How to Pronounce English Words Like Native Speakers

The Challenges of How to Pronounce English Words

People who are learning English as a second language often find it difficult how to pronounce English words. They frequently complain that the pronunciation of some words does not really make sense and does not represent what is written down.

There are many ways that you can help yourself when you are learning English, but one of the most important is not to get down or give up. In general, regardless of where you are from, English speaking people should have no trouble understanding what you mean. The important thing with learning English is to practice pronunciation as much as possible by speaking and using the language.

Why should you learn to pronounce English words correctly?

While it’s not polite to criticize someone on their pronunciation, it is still the first thing that people will notice about you. One advantage in business and interpersonal relationships is if people do not think that you are an outsider, they may treat you differently. In some places people can be very insular and even though this is frowned upon, it might still cause some disadvantages.

Additionally, do not forget that communication is ultimately the most important thing. If someone is likely to misunderstand something that you say because your pronunciation is incorrect, then that can cause serious problems, especially if the instructions are very important.

Advice on pronouncing words in English

The following are some tips that you can take for granted about learning pronunciation of English words:

Learn as soon as possible — do not wait until it is already a problem. As soon as you are learning English, make it a regular habit to practice pronouncing words and to have a native speaker rate you. Identify the problems quickly and possibly even see a speech therapist if you need to. Sounds such as “th” often cause difficulties as other languages don’t have them.

Learn the IPA — not only will you probably learn something many native speakers don’t know, but it will make reading a dictionary for pronunciation a breeze. Whenever you find a new word, you can open up the dictionary and know instantly how to pronounce the word with the letters from the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Learn about word stress — part of the difficulty in learning  pronunciation of English words is knowing where the stress lies in sentences and in phrases. Additionally, in some words, stress patterns changed based on whether it is in verb, adjective or noun form, such as concert, concert and concerted.

Don’t guess — check a dictionary if you are unsure!

Be consistent — pick one accent/dialect and stick with it. This will usually depend on the country where you are learning English. In some regional dialects of English, such as varieties of American English and British, Australian or Scottish English, the pronunciation can be drastically different and it could be very confusing for people if you mix elements from each of them.

The most important tip

Listen and practice! These are the two most important tips for improving your pronunciation. You have to use the language if you are going to progress in it and that means spending most of your day listening to English and practicing using it.

Description: How to pronounce English words is often a problem when someone is learning the language for the first time. Read on to find out the basics of how to improve this aspect of your English.

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4 Responses to “How to Pronounce English Words Like Native Speakers”

  1. Natalya
    March 13, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Hi Robert,My sympathies, of ucsroe. It’s sort of nice to know that there are other American Meuniers out there with similar problems with the elusive pronunciation of our common surname. The way that I’ve resolved it, as I explained in the post, is by acknowledging that there are different pronunciations based on what the speaker’s native language and dialect is. All of the sound files I’ve posted here are accurate pronunciations of Meunier, they’re just different dialects. French speakers pronounce it differently than American English speakers, who pronounce it differently than British English speakers. I pronounce my name according to the dialect that I prefer, and I consider that the correct pronunciation of my name, but I don’t get that upset if people pronounce it differently, because to them it’s accurate for their dialect. I think, though, that your son’s pronunciation and your French professor’s pronunciation are closest to the original French language pronunciation. If you’re looking for a correct pronunciation independent of dialect, either one of those will do. In my genealogy research I’ve discovered many variations of Meunier, and I believe the Meuniers you are related to are the family. Good luck in your search!Best,Bryson

  2. Learning English online
    March 17, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Hi Roberrt,
    English is my second language but it’s not difficult to pronounce english words for me. But it’s good blog. I am agree with natalya. Thanks so much for communicate with me.

    • Vaishakh
      May 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

      The fact of the matter enchnaing ones linguistic skills is a vastly exhaustive endeavor. One lingual factor (such as speaking) cannot strengthened while ignoring the other aspects. All dimensions must be covered.One must be fully motivated.Language learning must be made fun to evade discouragement. Start with supplies from your library and take some classes if possible. Lessons are vital , but as are these:1) Listening/watching: Keep listening to radio stations as well as watching TV shows in the target language. (Subtitles are crucial here)2) Writing/reading/communication: Discover discussion forums on things that you find interesting and FUN (music/various artists, hobbies, etc.) and start communicating there with other people using only the target language. Start using instant messaging systems in case you find some new friends or start emailing them. Do NOT fear making mistakes or hesitating, because even native speakers do make mistakes and do hesitate at times! The more enjoyable the experience, the more proneness to success.3) Purchase a bilingual dictionary with your native language and the target language. Upon encountering a new word, search it up in the dictionary. Placing words in their context is one of the greatest antics to increase ones vocabulary and grammar knowledge. The more skillful in reading and writing also, the better. Memorizing in itself isn’t the best way to go with learning vocabulary, grammar or any other language brackets! For idioms, you should buy a dictionary which explains the words and shows you examples of how to use the words.The most crucial point is to make it as fun as possible for yourself. Try to locate interesting topics. Read online newspapers, listen radio stations online, if you find a discussion forum for e.g. your favorite hobby or your idols in music do participate there, etc. The essential word here is context, which indicates that it is simpler to learn new words and their usage as well as grammar when you use/see them in their real context . The more frequent you see and hear the new words in their context and the more you use them in your speech writing, the easier it becomes to remember their meanings and correct spelling. Although don’t fear making flaws since native speakers do make mistakes at points.I apologize, but there isn’t an easy method. If so we’d all be polyglots. Mastery of a foreign language in short time span (such as 6 months) is neigh on impossible. Any language is challenging unless you grew up speaking it.Finally but not least: Never ever use online translators. They are inaccurate and useless. Do refrain from overrated, overpriced language gimmicks such as Rosetta Stone. Rosetta only aids you in terms of basic vocab. No grammar, Syntax, structures or anything.Good luck!

  3. Subtitles Movies with English Subtitles
    February 5, 2013 at 9:25 am #


    It is very interesting article. I am thinking at one thing. How should we practice our pronunciation? I have listed a three books of Harry Potter until today. Unfortunately my pronunciation is only a little bit better. How listen?

    I consider whether it is good idea to listen, stop and read after speaker?


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