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In this American English pronunciation video,
we're going to go out hunting for a squirrel

and you're going to learn how to
say this very difficult word.

It's a gorgeous fall day here in Philadelphia.
Let's walk around the neighborhood and
see if we can find ourselves a squirrel.

Look, there's one. That didn't take long.
I'm making this video today for Dave.
Dave is a big fan of Rachel's
English and I'm a big fan of Dave.

He's not your typical Rachel's
English fan, in that he's American.

And, he's not a teacher. So why is he
learning how to pronounce American English?

Well, Dave had a stroke and it affected
the speech center in his brain.

So he has what's called 'apraxia'.
And that means he can think the word but actually
making the word with his mouth
doesn't come naturally,

he has to think through every position
of every sound in every word.

I can't imagine the effort that it takes
to communicate but he's put in the effort

and here's a video of him speaking
English after his stroke.

>> My name is David and this is not
how I sounded four years ago.

So Dave told me he has problems with this word and
he's not the only one. So let's get down to it.

How do we pronounce 'squirrel'?
Because this video is for Dave,
I'm going to do things a little more slowly,

and with a little bit more repetition.
I would love for you to tell me
if you like this format better.

You can put it in the comments below.
Let's get started.
'Squirrel' is a two syllable word
with stress on the first syllable.

So it will go DA-da, long-short,
squirrel, squirrel.

We begin with the SK consonant cluster.
Let's do this slowly. Ss.

To make the S the teeth are together.
The tip of my tongue is here
behind the bottom front teeth.

I know some people make it with
the tongue tip pointing up,

I make it with the tongue tip pointing down.
Ss-Kk.

Then we have the K consonant.
The back part of the tongue will lift and
touch the soft palate. That stops the air.

I'm going to exaggerate that
stop here before the release.

Ss-kk. Ss-kk. Ss-kk.
So I lift my tongue and then let it go.
Now I'm going to do the K with
the rounded lip position. Why?

Lip positions do not affect the K sound but for
the next sound I need to have my lips rounded.

Ss-kk. Ss-kk.
And now we'll go into that
next sound which is the W.

Ss-kw, Ss-kw-k-w.
So I'm using my vocal cords here.
For the first two sounds, S and K,
they were unvoiced. It was just air.

Ss-kk. Ss-kk. Ss-kw.
Now you finally hear my voice.
Skw-w-w.
To make this sound, my lips are rounding.
The tongue tip is down touching
behind the bottom front teeth.

It hasn't moved for this whole word and
the back part of the tongue is lifting.

So when it pulls down for the K, it doesn't
relax all the way down. It still stays high.

Squ-, squ-.
Now we have the UR as in HER vowel.
Squir- Squir-.
So my lips relax a little bit.
They are not as round as they are for the
W but they're not totally relaxed either.

Squ-irr-irr-irr.
They flare a little bit and come
out from the face just a bit.

Squirr-irr. Squirr.
The tongue pulls back and up so the
tongue tip has been down and front

for the whole word and now
it's lifting for this vowel.

So the middle part of my tongue is
touching the roof of my mouth about here,

it might not touch the roof of your mouth.
Maybe it touches the insides of the teeth.

Squirr-irr.
But we want to think of a contact point about
here so that the tongue is lifting to that.

Squirr-irr.
That means the tip of the
tongue isn't touching anything.

Squirr- irrel, -el.
Now we have the Dark L.
You can see that the lips will relax.

Squirrel, -el, -el, -el.
What does the tongue do?
The tongue comes back down so it's not at the
roof of the mouth like it was for the R,

and the tip comes forward again.
Squirrel, -el, -el. Squirrel.
But the back part of the tongue isn't relaxed.
We need to make it dark for the Dark L.

So to do that, the back part of the
tongue pulls back a little bit:

-el, -el, -el.
It's what gives us that dark sound -el, -el, -el.
Squirrel. Squirrel.
Because it's a Dark L at the end of a word,
you don't need to lift your tongue tip up to the
roof of the mouth, which is the position for the L.

You can just leave the dark sound,
squirrel, and be done with the word.

Squirrel, Squirrel.
Now let's sound it out slowly together.
Ss-qui-rrel. Squirrel.
Let's take a look at this word,
up close and in slow motion.

There you have it. I hope this video has made how
to pronounce the word 'squirrel' a little bit easier.

Fans, if you're not already on my mailing list,
please sign up by clicking this link
or the link in the description below.

When you're on my mailing list, you'll get all of
the latest news and videos from Rachel's English,

including crazy news like when I got engaged.
That's it guys and thanks so
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How to Pronounce Squirrel - American English Pronunciation

1492 Folder Collection
Caurora published on March 6, 2018
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