How to improve your English pronunciation, self learning #40
Hello everyone. Thank you for tuning in. This is Mainichieigonote (every day English note). My name is Mai, and I am the host of this channel. I usually speak Japanese in my episodes, but I started talking in English recently because I wanted to improve my English speaking skills and my pronunciation.
Today, I’d like to share some tips for improving your English pronunciation.
To be honest with you, my English pronunciation is not perfect as you can hear now, but I believe I know what I need to do to improve my English pronunciation based on my practical experience of learning Chinese.
I love learning languages and I studied Chinese for years before I took a Chinese course in Osaka. It was a training school for Chinese interpreters and translators, and my Chinese accent was completely corrected by a teacher. It was really serious training for Chinese pronunciation. And thanks to the teacher, I managed to improve my Chinese, although a native speaker of Chinese said that my Chinese has a Taiwanese accent because the teacher who corrected my pronunciation had mastered Chinese in Taiwan.
Chinese is one of the languages whose pronunciation are difficult to learn for Japanese people. So, I assume that I could use the same method or strategy for improving my English pronunciation, which is simply to memorise the pronunciation of every single word.
There are lots of books or tools to help you improve your pronunciation, but I believe that you don’t need them.
The first thing you need to do is to remember every detail about the spelling of English words properly. Compared to French or Spanish, the regularity of English spelling and pronunciation is less strict, but still, there are some formulas, or some rules, which allow you to get the ideas for the right pronunciation. It’s not always straightforward, but remembering spelling correctly will help you improve your pronunciation. Roughly speaking, when you cannot pronounce a word properly, there is more chance that you have not learnt the spelling correctly.
Try to memorise the spelling of English words firmly, one by one, and stick to every single sound or syllable of every single word. It’s not easy. It’s hard work, but this is exactly what I did to improve my Chinese pronunciation. When I started the Chinese lessons in Osaka, I thought I had already remembered lots of Chinese letters and their pronunciations, but I realised that I hadn’t. So, I re-memorised every single characteristic and every single syllable with that teacher in the training institute. It seems like a lot of work to do that, but after you have done it, you can make your language skills solid and furthermore you will be super confident with your language.
Meanwhile, it’s also important to learn how to use your lips and tongue. Each pronunciation must have a proper position of your lips and tongue to pronounce it.
Our bodies are amazingly well designed and so is the system of voice making.
Our voice is produced by the vocal cords which are located in our throat. The sound is generated by the vibration of the vocal cords when your breath goes through your throat and resonates in your mouth and nose.
No matter which language you speak, when you pronounce a sound, your lips and tongue must be shaped properly to produce the right sound.
We just need to memorise where our lips, teeth and tongue should be when we pronounce the specific sound of English. Each sound requires a specific position of them. After understanding the right positions, practise them repeatedly, so that you will be able to learn any kind of language pronunciations.
Disappointingly, there is no shortcut to learning the proper pronunciations. What we need to do is to be serious about the spelling of every single word, every single syllable, and to shape properly our mouths, teeth, tongues and lips to create the correct sounds. Sometimes it may be necessary to be aware of nasal sounds. Stick to the detail, and sincerely learn each word. That is the most efficient way to master English pronunciation and to make your speaking skill solid. Believe it or not, this is what I am doing now and this is what I am going to do to get my pronunciation better.
Alright, that’s all for today. Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I’m always happy to receive your comments, feedback and questions. And don’t forget to visit my website, everydayenglishnote.com, where you can find today’s script.
Thank you again and I will be back to you soon. Until then, goodbye!
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