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  1. #1
    Squirrel_3110 is offline Newbie
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    Post Final consonants in English

    Can I ask you another question about Final Consonant sounds in English? I know that pronouncing final sounds in English is very important because it helps the conversation understandable. But is it necessary to pronounce every final consonants sounds in every communication? Because when you try to pronounce every final consonant, the speech may be slowed down, and in some case, it isn't good at all. Moreover, I have watched many English films, especially American English films. In fact, in many cases, I don't hear people pronounce final consonants at all? Is it true? Or only American English is used in that way? When are English final consonants not pronounced or weakened? I will be highly grateful if you give an answer. Thanks very much!

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Final consonants in English

    Better to have slow and clear speech than fast and incomprehensible. Something that those with hearing problems are always pointing out.

  3. #3
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Final consonants in English

    Quite a bit of the language and particularly pronounciations in American films use local and regional dialects and pronounciations, and learning English though them might not be the best way to learn.

    e.g. in the southern states the word "sugar" is pronounced "shuga" the r is not heard. It is in other areas, "mother" is more like "mutha" and so on.

  4. #4
    Sarah.Becc is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Final consonants in English

    Actually, final consonants are normally weakened anyways, but not to the point where the word becomes incomprehensible.

    For example, the word "cat" can be pronounced with a weakened 't', meaning the 't' sound is not aspirated, but it can also be pronounced aspirated. You see, American English can be spoken quickly in some areas and slowly in the others, and pronunciation of several words can change depending on the person saying the word. American English is spoken a bit lazily in some regions as well, which is why final consonants seem like they are never pronounced when in reality there are merely without a lot of emphasis on them.

    Hope this helps!

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    Default Re: Final consonants in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Searching for language View Post
    Quite a bit of the language and particularly pronounciations in American films use local and regional dialects and pronounciations, and learning English though them might not be the best way to learn.
    I think that students should focus on speaking slowly and clearly when first learning to produce a language. In that sense, films or TV might not be the best way to learn. However, students who hope to use English with native speakers need to come to grips with the way people actually use language in real life, so films and TV can be one of the best ways to learn.

    In my own current experience, the more I watch Chinese TV and movies, the more I am able to participate in normal conversations (as opposed to conversations in the classroom). Although this may not help my pronunciation in the short run, I think it will make a big difference in the long run.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Final consonants in English

    Doesn't that suggest that films are reflecting the realities of American English and that learning to cope with and understand variants is a part of the learning process?

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Final consonants in English

    I think s/he's just saying that 'you shouldn't try to run before you can walk'.

    b

  8. #8
    MaryTeacher is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Final consonants in English

    Hi-

    Sarah makes a good observation: it is normal in spoken English for final consonants to be weakened in a stream of speech. Trying to pronounce each word as an isolated unit would lead to very strange and unnatural sounding speech.

    For example: I walked to the store.
    The /t/ in walked is not aspirated (the tongue moves to the /t/ position, but there is not puff of air to make the typical /t/ sound.) If you tried to say both /t/ sounds in that sentence, it would be very cumbersome.

    It's important to note though, that because you don't hear a sound doesn't mean it isn't being pronounced.

    Of course, when you are speaking a language, the goal is to be understood, and speaking clearly is important. Part of speaking clearly and understanding spoken English is being able to hear the changes that happen when words are used in combination. The changes are not random, and not simply the result of "lazy" speaking. They are phonological processes that have an impact on the success of communication.

    There are some decent listening texts for intermediate + level learners that focus on these type of changes. I'm not familiar with the most recent, but Judy Gilbert is one author that springs to mind. If you check on Amazon, you'll find her books and tapes, which approach the matter fairly systematically...

    I hope this is useful!

    Take care,
    Mary

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    Default Re: Final consonants in English

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I think s/he's just saying that 'you shouldn't try to run before you can walk'.

    b
    Fortunately, babies never follow this advice. They try to run before they can walk. They fall. They get up. They try again. And they keep on trying. In my limited experience, that is how the best language learners become proficient. Being afraid of "falling" holds many students back.

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