woman for /wʊmən/ or /wəmən/

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keannu

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When I hear native speakers pronounce woman, sometimes it sounds like /wəmən/ not /wʊmən/.
Are there such two pronunciations or does /ʊ/ sound like /ə/ coupled with /w/?
 

5jj

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I have never heard the /wəmən/ pronunciation.
 

BobK

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:up: Perhaps you're thinking of the plural, which in RP is /wɪmɪn/ but in speech with Estuarine tendencies (I'm thinking of Tony Blair) the /ɪ/s can become more like /ə/. :-?;-)

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keannu

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No, it's never about the plural form. I can distinguish the two. I think the problem is in /ʊ/, which can sound like /ə/ to Koreans' ears. We haven't been taught the exact difference between the two.
 
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