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English classes?

 
Greenhorn
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Can anyone suggest me ideas on spoken english classes.
 
Ranch Foreman
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I'm looking for English classes too.
 
Rancher
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You want to learn like colloquial phrases or you want to learn how to say words better?
 
Randy Tong
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For me, I want to learn how to say words better.
 
Al Hobbs
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I think you would need some audio that you also have the text to so you can know what it's saying, then keep trying to say it until it sounds good.  You can record yourself too if you want to see if it sounds similar.  English pronunciation isn't that complicated and you can be way off and people will still understand you as long as it's kind of right unlike some other languages .
 
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Al Hobbs wrote:  English pronunciation isn't that complicated





English is apparently one of the few languages that has (or as we said in the olde Dayes, "hath") "th" sounds. In fact, we even had 2 letters for them: thorn and eth. Alas, we lost them when English printers started using type imported from Italy and Germany. Probably the letter "g" is another one not widely seen as such in many tongues. We also muck around with the "r" sound so much that it depends where you live and when you lived as to the "proper" pronunciation (or lack of pronunciation "altogetha").

English vowels are notoriously sloppy, often being pronounced as dipthongs even when written as a single letter. And we don't distinguish the "t" in talent from the "t" in Taliban (I can't typeset the dot underneath). In fact, we're likely to say "TAliban instead.

On the other hand, pronouncing 't' as 'd', or "th" as 't' will generally get noticed.

You really can't go wrong using the BBC video and podcasts as a reference, And unlike the old days when you had noisy shortwave broadcasts, you can hear them in high-fidelity stereo and replay them as many times as you like. And they're still more or less the "standard" (Received Pronunciation) for the language. The literal Queen's English, on the other hand is practically a dialect of its own. She's been working on modernising it in recent years lest she become unintelligible to her subjects.

You can also, if you like, contrast BBC to American news and entertainment sources. US English varies regionally, just like its mother, but aside from the spelling, one of the key differences is that UK English pronunciation tends to anglicise words that it has pilfered from other languages rather brutally, viz: "Nic-ar-AG-u-a", "jag-u-ar".  American is usually closer to the original, "Nic-ar-ag-wa", "jag-war". Not the best examples, perhaps, because most of us can't manage the Spanish "g", but at least we honor the syllabification a bit more.
 
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There are of course a few exceptions to all such rules, “tomato” being one of the best known
 
Tim Holloway
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:There are of course a few exceptions to all such rules, “tomato” being one of the best known



tomAEto, tomAHto, potAEto, potAH - eh, what's "taters", precious?

I'll grant that one to you, though. The Nahuatl word is "tomatl", which became in Spanish, "tomate", and whether the "ate" threw some of us of or if it was something else, I don't know.

 
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Here's a nice video on Youtube:
 
Greenhorn
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English is my second language and it seems to me that,when it comes to speaking and pronunciation, listening to native media like podcasts, plays a big role. While listening, you are getting familiar with the language sound's system and after many hours, you start to develop good intuition of how the language is supposed to sound. Then, with that intuition, the practice of speaking becomes easier because you know how the phrase you want to say should sound and you can self-correct.

When it comes to actually practising, mirroring(reapeating after chosen person) worked for me much better than studying books about pronunciation.

Intrestingly enough, this is the way that all of us actually learned how to speak. We were listening and repeating. Of course, according to science, age plays a role in learning a language and specifically in acquiring an accent. With that being said, it's possible that we can still benefit from that observation and maybe try something else other than the textbooks.

I noticed big improvement in speaking ability after doing what I've described above for few months. So did a few of my English teaching friends. Maybe this approach would be good for you too. Good luck.
 
Tim Holloway
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Dawid Smith wrote:
When it comes to actually practising, mirroring(reapeating after chosen person) worked for me much better than studying books about pronunciation.



You really shouldn't believe what books say, anyway. They frequently assert that certain sounds "don't exist" in Language X, but you can plainly hear them (although usually weakened) if you actually listen to native speakers.

And forget about pronouncing things as you read them. Virtually no languages pronounce exactly as written. Possibly excepting Standard Arabic, but that's a formal language, not a "natural" one. French is notorious for all the letters you don't pronounce, Polish managed to make "Lodz" pronounce as "wooz". Gaelic is a nightmare. And English is probably the grossest offender of them all, thanks to its habit of plundering words wholesale and more or less keeping their original spelling despite differences in how alphabets are used. And, of course due to the sound mutations over the centuries, even the native and Anglo-Saxon mother language contributions have only light correspondence to their present-day spelling.
 
Dawid Smith
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Tim Holloway wrote:

Dawid Smith wrote:
When it comes to actually practising, mirroring(reapeating after chosen person) worked for me much better than studying books about pronunciation.



You really shouldn't believe what books say, anyway. They frequently assert that certain sounds "don't exist" in Language X, but you can plainly hear them (although usually weakened) if you actually listen to native speakers.

And forget about pronouncing things as you read them. Virtually no languages pronounce exactly as written. Possibly excepting Standard Arabic, but that's a formal language, not a "natural" one. French is notorious for all the letters you don't pronounce, Polish managed to make "Lodz" pronounce as "wooz". Gaelic is a nightmare. And English is probably the grossest offender of them all, thanks to its habit of plundering words wholesale and more or less keeping their original spelling despite differences in how alphabets are used. And, of course due to the sound mutations over the centuries, even the native and Anglo-Saxon mother language contributions have only light correspondence to their present-day spelling.



Disclaimer : not a language expert here. Just trying to figure out the best ways to learn

"Łódź" is actually not the best example. It's pronounced the way it should be ; as "wodź". The last consonant can be confusing because there is no English equivalent of that kind of sound. Source : I am Polish . I am just nitpicking though. I am not sure if I get your point because the fact that something isn't pronounced the way it's written isn't a big problem if textbooks provide information about it. Let's take a common word like "comfortable" for example.  Here, in the British pronouncation, the "or" part in the middle is mute and I was instructed not to pronounce it. Perhaps, the better example would be Japanese language where discrepancy between reading and writing of certain words is common knowledge and it's being tought in every book/course.

I acknowledge the fact the languages are constantly evolving though and that,in my eyes, is one of the most important reasons why learning from native sources is so beneficial. I assume that the endgame of learning a language is to get as close as possible to a level of a native speaker. That means we have to embrace the modern version of a given language. Sometimes the textbooks just can't keep up with the pace.
 
Tim Holloway
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It's not a matter of textbooks being out of date, so much as just plain misleading. German, for example, isn't - according to the textbooks - supposed to have a sound like the English "w" sound and we are taught as English speakers learning German, that "zwo", should be pronounced as "tsvo". But in fact, what I've heard in everyday usage is closer to how we'd pronounce it in English, losing the "t" and with an English-like "w".

Spanish texts tell me that "b" and "v" are pronounced as "b", but in truth, they are - depending on what dialect I'm hearing - generally softer versions of the English "b" and "v", and not identical sounds. And so forth.

Japanese is a good example also, since certain sounds are primarily spelled that way merely to accommodate the constraints of the katakana/hiragana syllabaries, but they also are sometimes "half-pronounced" and occasionally get full credit and no, most written texts won't bother to point out which is which.

 
Campbell Ritchie
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Dawid Smith wrote:. . . a common word like "comfortable" for example.  Here, in the British pronouncation, the "or" part in the middle is mute . . . .

Depends where you live. Where I grew up, the “or” was pronounced as a shwa; thirty miles away the word was pronounced comftable with the “or” completely mute.
 
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