How do you pronounce this long word? Learn how to practice this word by breaking it down sound by sound, knowing what’s stressed and what’s not. Then put it all together to feel confident using this word in American English conversation.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over the pronunciation of the word ‘international’.
This week’s “word of the week” is ‘international’.
This is a five syllable word with secondary stress on the first syllable and primary stress on the third syllable.
The first syllable has the IH as in SIT vowel followed by the N consonant sound. In-, in-. Your jaw needs to drop, just a little bit for that vowel. For the N the tongue will go to the roof of the mouth. In-, in-.
Now here we have a T after an N. Some people will drop this entirely. No T sound at all. International, international.
If you choose to make the T sound do make it a true T. Inter, inter. So your tongue is already in position there for the T the teeth have to come together. In- -t-, -t-. And then they will part lightly as the air escapes. In-ter-, In-er-.
Next we have the schwa R sound. Don’t worry about making a separate schwa sound, the R takes it over, -Er-, -er-. So your tongue will pull back for that sound. –Er-, -er-. So the tip will be touching anything. Iner-, inter-. Now we have with the stressed syllable. Na. So the tongue will go to the roof of the mouth for the N. Nnnnna.
Then we have the AA, as in BAT vowel. Lots of jaw drop needed for that. Also the corners of your lips may pull up a little bit exposing some of your top teeth. –Na-, -na-, iner-na-, inter-na-.
Now we have two unstressed syllables. The first is the shhhh schwa N sound. –Shn-, -shn-, -shn-. So the lips will flare a bit for the SH. Shn-, -shn-.
Tongue tip is down but then it will go up to the roof of the mouth for the N. –Shn-, -shn-.
Next we have the schwa dark L sound. Again you don’t need to worry about making a separate schwa sound. Just make the dark part of the dark L. So to make this sound the tongue which is flat will stretch back in the back, so that goes towards the throat –L-, -l-. That’s what makes the dark sound. International, international.
Now you may choose to bring the tongue tip up to the roof of the mouth to finish the dark L but many native speakers will leave that out. And will just define a sound with the dark part. –L-, -l-. International. I have an international audience.
That’s it your “word of the week”. If there is a word you would like to suggest for the “word of the week” put it in the comments below.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.