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Saturday October 24th, 2009
English Pronunciation Podcast 50-
How to Distinguish Between the Consonants /dʒ/ and /y/*
: This podcast improves your pronunciation by teaching you how to pronounce /dʒ/ as in" jet"and /y/ as in "yet", distinctly and correctly.

* This sound is usually transcribed as /j/ and will be in this lesson.




In this week's podcast, we're going to learn how to pronounce the consonants /dʒ/ and /j/ distinctly and correctly.

Learning to hear and say the difference between /dʒ/ as in "jail" and /j/ as in "Yale", will make your pronunciation more accurate and will make your accent sound more like a native speaker's.

This Week's Podcast is Great for Spanish Speakers

If your first language is Spanish, you may find it especially difficult to pronounce and distinguish between these sounds.

What if My First Language is NOT Spanish?

If your first language is not Spanish, then I recommend that you try podcast #49 which also covers the consonant /dʒ/. If you've already done podcast #49, take a look at our podcast archive. The archive contains many lessons for speakers of any language who want to improve their English pronunciation.

The focus of this week's podcast is:

  • Learning how to hear and say the difference between /dʒ/ and /j/ , like a native speaker.
  • Learning and practicing the difference between these two sounds in a special training exercise.

How to Pronounce /dʒ/ :

So let's begin by reviewing how to pronounce the sound /dʒ/ as in "June" and "agent".

Tongue: Press the tip and the blade (front edge) of your tongue against the gum ridge (bump on the roof of your mouth). Press firmly. (The sides of the tongue should be touching the side teeth.) Stop the air flow completely until the pressure builds up and then release your tongue tip quickly as you vocalize..

lips: Protruded slightly. (Forward, pushed outward)

Exercise: Please listen and repeat /dʒ/:

/dʒ/ ... /dʒ/

How to Pronounce /j/ :

Now let's learn how to pronounce /j/, as in the words "yes" and "mayor."

Tongue:Raise your tongue so that it is high, as in the vowel sound /i/. The tip of the tongue should be relaxed, not touching any part of your mouth.The sides of the tongue should be touching the back teeth.
Now move your tongue forwad while keeping it high. Glide forward and vocalize.
/j is the same tongue position as /i/, but it's /i/ in motion. /j/ is basically /i/ in motion.

Exercise: Please listen and repeat /j/:

/j/ ... /j/

The Difference Between /dʒ/ and /j/

The main difference between /dʒ/ and /j/, is that for /dʒ/, we stop the air flow completely using our tongue tip. Our tongue tip presses up against the gum ridge, stopping the air for a split second. /dʒ/ is a "stop consonant."
For /j/, on the other hand, the air flows continuously over the tongue tip. It is a "continunant consonant."

*Remember /j/ is basically /i/ in motion. Raise your tongue into the position for /i/ and glide forwad as you vocalize.

Exercise: Listen and repeat the consonants /dʒ/ and /j/, paying careful attention to the difference in form:

/dʒ/ ... /j/

Distinguishing between /dʒ/ and /ʒ/:

Now that we've learned how to pronounce /dʒ/ and /j/ correctly, let's work on developing a clear distinction between these sounds.

We're going to do a special training exercise so that you can really hear the difference between /dʒ/ and /j/.

Exercise: Listen and repeat the following pairs of words.
The words are exactly the same except that the first contains the consonant /dʒ/ and the second contains the consonant /j/.
Listen and repeat, paying careful attention to the differences in tongue postion and air flow.

/dʒ/             /ʒ/

Jew        you

jail           Yale

major       mayor

Jen            Yen

Exercise: Listen and repeat the following sentences.
These sentences contain words which are very similar in pronunciation. Listen carefully for the difference in the consonant sounds /dʒ/ and /j/
Listen and repeat, paying careful attention to the differences in tongue position and air flow.

The mayor made a major mistake.

George Bush went to Yale and to jail!

Mastering the difference between /dʒ/ and /j/ is an important part of learning to speak English clearly and correctly. To the ears of an American, these two sounds are completely distinct .

The best way to learn a new a sound is to practice it slowly.
In fact, the secret to speaking English clearly and quickly is practicing slowly and accurately. 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 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.

Best Accent Training mp3s contains all the sounds of English with step by step instructions and practice exercises.
You'll also get all the vowels of English, all the consonants, syllable stress lessons, intonation lessons and connected speech!

Best of all, Best Accent Training is a fast and easy download that you can put on your mp3 player and take with you wherever you go!
I specially designed it for that purpose!

Download Best Accent Training today and practice your pronunciation wherever and whenever you want to!

Any questions, comments or suggestions ? Contact us at:  contact@englishpronunciationpod.com

Thank you and see you next time!


After practicing with Best Accent Training daily,
I can say that my English communication has improved 100%. "

- Domingo Ponce Rodriguez- - Marketing Manager USA (Spain)

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