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What do I have to do to correct pronunciation mistakes in English?
Do I have to bite my tongue?
Or do I have to make my lips into a circle?
Or is it that I have to speak and blow raspberries at the same time?
A lot of people have asked me about how to correct their own pronunciation mistakes.
And today I want to share a few ways of correcting mistakes that I feel are useful.
Don't read Vietnamese letters
You've all definitely seen some video or read some book
that had English pronunciation written in Vietnamese letters.
I really hate seeing that,
because you guys can't understand English pronunciation through Vietnamese transcriptions.
Maybe you feel that reading those Vietnamese letters helps you visualize correct pronunciation,
but actually, they just make you guys pronounce things wrong.
Let me give you an example from the opposite direction.
This is a Vietnamese phrasebook for tourists.
I bought it a long time ago,
and it's pretty correct and useful for vocabulary and grammar.
But when it comes to pronunciation, it's ridiculous.
Take a look.
This is a guide to vowel pronunciation.
In the first column is an English symbol that's used to transliterate a particular vowel sound.
The second column has an example of an English equivalent of that vowel sound.
And the third column has an example in Vietnamese.
Look here. According to this book, "play" and "bay" have the same vowel sound.
Wow, news to me.
Or here. "But" and "gặp."
But reading a whole sentence is even funnier. Look at this.
The reality is that a lot of Vietnamese phonemes have no equivalent in English.
And the opposite is also true.
So when we see a new word and don't know it's pronunciation, what should we do?
You guys should do the next thing.
Learn about IPA
IPA stands for
IPA includes transcriptions for every phoneme in English.
If you speak British English, IPA has 44 phonemes.
And American English—
*Dan's* English, that is—has 42.
42 phonemes, huh?
Let's get to know them!
Okay, maybe that was too fast, but the internet has tons of resources that can help you learn about IPA.
I, too, made a series of videos teaching all 42 of those phonemes.
And learning about IPA is well worth your time.
If you know it, you can use the dictionary to learn the pronunciation of new words.
And you'll know that this word isn't pronounced,
but rather,
And this word is,
Learn IPA!
Like I said just before, a while ago I made a series of videos about pronouncing all the phonemes in English.
And in the comments for those videos, a lot of people requested that I explain more about mouth positions.
But I don't like focusing on mouth positions too much, because I don't think it has much use.
For example, with the /l/ sound at the ends of words,
if you really don't know where your tongue is supposed to go,
then maybe looking at this image, or using this app, could help you a bit.
But one problem is that those images can make you guys think,
"Oh, I get it, it's so clear!"
But when it comes time to actually do it, you still don't know how to pronounce it correctly.
A better way is just to experiment a lot.
Take a bit of time to practice a specific phoneme,
sit in front of the mirror,
and use your tongue, lips, throat, and everything in a handful of different ways,
until you feel your pronunciation is as correct as it can be.
Record yourself
I've got to thank my girlfriend for suggesting this.
She said that when she first studied English, she often listened to recordings,
then repeated them and recorded herself.
After that, she listened to both, and compared her pronunciation with the native speaker's.
I think doing this could help you guys hear your own mistakes more clearly.
And maybe an even better way is to watch a video, then repeat it and take a video of yourself.
That way, you can compare your mouth with that of the native speaker,
and then experiment until both of them are the same.
Accept your limitations, but don't give up
You know, Vietnamese still has a handful of sounds that I have a really hard time differentiating. For example:
Maybe you feel that I differentiated them pretty well just then,
but when speaking a full sentence, I'm still not very good.
I've accepted that even if I stayed in Vietnam forever,
I might never be able to differentiate those sounds completely correctly.
But I still haven't given up.
I'm still trying to pronounce them like a Vietnamese person.
And you guys should think the same way.
Some sounds in English, like
you guys may never be able to pronounce like a native speaker.
But you guys should still try.
If you can pronounce things 90% correctly,
although not perfect,
it's still better than 50%, right?
Accept your limitations.
Don't beat yourself up.
Doing that doesn't help anything.
Just keep practicing, and keep trying, with calm and patience.
Keep going, and you'll get there.
And good luck to you.


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pipus 2017 年 3 月 16 日 に公開
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