okay?

  • You do have to put in some effort, but once you learn it you can learn the pronunciation

  • of basically every word, and you can learn the different accents if you want British,

  • Australian, Canadian, American, etc. learn the phonetic alphabet.

  • Let's look at five more words.

  • Okay, so we're going to look at five more words that...

  • The first ones we looked at, everyday words, you're going to use them a lot.

  • These ones not as common, but still regular everyday words.

  • Okay?

  • So first we're going to look at: "niche".

  • Now, it looks like "Nietzsche", which...

  • Who was a very famous philosopher, but that's not who we're talking about here.

  • We're look...

  • Talking about niche.

  • When you're talking about a market and there's a very particular target audience or very

  • particular customer for a very specialized thing, so it's small, we call that a niche.

  • Okay?

  • It's like a very particular small thing.

  • This is how it's pronounced: "neesh", this is what it looks like in the IPA.

  • Okay?

  • So, again, study the IPA, very recommended.

  • Not easy, but it's worth it for you, especially if you want to improve your pronunciation.

  • Now, everybody looks at this word and they recognize the word "famous", so then they

  • think it's: "Oh, infamous, means not famous", but that's actually not the meaning of the

  • word and that's not the correct pronunciation either.

  • This word is "infamous", "in fa mus", and it means the...

  • It's famous, but for something bad.

  • Okay?

  • So somebody is famous for something bad, that person is infamous.

  • "In fa mus", "in fa mus".

  • Now, this looks like a "uh" so infamous, it depends who you're asking how it's pronounced.

  • I pronounce it "infa", "infamus", okay.

  • And the accent, "infamous", on the first syllable.

  • So remember it's very important also to understand syllables which are actually the vowel sounds

  • in a word.

  • So if you're not sure about a word, first cut it into all of its syllables and then

  • try to pronounce each one separately.

  • And if you're not sure how to pronounce them, you go look it up in the dictionary, you can

  • hear it.

  • Some...

  • A lot of them, like the Merriam-Webster will also give you this type of break down.

  • They'll split it into syllables and they'll give you the IPA spelling as well.

  • Now, "lawyer", the person who practices law.

  • So this word: "law" is "ah", but in...

  • When we're talking about the person it's: "oh", "loh", "loh yer", "loh yer".

  • This "yer" is the same as "sir" or "were".

  • So, one of the good things you can also do is try to find the pronunciations of words

  • that you do know how to say properly, like "sir" or "were", and then apply that to other

  • words that you're not sure about.

  • So you know this spelling: "your", "sir", "were", "lawyer".

  • Very straightforward.

  • Not "lawyer", okay?

  • Lawyer.

  • "Squirrel".

  • A squirrel is a cute, little animal...

  • For some people it's cute.

  • I think they're cute.

  • Some people think they're mice with big tails, but in Canada we have lots of them.

  • Okay?

  • And a lot of people come to Canada and they take pictures of these little animals, and

  • they want to send them home to wherever they came from, and then they want to tell their

  • family or friends about this animal and then they go: "Squirrel", "squirrah", okay?

  • Because the "rl" is a very difficult combination of letters to pronounce, even for native speakers.

  • For example, this is one of the most difficult words in English to pronounce: "rural".

  • Okay?

  • Rural means, like, countryside.

  • Urban - city; rural - countryside.

  • See?

  • Even I have trouble with this word.

  • "rl" is difficult.

  • From...

  • For some nationalities it's very difficult because you don't distinguish between these

  • two to begin with.

  • So what are you going to do?

  • You're going to take it and try to connect it to another word that you do know.

  • Most people can say: "girl".

  • All you're doing is you're taking out the "g", you're putting in the "skw", and you

  • have the same word: "girl", "squirrel", a girl squirrel, a squirrel girl.

  • Same idea, same pronunciation, and then you play with other words you do know to get to

  • the words you don't know.

  • And again, here the reason there's a little accent on top of the "r" is because it kind

  • of drops into the...

  • Into the "l" which is actually what makes it difficult to pronounce: "rl", little ending

  • there.

  • Now, everybody...

  • I've heard all kinds of ways to say this word: "comfortable".

  • I'm not going to go through them, but listen to how I say it in regular speech.

  • "Cumf t'bl".

  • I don't pronounce the "r", I barely pronounce "table".

  • I don't say "table", I say "t'bl".

  • I squeeze all...

  • I squeeze it all together, I take out the vowels.

  • "Cumf t'bl", that's one way.

  • Some people do pronounce the "r": "cum for tabl".

  • The "tabl" is still not "table", it's "tabl", any way you say it.

  • Some people do say the "r", some people don't.

  • Some people make the "f" sound like a "p": "cumptabl".

  • It works for some, it doesn't work for anybody...

  • For everybody.

  • Whatever way you say it, it is not "comfortable".

  • That's not the correct way.

  • "Comftbl".

  • Okay?

  • So get used to this kind of words.

  • Get used to the IPA, very, very important, very useful if you want to sound like a native

  • speaker.

  • Okay?

  • So, a little bit difficult to make quizzes on this, but I did make a quiz with IPA, help

  • you study your IPA words.

  • Go to www.engvid.com, take the quiz, and practice your use of the IPA for pronunciation.

  • Like my video if you liked it, and don't forget to subscribe to my channel.

  • If you have any questions, again, www.engvid.com, you can ask me in the forum there.

  • And I'll see you again real soon. Bye-bye.

Hi.

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B1 pronounce phonetic squirrel native alphabet pronunciation

10 English words that are hard to say correctly

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    Summer posted on 2020/11/29
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