Free English Pronunciation and Accent Reduction Lessons
|Home||English Pronunciation Pod 48|
Saturday Sep 26th, 2009
In this week's podcast, we're going to learn how to pronounce the consonant sound /ʒ/, as in the words "usual " and "vision."
Pronouncing this consonant can be quite challenging, especially if your first language is Spanish, Italian, Arabic, German, Korean, Chinese or Japanese.
The focus of this week's podcast is:
So let's begin by learning how to pronounce the sound /ʒ/.
How to Pronounce /ʒ/:
Tongue: Point the tip of your tongue forward to the gum ridge (bump on the roof of your mouth). Do not touch the ridge. The sides of your tongue should gently touch your back teeth. Create a hole for the air to flow through.
lips: slightly protruded (forward and turned out)
In podcast #32 , we learned about "stop consonants" and "continuant consonants". /ʒ/ is a continuant because the air flows continuously over the center of our tongue.
In podcast #30, we learned about "voiced" and "voiceless" consonants. /ʒ/ is a voiced consonant because we use our voice to make this sound- our vocal folds vibrate.
Exercise: Listen and repeat: /ʒ/
/ʒ/ ... /ʒ/ ...
If you're having trouble pronouncing /ʒ/, remember that /ʒ/ and /ʃ/ are a voiced and voiceless pair. This means that the tongue and lip position for /ʃ/ is exactly the same as /ʒ/ . The only difference is that for /ʒ/ we add our voice.
We can break this process into two steps as in the following exercise:
Step2) Add your voice while your tongue remains in the position of /ʃ/ .... /ʒ/
Step 3) Combine postion of step 1 with vocalization of step 2: /ʒ/
Avoid This Mistake:
Listen to the incorrect and then correct pronunciations ....
Be sure your tongue is back and that the the tip is lowered and not too tense, creating a larger hole for the air to pass through.
Another common mistake is pronouncing /ʒ/ like /dʒ/ .
Exercise: Listen and repeat the following words containing /ʒ/.
vision ... Asia ... measure ... occasion ... decision ... usual ... casual ... pleasure
Exercise : Listen and repeat the following American expressions and idioms containing /ʒ/:
It's my pleasure. ( I'm really glad to help )
Her boss has tunnel vision. (is closed minded, not open to new ideas or ways of doing things)
My cooking doesn't measure up to my mother's. ( It's not as high quality, isn't up to standard)
Practice is Key!
The consonant sound /ʒ/ can be very challenging for students. It can take a lot of practice but it's important to practice correctly.
The best way to learn a new a sound is to practice it slowly.
Learning to speak English with a standard American accent is a gradual process, but if you work at it regularly and practice as often as you can, you're going to improve!
The Right Training Tools for Better Pronunciation:
It's important to have right training tools in order to improve your accent.
That's why I recommend that you check it out my English Pronunciation Course in mp3 format- Best Accent Training mp3s!
No matter what your first language is, Best Accent Training has the lessons you need for speaking English clearly and correctly.
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Any questions, comments or suggestions ? Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and see you next time!Share
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