Student or Learner
Could you tell me how do you pronounce the word "General", it has 2 syllables or 3 syllables?
Both the LPD and the Cambridge EPD give a superscript schwa for the sound after /n/, as Raymott does. EPD also gives a superscript schwa for the sound after /r/; LPD gives an italicised schwa. These indicate that the sound may be pronounced or omitted. If the latter, they give their syllabic character to the following consonant.
This suggests that, for many speakers, general has more than two syllables, but fewer than three. This may sound very strange, but it is often difficult, if not impossible, to decide whether syylabic consonants in such words as general, buttoning, bottling should be described as full syllables or not.
Incidentally, the symbol normally used in phonemic/phonetic transcription for the first sound in 'general' is ʤ.
According to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, it is transcribed as:
It might be irrelevant, but I can think of a word that has either three or four syllables:
More info »Wikipedia - Dictionary.com - Answers.com - Merriam-Webster
Affecting or concerning all or most people, places, or things; widespread: "books of general interest". Noun:
A commander of an army, or an army officer of very high rank. Synonyms: common - universal - generic - broad - public