The word ENTREPRENEUR, which comes to us from French, is really tough! Learn how to pronounce this word as we walk through each sound step-by-step. Get Rachel’s Book! http://www.RachelsEnglish.com/book
YouTube blocked? Click here to see the video.
In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over the pronunciation of the word ‘entrepreneur’.
This is a tough word, and I’ve gotten lots of requests for it. Thanks for putting in your request, I’m glad to do it for you.
This word is four syllables, with stress on the last syllable. A lot of words in English with last-syllable stress come from French, just like this word. The stress pattern is da-da-da-DA. The last syllable is the loudest and most clear. The first three can be simplified a little bit: entrepre-, entrepre-, entrepreneur. There is another acceptable pronunciation, ‘entrepreneur’ (noor), but ‘entrepreneur’ is more common.
Let’s look at close up video of this word and discuss its pronunciation.
First we have the AH as in FATHER vowel. The jaw drops for the vowel, and the tongue presses down a little in the back. AH, AHN, en, -en. Then the front, flat part of the tongue goes to the roof of the mouth for the N. You can see the lips are starting to flare a bit in preparation for the R sound. Next we have the TR consonant cluster, but most people will pronounce this CH-R, chruh, chruh, entre-. The lips flare and the teeth come almost together for the CH, ench-. Then the lips come into even a tighter circle for the R. You can’t see it because of the lips, but the tip of the tongue pulls back and up to make the R sound. Then the tongue releases forward for the schwa as the lips come together for the P consonant, entrep-. This next syllable happens very fast. The lips part and quickly make an R-schwa before the stressed syllable: pre-, pre-, pre-. Entrepre-, Entrepre-.
And the tongue lifts to the roof of the mouth for the N consonant. Watch the tongue tip come down: it doesn’t come all the way down because again the tongue pulls back and up for the R vowel and consonant: Urr. Lips are flared. Let’s watch the stressed syllable again. Tongue is up for the N, then pulls back and up for the UR vowel, R consonant. -Neur, -neur.
Let’s break up the word into the unstressed syllables and stressed syllable. Repeat with me several times to make this sequence of sounds more comfortable:
Notice I’m keeping these syllables flatter and lower in pitch, entrepre- -neur, compared to the stressed syllable.
Now that you’ve learned that, I’m going to give you one simplification. You can get away with dropping the first R. But do make a CH sound instead of a T, that makes us think there’s an R there.
en-che-pre, en-che-pre, en-che-pre
-neur, -neur. Don’t forget to bring the pitch of your voice down. That rounded down shape makes it a stressed syllable. –Neur. –Neur. –Neur.
en-tre-pre-NEUR. Let’s watch the slow motion video one more time.
I hope this video has made the word ‘entrepreneur’ easier to pronounce. If there’s a word or phrase you’d like help pronouncing, put it in the comments below.
Also, I’m happy to tell you my book American English Pronunciation is available for purchase. If you want an organized, step-by-step resource to build your American accent, click here to get the book, or see the description below. I think you’re going to love it.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.