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6 Tips to Help You Improve Your Pronunciation Fast

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The biggest challenge when speaking in a new language is, of course, pronunciation! Unfortunately, this is also one of the hardest things to revise or practise by yourself, without a teacher or native English speaker to correct you. Here are six ways to get around this problem and improve your pronunciation today.

1. Make Use of Google Translate

Did you know that Google Translate now has an audio feature? That’s right: you can look up a word or phrase to translate and then click the little speaker icon next to the word to hear a native speaker say it out loud.

While relying on automated translation tools for whole sentences is a very bad idea (unless you want to sound like a robot that was dropped in the bath), using it for single words just to check how they sound out loud is perfectly fine, and can help to jog your memory when you can’t remember how you are supposed to pronounce something. Awesome, right?

2. Sing Along to Your Favourite Song

Look up the lyrics to your favourite English language songs and read them as you listen or sing along. This will help you to associate the written word with how it should be spoken aloud – and get you used to concentrating carefully on how English words are pronounced in general.

3. Watch English Language TV and Films

As I’m sure you know, English is spoken in many different countries all around the world and accents are very different in every country, or even in different parts of the same country. That can be tough when you’re trying to get your pronunciation right, but it should also help you to get a sense of the different ways you can pronounce a word and still be correct.

The easiest way to do this is to watch lots of films and TV shows from as many English speaking countries as possible. That might sound like a very easy way to learn, but here’s the catch: if you turn on the subtitles, do it in English rather than in your own language to help you get used to hearing the written words spoken out loud.

As you get more confident, leave the subtitles off altogether, listen really carefully and see how much of the dialogue you can figure out without help.

4. Record People (And Yourself)

Sometimes it’s hard to hear where you’re going wrong without having something to compare to. Whenever you learn a new word or phrase, try asking your teacher or another English speaker to say it out loud so that you can record this, and then record yourself repeating the same word or phrase. Most mobile phones have recording tools now, so this shouldn’t be difficult to do!

Later, play back the recording and compare your pronunciation to the native speaker. Keep trying to copy them, recording and playing it back until you get it perfect.

5. Learn Phonetics

It’s not always easy to pick up on subtle differences in pronunciation in another language, even when you hear something spoken out loud all the time. This is why the universal phonetic alphabet is so helpful.

The phonetic alphabet is a way of writing out words so that you sound them out the same way no matter what language you speak. Dictionaries and other resources usually show every word spelled out using this alphabet as well as the way they are spelt in the original language, so once you’re learned it off by heart you’ll never be stuck trying to figure out the pronunciation again.

6. Don’t Rush

One thing that will immediately make it harder for English speakers to understand what you are saying is speaking too quickly. Remember that even native English speakers from different countries or areas of the same country naturally slow down to make sure others can understand what they are saying, so there’s nothing wrong with doing the same thing to make things easier for the person you are talking to!

Ready to take your English speaking skills to the next level? Check out our range of courses at www.Eurocentres.com