字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント If you're like most people, you're probably concerned that you're not pronouncing words correctly in English. After all, when we're speaking another language, it can be hard to know if the sounds that we hear inside our heads are actually coming out correctly. In my case, worrying about my accent kept me from speaking confidently for many years. That's why I emphasize helping you speak more clearly so that you're more easily understood by native English speakers. I want you to feel more confident than I did when speaking Spanish. In this video, I'm going to share three reasons you may be mispronouncing words in English. My goal is to help point out these particular mistakes so that you can start focusing attention on them, work on them, improve them so that you can feel a little more confident that you're communicating as clearly as possible. So let's talk about the three reasons you may be mispronouncing words in English. Number one, you're making each and every syllable the same length. This is a super common problem for non-native English speakers. English is what we call a stress-timed language. In a stress-timed language, the rhythm is measured by the beats in between stressed syllables, and I'll talk about that in just a moment. Other languages are syllable-timed languages. This means that the beats are counted by each syllable being more or less the same length. Take a moment and consider this question. Is your language a syllable-timed language or a stress-timed language? Chances are you speak a syllable-timed language. So that means when you're speaking English, you're making each syllable the same length. This means that you're probably mispronouncing the word. In English, words include stressed syllables, unstressed syllables, and reduced syllables. Each word has a syllable that receives the most stress. This is when one syllable is longer, louder and higher in pitch. I'm sure you can understand why, if you're making each syllable exactly the same length, you're not pronouncing words in English correctly. When we have a stressed syllable, the vowel sound is going to be incredibly clear and easy to understand. Like I said, it's longer, louder and higher in pitch. Longer words may also include unstressed syllables. This is where these syllables are a little bit shorter, but the vowel sound is still clear. You'll also hear reduced syllables. This is when we make the vowel sounds sound like the schwa, which is the "uh" sound in "about," or it sounds like "i." We're not going to go into too much depth on word stress here in this video, but if you want more guidance, please be sure to check out my free email course, Sound More Natural in Just Five Days at soundmorenatural.com. To pronounce words more accurately, you need to pay attention to the stressed syllable. One syllable will be longer, louder and higher in pitch. Let me just tell you that one of the reasons I have an accent when I speak Spanish is that I'm still stressing syllables like I would in English. Spanish tends to have more even syllables. And in order to reduce my accent, I'm going to have to reduce the stress that I use naturally as a native English speaker. It doesn't sound natural in Spanish! So now that you're aware of the importance of making sure one syllable is longer, louder and higher in pitch, let's talk about reason number two. The second reason you may be mispronouncing words in English is that you're stressing the wrong syllable. Since you've probably been listening to English for years, whether you're listening to music, watching TV or movies, or even interacting with native English speakers, your ear has started to adjust to stress. You know it exists. But if you're mispronouncing a word, it may not actually be your articulation of sounds, the particular sounds. You may actually be putting stress on the wrong syllable. A common example I hear is the word "hotel." Many non-native speakers stress HO-tel, they put stress on the first syllable. This may be interference from their native language or how it's pronounced in their native language. But in American English we pronounce the word "hotel" with stress on the second syllable. You'll notice that "tel" is longer, louder and higher in pitch: ho-TEL. A longer example is the word "experience." Some people stress the first syllable EXperience, but it's exPERience. You want to make sure that syllable - exPERience - is longer, louder and higher in pitch. If you shift around the stress, the word is going to sound off even if you pronounce every single vowel and consonant correctly. Another example - education, we stress the "a": eduCAtion. Sometimes people stress a different syllable like EDucation and it doesn't sound natural. You can hear it sounds a little weird. EduCAtion: make sure you stress the correct syllable. Another related example: university. Sometimes people say UNiversity. Native English speakers say uniVERsity. If you don't stress the correct syllable, it may be a little hard to understand you and it's going to make the word sound "off." A third reason you may be mispronouncing words in English is that you are substituting a consonant from your native language. At times, there is some overlap between the consonant sounds you use in your native language and we use in English, but at times they're similar, but not quite right. When you're first learning a language, it's very common to find a similar sound, to find a similar mouth position. This helps make it a little easier to try to get the sound out correctly, but as you continue to advance and you want to improve how you sound and reduce your accent, you're going to need to stop substituting these intermediate sounds. In fact, sometimes the sound you're using from your native language isn't exactly the same way we would form the sound in our mouths in English. So it comes out sounding like an intermediate sound. A super common example for speakers of Asian languages is substituting the "l" sound for the "r" sound or the "r" sound for the "l" sound. Both of those sounds are kind of in the same position in your mouth. I'm not going to get into too many details here, but just pay attention when you say the word "really," are you making sure to say "really" like we would in English, putting the "r" inside our mouth, that American "r" and sticking your tongue out to make that "l" sound: really. An example for Spanish speakers is the "v" sound in the word "very." Sometimes people substitute the "b" sound like in berry and instead of saying very, they say berry without putting the "v," putting your teeth on your lip. A lot of people struggle with the "th" sound. Instead of saying "three," they say "tree," or instead of saying "thing," they say "ting." They're substituting a different sound that's close enough in order to get as close to the word as possible. And while this may not affect whether or not somebody can understand you, it doesn't sound like the way a native speaker would say it. A good way to practice these sounds is to look up minimal pairs and practice distinguishing between these two sounds. Of course, there may be more reasons that you're mispronouncing words in English, but I just wanted to give you a few ideas of what to pay attention to so you can get started reducing your accent. So let's review the three reasons you may be mispronouncing words in English. First, you may be making each syllable exactly the same length. Like I said, English is a stress-timed language. That means that one syllable is longer, louder and higher in pitch. In order to create the natural rhythm of English, you're going to need to make sure one syllable is longer. The second reason is that you may be stressing the wrong syllable even if you're aware of word stress and you're starting to include it in your speech. If you're mispronouncing a word, it's not always because you're NOT using stress. It's because you're using stress on the wrong syllable, so you may need to check your stress on words you find difficult to pronounce. Last, you may be mispronouncing a word because you're substituting a related consonant or related sound in your native language. You may need to just practice how to move your mouth through the right shape in order to pronounce the sound the way it is in English. For more tips on how to reduce your accent, please be sure to check out the links in the description below. I've included a playlist that will help you get started with accent reduction in English. Once again, I am Kim from englishwithkim.com. I'm your guide to the essential communication skills you need to sound more natural in English. 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