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  • Today, I'm going to show you the very best online dictionary to use to study English.

  • and teach you how to pronounce any word in American English. english isn't phonetic.

  • That means the letters don't correspond directly to sounds.

  • I made a video where I went through all the pronunciations of OUGH.

  • It's surprising how many there are and how different from each other they are.

  • What's not surprising is that I often get emails from students asking how to pronounce something

  • and I want to give you all the resources I can to figure out and learn how to pronounce

  • any word in English like a native.

  • First of all, when you use an online dictionary, you'll see that they'll try to help you with the pronunciation.

  • Let's look up the word 'identify'.

  • Dictionary.com tells me that this is how I sound pronounce it.

  • Cambridge dictionary has completely different symbols.

  • Oh, and they have two pronunciations.

  • One for British English, and one for American English. That's good to know.

  • I wonder which one was listed in Dictionary.com. It didn't say one way or another.

  • Merriam Webster has yet another different set of sounds.

  • Here's McMillan, it looks similar to the Cambridge dictionary.

  • Both McMillan and Cambridge used IPA symbols.

  • That is the International Phonetic Alphabet to show the pronunciation and this is what I recommend.

  • It's more standard.

  • I have a playlist to help you learn the symbols and sounds together.

  • Click here on in the description below to see that playlist.

  • There will be small differences.

  • For example, Cambridge puts these little dots between syllables and McMillan doesn't.

  • I like Cambridge the best because it gives both British and American English pronunciations.

  • However, it uses this symbol instead of the IPA symbol for EH

  • and it shows this symbol instead of the IPA symbol for the American R so it isn't perfect.

  • None of them are. But Cambridge is probably the best.

  • Once you know the IPA, you can figure out the pronunciation of any word

  • when you're using a dictionary that uses IPA, sort of. Let's dig deeper.

  • Online dictionaries also have audio clips for each word.

  • Let's listen to some.

  • Identify.

  • That sounds a little robotic, doesn't it?

  • Identify.

  • Identify.

  • I wouldn't recommend using this as your example of how to practice.

  • What about Cambridge?

  • Identify.

  • It's a little hard to tell what he's doing with this T here. I'm definitely not hearing a True T.

  • let's compare the British pronunciation.

  • Identify.

  • There, there's a clear True T.

  • Identify.

  • Identify.

  • hard to tell what he's doing here. It's almost like I barely hear the T at all.

  • Identify.

  • Identify.

  • It's almost like a flap.

  • Identify.

  • Identify.

  • Okay, there's our British pronunciation again.

  • So it doesn't say that that's the British English pronunciation but I know it is.

  • But that could be confusing if you're a non-native speaker.

  • You might not know if you're hearing British English or American English.

  • Identify.

  • Identify.

  • Again, I'm not hearing a True T there.

  • Identify.

  • And I'm also not told if this is British English or American English.

  • Identify.

  • So they have the T written out in the pronunciation but I don't really hear it.

  • Identify.

  • Tt, tt, tt.

  • Do you hear that sound?

  • Identify.

  • What's going on there?

  • The pronunciation didn't match the IPA symbols and it didn't match the other online dictionaries.

  • This is when another source with lots of real Americans speaking full sentences is important.

  • Because dictionaries don't take into account some of the changes that Americans make.

  • We do a lot with the letter T. We have a Stop T, a Flap T, a True T, and a Dropped T.

  • But in the dictionary, they'll only ever just show one symbol, the symbol for the True T.

  • A great next step is to go to Youglish.com.

  • It's a collection f Youtube videos with subtitles and you can search for a particular word or phrase

  • and then filter by American English.

  • Let's listen to the word 'identify'.

  • Identify. Identify. No T there.

  • Identify that specific.

  • Identify. Identify. No, there was no T there.

  • You need to identify... Identify. Again, no T.

  • Identify. Identify. No true T, the T is totally dropped.

  • Identify. Identify.

  • So her beginning vowel, a little different there. But again, there's no T sound at all, it's totally dropped.

  • So we've listened to five examples so far and none of them had a True T.

  • Even though when we looked them up in the dictionary,

  • they all had written out in the sounds that there was a True T.

  • Okay, so looking at the dictionary was a good first step

  • if you know IPA. But it wasn't great for listening and repeating. Some of the audio sounded robotic,

  • wasn't identified as American English or British English. Did you notice, I just used the word 'identify'?

  • and I dropped the T too, didn't I? it's important to go to a source like Youglish.com

  • where you can find examples of real Americans using the word you're studying in context.

  • This helps you get a more natural pronunciation and you can also learn how to use the word

  • by studying how native speakers use it in full sentences to express their ideas.

  • One of the things that makes English so hard is figuring out how to pronounce something

  • based on how it's written. I want you to know it's a challenge for us too.

  • When I'm reading and I come across the word that's unfamiliar to me, I usually stop and look it up.

  • So even Americans need to do this, need to look up the pronunciation.

  • There's also the flipside when we hear a word, figuring out how to write it down, how to spell it, can be tricky.

  • Native speakers of American English have a hard time with spelling too.

  • I was playing charades with a group of friends once

  • and we all had to write down something for someone to act out.

  • So we all wrote something down on a piece of paper, and put it in a bowl.

  • My friend wrote down 'Rachel scratching her eczema.'

  • Because at that time, I was having a lot of skin issues and she wrote it like this: eggsema.

  • Eggs, like the eggs we eat from a chicken. that just made me laugh so hard but it also made perfect sense.

  • Eczema.

  • One pronunciation is the EH as in Bed vowel, G and Z, just like the word 'eggs'.

  • So when you're learning a new word, it might indeed be hard to figure out the pronunciation.

  • But even when you know the sounds and you hear a native speaker, it can be hard to do it yourself.

  • I want to show you one other trick that you can have to work on this. Slow down the videos on Youglish.

  • In the YouTube player, come here to settings and then click speed and you can see you have lots of options.

  • You're going to choose normal or something slower.

  • Here, I've chosen 0.5 speed. That's half as fast as normal.

  • Eczema. Eczema.

  • So by hearing it slower, it helps me more easily identify what exactly she's doing

  • with the sounds and I can imitate it myself slowly.

  • Eczema. Eczema.

  • So now you have the resources and the know-how to teach yourself the pronunciation of any word.

  • The thing I love about Youglish is if you're looking for something that's not in the dictionary, l

  • ike a business name, for example.

  • There's a good chance you'll find examples of native speakers saying it on Youglish.

  • You can also use Youglish for a whole phrase, not just a single word.

  • I hope these resources help you train your best pronunciation.

  • Keep checking back with me for more tips on how to improve

  • your American English pronunciation with new videos every week.

  • That's it and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

Today, I'm going to show you the very best online dictionary to use to study English.

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B1 identify pronunciation dictionary american english cambridge british english

How to Pronounce EVERY English Word – The BEST English Dictionary | How to Speak English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/13
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