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    Pronunciation Tips for Language Learning

    Pronunciation Tips for Language Learning

    For the past few weeks we have been focusing on the art of language learning. As we continue on this learning journey, I next would like to share with you some pronunciation tips to make your foreign language speaking a little more native and comprehendible. It is incredibly hard to flawlessly imitate an accent, especially as an adult learner. Passing for a native speaker should not be your main focus. Instead, focus on honing your pronunciation so that is easy to understand. It is a far more attainable goal that can be easily reached by following these strategic tips.

    The first and maybe the most popular tip is something called the Parrot Approach. Just like with any language, practice is key. We have all heard the saying. “Practice makes perfect”. Well within the art of language learning, it may not be perfect but it comes pretty close. As babies, we learned our native language by listening and repeating. For pronunciation, the more focused listening and repetition a learner does, the more comfortable they will become with the phonics and sound patterns of the target language. Listen and repeat exercises can be done through many different mediums, such as language learning CDs to TV, movies, and even song lyrics. There are also podcasts about language study or videos that can be used.

    The next tip is to pay attention to different stress factors within your target language. It’s important to pay attention to the different stresses applied to your target language because it will help you neutralize your native language, and helps you to adopt the accent of your target language. It is instinctive to use the stress patterns of our native language along with our target language. The English language is one that stresses words. (GI-ant, PIC-ture) . Paying attention to the patterns will train our brain in the correct pronunciation.

    Another great tip is to use a mirror. There are many physical mechanics at play also when trying to learn to pronounce a language. You have the tongue, lips, teeth, and even the breathe that play a big part in how a sound comes out the mouth. For instance with distinct “rr” roll in the Spanish language, the average native English speaker may have trouble training their mouth to pull off the roll in Churro or Burrito. Standing in front of a mirror and paying attention to the placement of the tongue and the shape of the mouth would benefit you immensely. This tip works great for visual learners.

    Lastly, record yourself. Recording yourself and listening back gives you the chance to pay attention to the stress pattern and pronunciation mistakes. Usually these mistakes come from learned patterns of your native tongue. Listening to yourself is a great way to target that weakness as well as notice your strengths.

    Learning a new language should be fun and enjoyable! Remember not to put too much stress into trying to sound native, and focus on being understandable. Give yourself room for error, and take your time. Before you know it, you will be fluent and inspiring others in their journey.

    ❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world.❞ ‒Ludwig Wittgenstein

    Professional Translations Inc.

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