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English Pronunciation of 46 Sounds

English Pronunciation is quite an affair that sometimes determines our standard of choice, personal standing regarding communication and cultural quality, especially when there is a common language with a set of rules that denotes an accepted quality of the language in order to communicate with the diverged range of people across the country and globe.  

As an ardent pursuant of British English and ‘Received Pronunciation’ or RP, I am going to explore the English pronunciation tricks and let, people who are struggling with appropriate pronunciation,  know how to acquire them. My fascination with British English has had a long journey that began in 2006.

As a student of a slightly underdeveloped Bengali medium of education curriculum, I really had terrible history regarding English subjects. But over the period of a decade or more, because of my strong passion for language and linguistic knowledge I was able to achieve overcome the barriers in speaking, listening, writing and reading. 

From the contemporary globalised point of view personal and corporate well-being is mostly dependent on verbal communication. The more one is equipped with commutative skills the more one is taken for granted in the global setting. In a capital dependent world communicative-skill more often than not comes as invaluable capital. People always find fascination in a skilled rhetoric politician, teacher, speaker, leader, pastor, lawyer, businessman, presenter, actor, debater and so on.

Can we imagine Barak Obama without his rhetoric, Billy Graham without his linguistic skill, a well-known speaker without his proper wording, uttering and timing? Do you remember why there is a specific BBC or CNN news presenter that like more, is it because of his or her looks or the ways he or she speaks, pronounces words? Why there are some public figures that you cannot forget about, is it the way they look or the way they present or represent your sentiment? We cannot imagine a Martin Luther King without ‘I have a dream’, and ‘I have a dream without a linguistic and communicative skill out on it.

People do not care what you sing unless you sing it well. People do not care what you say unless what you say makes a pleasant vibe to your sensory organ. Having said that, in order to make our speech or talk pleasant and savoury to public sentiment our speeches should be linguistically resourceful and well-shaped. 

The pronunciation mechanism plays a vital role in it. As for any language, a global common language English also has received guidance which is located in speaking and listening skills. Speaking is generally leant through listening, and listening is a precondition of speaking. We tent speak the way we hear someone speaking exactly the way we sing a song imitating a particular singer when a piece of music sounds pleasant to us. Therefore, the quality of our speaking certainly depends on the quality of the speech we hear someone delivering.

English pronunciation and Phonetic Symbols

Suppose the pronunciation of Shakespeare (/ˈʃeɪkspɪəʳ/r) as Sexspeare (/sekspɪəʳ/r), Greenwich (ˈɡrenɪtʃ, or ˈɡrɪnɪdʒ/) as Greenwich /ɡriːnwɪtʃ / , Chair (/tʃeə US tʃer/) as Seer(/sɪər/ ) are aplenty many languages which circulate primarily through mispronunciation and from one person to another over the course of an extended period of interaction.

These various forms of pronunciation will remain in effect and unskilled people’s confusion over different pronunciation of English by different people unless we have been made aware and how the pronunciation mechanism works and we all follow the standardised and acceptable form of pronunciation. The received and standard form known as RP or Received Pronunciation followed by the most trusted dictionaries suck, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and Longman Dictionary of English Language is only guidance we at best for learners of English as a second language.

I personally have been practising the British form of English pronunciation for more than a decade. Even though the mentioned dictionaries bear North American and British English pronunciation I personally prefer British over American because of its extra-beautifying mechanism.

Because of pronunciation and the deplorable quality of English, many are still lagged behind in the global market while many other sheen employment prospects are getting away from our hands. Having said that, I am not suggesting anglicised local British pronunciation is sometimes does not fulfill pronunciation criterion and incomprehensible to many speakers.

Moreover, proper use of any language sets qualitative standards to the language we speak and skillful use of language helps us influence people. As a strong lover of British pronunciation, I have studied plenty of books, watched videos and spent numerous days watching BBC, Podcasts, and Films. After spending almost a decade I have come to distinguish the American and British pronunciations.

If it is your aim to develop your speaking and listening skills according to mentioned dictionaries this journey with me hope to be a productive one. In order to acquire that you will have to be familiarized with some linguistic symbols which you may have never heard or seen of, /ʊ/ or /æ/, for example. These symbols are actually phones or sounds of language. In English there, depending on accent, the English language consists of 46 such sounds. They are known as Long Vowels, Short Vowels, Diphthongs, Voiced Consonants, Voiceless Consonants and a Schwa /ə/.

In this post we are going to be familiarised with sound symbols below In:

ɪʊʌɒəeæAre the Short Vowels
Short Vowels
ɑːɔːɜːAre the Long Vowels
Long Vowels
ɪəʊəɔɪəʊAre the Diphthongs
bdɡvðzʒVoiced Consonants
Voiced Consonants
ptkfθŋs  Voiceless Consonants
Voicelss Consonants

From the next 46 or more posts on we are will be learning the sounds of these symbols with several words related to the particular symbols. We will try leering the sounds a repeat them simultaneously.

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