- How Important Is Pronunciation in Communication?
- Which Is More Important: Accent or Pronunciation?
- American vs. British Pronunciation
- 10 Tips to Improve Your English Pronunciation
English spelling hasn't changed over time, but how we pronounce words has changed. This creates a significant problem for those who are learning to speak and looking for pronunciation. However, pronunciation is not solely about 'how letters and words sound'; there are many other aspects to be considered, including intonation (how the voice's tone alters during a sentence changing from up to down) as well as tension (which is why certain words or syllables are given more weight when we're speaking) and connected speech, which is the way words sound when they are joined during natural conversation. These features all can contribute to good pronunciation; however, don't confuse them with an accent.
In the UK, in the USA, and in other countries that speak English, there are various accents. However, people with diverse accents are all thought to be speaking accurately. When studying English, you don't need to sound British or American. The best pronunciation means that you are heard, but not necessarily like New York or London. Many native speakers enjoy hearing English in the Spanish, Italian, or French accent! How can you improve your pronunciation to ensure that people worldwide will be able to understand your voice quickly, even if you have retained the accent of your home country? This guide will assist you practice and improve your pronunciation.
How Important Is Pronunciation in Communication?
It is a scientifically accepted fact that children born in any country can use the language on our globe. For instance, a child from Poland has lived in the USA from a young age. The child can speak flawless English and not possess a Polish accent. Of course, these children will be able to comprehend all they hear. And other English people are able to comprehend their speech. English pronunciation and comprehension of English speech are two complementary abilities. That means, if you can pronounce words and phrases correctly in a proper manner, your understanding of speech is also improved.
Therefore, training in pronunciation is an essential aspect of learning any foreign language, not just English. However, it doesn't mean the goal of this phonetic training is to completely and permanently eliminate the foreign accent. In reality, it is not always possible and not always essential, obviously in the event that you're not planning to work in foreign intelligence or learn the language professionally. The goal of such instruction is to be able to listen to your own voice and that of others. Poor pronunciation can cause additional obstacles in the understanding between you and the person with whom you are speaking.
Which Is More Important: Accent or Pronunciation?
The truth is that accent and pronunciation are two very different things. The way you pronounce a word or how it sounds depends on the context in which you use it. The most important thing is to learn how to pronounce words correctly, not how they sound. If you want to read more books and articles, you need to learn how to read them. Otherwise, you will not understand what people are saying when they speak in their native language. Pronunciation is easy to get right, but English with an accent can be tricky. It's not just a matter of getting the words right, but also making sure that they are clear and understandable.
American vs. British Pronunciation
The British pronunciation of the English language is known as "The Queen's English" and is widely used in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the American accent is widely used in America. The American accent is known as "The Statesman's English" and is widely used in the United States.
The most notable distinctions in British English and American English are their pronunciations, vocabulary, and spelling. There are some grammatical distinctions, as well; however, these aren't as important and are more difficult to explain.
British English, as well as American, have distinct sounds. The most obvious distinction is in the way that it is that the word "r" is spoken. It is pronounced in British English; when the letter r is followed by a vowel in the same vowel (as the case with car or hardor market), it is the vowel and is not spoken. When speaking in American English, the r is pronounceable.
There are many variations in American as well as British English vocabulary. Here are 10 words that are commonly used found in American English followed by their British English equivalents:
American / British
- elevators / lifts
- Parking lot/car park
- line / queue
- Holidays and vacations
- truck / lorry
- silverware / cutlery
- cookie / biscuit
- French fries or chips
- sweater / jumper
- garbage / rubbish
There are also spelling variations. Below are three rules that you should adhere to.
- The majority of words ending with the word -our to use in British English are spelled without the 'u' as in American English (humour/humor, behaviour/behavior, and so on.)
- The majority of words that end in the -re suffix within British English are spelled with the letter -er to create American English (centre/center, litre/liter etc.)
- A lot of British English verbs ending in the letter -ise are spelled with 'a' the suffix -ize, which is common to create American English (realise/realize, organize/organize, and so on.)
10 Tips to Improve Your English Pronunciation
The English language is the most widely spoken language in the world, and people must be able to pronounce in English properly. But, when it comes to pronunciation, many people still struggle. The best way to improve your pronunciation is by practicing. So, here are 10 tips that can help you with this task:
- Practice speaking slowly and clearly
- Listen to your own voice when speaking, not the one you hear through the phone
- Use the right tone of voice when talking to your audience
- Use a high pitch when talking to someone who is not at your level (e.g., a senior employee)
- Avoid slang and jargon (e.g., "I'm good" instead of "I'm fine")
- Don't use slang or jargon in email or other written communication
- Use correct grammar and spelling, even if it is not standard English language usage
- Avoid using words that are too technical in their meaning (e.g., "cloud computing") or that are too long
- Listen to a lot of English music. You can listen to English songs and listen to the lyrics in the background while you write.
- Write down what you hear in your head, and try not to repeat it verbatim when you speak! This will help improve your pronunciation as well as writing style.
We all have to learn how to speak English fluently. Learning how to pronounce the words correctly will make it easier for our clients and colleagues to understand what we are saying. So, UpskillsTutor is an excellent platform for beginners who want to master English pronunciation.