Why many British say the sound of 'a' in 'traffic', 'travel' and 'balance' the same as the 'a' in 'ask' instead of 'a' in 'man'? I check the dictionary and find that the standard of 'a' in 'traffic', 'travel' and 'balance' should be 'a' in 'man' instead of 'a' in 'ask'. Pleaes help.
If you mean 'ask' as in 'shark', 'bark', 'mark', I don't think even upper class Brits would pronounce the vowel as broadly as that.
There is only one person in Britain I can here speaking like that, a man with a very distinctive voice and style of pronunciation, called Lyod Grossman - and he's American with a strong Bostonian accent!.
Have you heard these pronunciations in a movie or TV show?
The pronunciation of 'ask' certainly varies. I pronounce is with the long sound as in 'shark' but others pronounce it as in Alaska: A -lAS-ka
I'll check out the pronunciation on the website I know first, and then give you the URL so you can hear Travel etc actually pronounced.
travel definition - Dictionary - MSN Encarta
Type in the word to be pronounced right at the top where it says 'dictionary' then go down a little, to the green button-like thing, and click.
Listen to your words there then tell me how they compare.