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  1. #1
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default How do English people usually pronounce

    Hi

    I sometimes get amazed at how English native people pronounce some words. One of them is the word "often" which I myself have always pronounced without "t". Some days ago, while working on computer, I heard [my TV is always on, no matter what I do around the house] an English actor pronounce this word "oftn" which puzzled me. At first, I thought I hadn`t heard the right pronounciation but the actor uttered the same word a second time.

    My questions are : is "often" usually pronounced with "t" , should it always be pronounced this way or, is it a kind of dialectal or regional pronounciation?

    I am not sure if the word "dialectal" is correctly used but I hope you understand my questions, don`t you?



    Thank you very much in advance.

  2. #2
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    When I lived in Virginia, I heard it being pronounced with the 't'. So, it could be the American (Va?) pronounciation with the 't'. I pronounce the 't'. On the other hand, the 't' in many words (writing, letter...) was pronounced as a 'd'. But that's another story...
    Last edited by bianca; 03-Jul-2007 at 13:12.

  3. #3
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    When I lived in Virginia, I heard it being pronounced with the 't'. So, it could be the American (Va?) pronounciation with the 't'. On the other hand, the 't' in many words (writing, fighting...) was pronounced as a 'd'. But that's another story...
    Hi Bianca

    Thank you for your quick reply.

    That`s very interesting, indeed. I am not sure I could pronounce "often" with a "t". Or , at least I wouldn`t like the sound. In that case "often" wouldn`t sound musical any more, or I think so.
    On the other hand, referring to what you wrote about the pronounciation of "writing" with a "d" :it would sound "riding", wouldn`t it?



    Regards

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    I always heard that word pronounced with a t when I was in South England... concretely East Sussex. I don't know how it is in the rest of England...

    I looked it up on the dictionary and I got this IPA transcription: ['ɒftən], as well as ['ɔfn] and ['ɒfn]

    (and actually, I asked why they pronounced that word with a t, and he replied me it was only pronounced that way! well, I don't know what he was thinking of...)

  5. #5
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    Quote Originally Posted by willem View Post
    I always heard that word pronounced with a t when I was in South England... concretely East Sussex. I don't know how it is in the rest of England...

    I looked it up on the dictionary and I got this IPA transcription: ['ɒftən], as well as ['ɔfn] and ['ɒfn]

    (and actually, I asked why they pronounced that word with a t, and he replied me it was only pronounced that way! well, I don't know what he was thinking of...)

    Hi Willem
    Thank you for your answer.
    If so, then I have to ask another question: what is the right, most accepted pronounciation of this word? If I were to attend or take part in an FCE examination or any other examination in English , how should I pronounce it?
    I really don`t know.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    Well.. I can't really tell you but since my English teacher (who speaks like the Queen) says "ofn" I recommend you that one... although, personally I think both are as acceptable...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    Quote Originally Posted by willem View Post
    my English teacher (who speaks like the Queen) says "ofn"
    I doubt the Queen would say it like that.

  8. #8
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    More than likely she would! Unless she pronounces it "awf-ten" . However, "offen" is quite normal these days.

  9. #9
    alamrym is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    When I studied "Language & Culture", particularly "Accents & Dialects" I learnt a lesson that pronunciation is a debatable/arguable/questionable point because different people, even in one country, have different opinions. For instance, in the UK, I heard different pronunciations for OFTEN e.g.:(Oftin, Offin, Aufin, Auftin) and maybe there are more, so, please do NOT bother your head with this particular pronunciation. There is no absolute answer for this.
    I'll provide you with another example: the word LETTER is pronounced in east London (LA?A) which means there's no /t/ sound, but in south London they pronoune it (LATA).

    Have you heard Newzealand accent? Please listen to different accents & dialects to avoid ambiguity and obscurity of Pronunciation. I hope that hlps.
    Last edited by alamrym; 03-Jul-2007 at 03:06.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How do English people usually pronounce

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    If so, then I have to ask another question: what is the right, most accepted pronounciation of this word? If I were to attend or take part in an FCE examination or any other examination in English , how should I pronounce it?
    I really don`t know.
    Where there are alternative pronunciations, all accepted forms would be correct. Use the one you're happier with.

    PS I don't pronounce the 't'.

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