What makes the English language so interesting to learn? The answer is that English is a 'non-phonetic' language. Oh, I can hear you ask: 'What exactly does 'non-phonetic' mean? Well, it simply means that very often we pronounce English words differently from how we write them. For example, how would you pronounce the following words: 'receive', 'opposite' and 'lingerie'? If any of these words is new to you, it's very likely that you will pronounce it incorrectly. Such is the nature of the English language: Often you can't tell how words are pronounced when you look at how they are spelled. So, what's the solution then? As a matter of fact, it's much easier than you might think. To learn how to pronounce new English words you just need to reverse what I call the 'conventional learning sequence'. Yes, I can explain this in plain English again. Most people are used to learning new words by taking the following steps:
1) They come across the word in a book, article or any other kind of text.
2) They translate the word into their own language by using a dictionary.
3) They might try to pronounce the word.
In many cases, English learners see a new word before they hear it. As soon as they read the word, they subconsciously try to pronounce it silently in their head. And this the reason why so many English learners have huge problems speaking English: They memorize the wrong pronunciation of new words and when they hear how the word is actually pronounced they don't recognize it and don't understand it. Because English is a 'non-phonetic' language you need to take the following steps to learn new words and phrases:
1) Hear the word/phrase.
2) Listen to the word/phrase again. (You might need to hear the word several times until your ears understand it properly.)
3) Try to pronounce the word/phrase.
4) Repeat steps 3 and 4 several times.
5) Record yourself pronouncing the new word.
6) Ask a native speaker what they think of your pronunciation.
7) Repeat the entire process on a regular basis.
As you know, on our forum you will find a tool that helps you do exactly what I have just explained to you: Record and listen to your own voice. We call this tool the 'online voice recorder'. All you need to use it is a microphone and the desire to improve your spoken English. To learn more about the online voice recorder, please watch this short film
In addition, you can listen to a lot of successful forum users and native speakers here
Here you can learn how to pronounce the word 'router'
Here you can learn how to pronounce the word 'herb'
When are you going to start using the online voice recorder?
I look forward to hearing your voice on the forum.
If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.