[General] Pronounciation of "unfortunately"

Status
Not open for further replies.

Anne59

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Spanish
Home Country
Spain
Current Location
Spain
Hi everyone, I've learned that the letter T in "unfortunately" has a CH sound. Can anyone tell me how I know which words with letter T should be pronounced CH or why does the T have a CH sounds? Is there a rule or a list? I can't find anything but could it be because the T is followed by U. Like in unfortunately, feature, future and picture?
I've managed to find out that it's because in these words the T is followed by U but there are exceptions like autumn, cactus, disturb, foetus, lettuce, momentum, and others. How can I know which pronunciation is right when I see a new word?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Route21

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
Thailand
As an NES but not an English phonetics specialist:

I'd not specifically noticed it before, but "t" followed by the long vowel "u" could sound as though it's pronounced "chew...". It also occurs in words such as "tuna (fish)", "Tunisia", "tunes" etc.
If "t" is followed by a short "u" it's pronounced as in "tummy".

I would, however, defer to the phonetics specialists on the forum for a definitive answer.

Best regards
R21
 

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
/tj/ is often produced as /ʧ/.
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
Hi everyone, I've learned that the letter T in "unfortunately" has a CH sound. Can anyone tell me how I know which words with letter T should be pronounced CH or why does the T have a CH sounds? Is there a rule or a list? I can't find anything but could it be because the T is followed by U. Like in unfortunately, feature, future and picture?
I've managed to find out that it's because in these words the T is followed by U but there are exceptions like autumn, cactus, disturb, foetus, lettuce, momentum, and others. How can I know which pronunciation is right when I see a new word?

Thanks!
To tell the truth, you can say all these "tuna, Tunisia, fortune" words with 't' and, as a Spanish speaker (in your case), you will be understood as well (or better) as if you try to pronounce them with "ch". With experience, you'll start saying it like a native. In fact, it's not even true that everyone pronounces these words that way, or that that is the 'correct' pronunciation. I say 'tyuna, tyuba' some of the time. It's probably not a real / that most people say anyway, but a more anterior sound.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top