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  1. #51
    thatone is offline Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "months" and "shrimp."

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    When you talk to a non-native speaker, do you change your /ɪ/ to /eɪ/ to make your speech easier to understand?
    /ɪ/?

  2. #52
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "months" and "shrimp."

    Take a look at YouTube - Neighbours 5895 [Part 3] ("It's really great", about 0:50).

    (No, I don't watch it. )

  3. #53
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "months" and "shrimp."

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Differences in pronunciation make speech difficult to understand. It doesn't matter whether persons involved are native or non-native. When you talk to a non-native speaker, do you change your /ɪ/ to /eɪ/ to make your speech easier to understand?
    I have done, especially when I was in England, where I could reasonably guess what aspects of my accent were difficult to understand.

    Of course, when a person needs do make themselves clear, they will pronounce "clothes" with all the sounds written. If they can.
    Why? - if the proper pronunciation is 'close'? You seem to be asserting that 'clothes' is the correct form. All I'm saying is that 'clothes' is more easily understandable to mean 'clothes' than 'close' is.

    But I don't understand how you can expect that non-native speakers utter difficult clusters in normal speech.
    It's the same expectation that my German teacher had for me to say 'ich' and 'ach' properly. Of course, some non-native speakers will never get the hang of those sounds; and I will never say them consistently like a native German would. But I've always assumed that if you try to learn another language, you need to make an effort to use the sounds they use. Of course it's difficult. I don't think anyone here will claim that learning a foreign language is easy.
    But I've already said that the OP could get away with 'munts' or 'munce'.
    So, it depends on what you mean by "expect". I would expect everyone learning English to try to use the two /th/ sounds but, at the same time, I would also expect that not everyone will be able to do it.

    R.

  4. #54
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "months" and "shrimp."

    I have done, especially when I was in England, where I could reasonably guess what aspects of my accent were difficult to understand.
    That's interesting! I haven't met anybody who would do such a thing in my entire life! It's admirable.

    Why? - if the proper pronunciation is 'close'?
    If the proper pronunciation is the pronunciation to which you resort when you're facing misunderstanding, then you have a point. Usually, you're not facing misunderstanding.
    You seem to be asserting that 'clothes' is the correct form. All I'm saying is that 'clothes' is more easily understandable to mean 'clothes' than 'close' is.
    I'm not asserting anything about correctness. It's clearly an unclear case and people won't agree on this. This knowledge is enough for me and (I think) can be for any student.

    I agree that it may be more understandable (although I'm sure it depends on the speaker's ability to pronounce the sound). But the same is true about the speech of native speakers. And the native speakers do very well with pronouncing "clothes" as "close", so it needn't cause much trouble alone in non-native speech either.

    It's the same expectation that my German teacher had for me to say 'ich' and 'ach' properly. Of course, some non-native speakers will never get the hang of those sounds; and I will never say them consistently like a native German would. But I've always assumed that if you try to learn another language, you need to make an effort to use the sounds they use. Of course it's difficult. I don't think anyone here will claim that learning a foreign language is easy.
    It's not the same. Germans do distinuish between the two sounds and it's absolutely clear that it's correct to make them different and incorrect not to. This is not so when it comes to "clothes". Native speakers don't pronounce the [] usually and it's not clear that it's incorrect.

    Also, there is a huge difference in difficulty in my opinion. The German sounds may be difficult for a person who doesn't have a practice in uttering them, but [z] is objectively difficult which the native pronunciation proves.

  5. #55
    Zelda Butterchunks is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of "months" and "shrimp."

    You can try making both words sound like they have two syllables: months will be MON-thes and shrimp will be sher-RIMP. Repeat many, many times until it comes out right. Shrimp will work before months. For months, put your tongue between your upper and lower front teeth for the mon part and pull slide your tongue up and back until it is in position to whistle the s. I hope that helps.

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