I'm 18 and currently learning the standard british pronunciation. When we began learning English at school our teacher sad that the English pronunciation is equal to the Bulgarian pronunciation. 'For example the pronunciation of the a sound in car is the same as the a sound in <insert appropriate Bulgarian word here>' she sad.
I've discovered this to be incorrect of course and begun learning the standard british pronunciation. I've found videos about each sound on the BBC learning English site. I watched very carefully the position of the mouse of the speaker and with a mirror imitated it. The problem is that my native language pronunciation changes. For example we say 't' with the tongue between the teeth and I cached myself saying it as an English speaker. Is this normal?
Actually this is not a problem since I'm planning to adopt English as my 1st language and I'm doing quite well with the pronunciation but it worries me. Bulgarian is a language similar to Russian, if that helps.
Using a mirror is very useful for consonants but not for vocal sounds as what really counts for that is where you place your tongue inside your mouth and lips do not play any big role when pronouncing vowels.
Besides it's not the same to produce a single sound than producing it in a word or in a sentence as the other sounds next to it will affect it, in English and any other language. Learning pronunciation by yourself is almost impossible, that's what everyone needs more help with, by being in the country and listening to the language in a natural way, practising with natives and even being corrected by teachers as many natives do not know a thing about phonetics.
Last edited by Cristina de Felipe; 18-Aug-2008 at 18:53.
Besides I've bought 'Cambridge Advanced Dictionary' on a CD and it has pronunciation of each word, which I can hear, repeat, record and listen back. I'm very careful about the changes that occur in the pronunciation.
"do" -> /du:/
"you" -> /ju:/
"know" -> /nəʊ/
But only speech will tell you that "do you know" is often pronounced either /də jə nəʊ/ or /djə nəʊ/ (or even, informally, /ʤə nəʊ/). And a mirror can help with some consonants but not others. I have a Bulgarian student whose /l/ is extremely slavonic!
Incidentally, there is a word "allot" (allot - Definitions from Dictionary.com ), but what you meant was "a lot"
Still you say you don't move your mouth a lot when speaking you own language, which proves my point: the way you place your lips is not always the most relevant feature to learn to pronounce all sounds. But no doubt it will help you a lot with most English consonants.
Last edited by Cristina de Felipe; 24-Aug-2008 at 17:05. Reason: Silly misspelling