The US state names can be tricky. In this 4-video series, I’ll go over how to pronounce each one of the state names. Remember, people from different regions might use a different pronunciation for some of the names.
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The pronunciation of the 50 states in America, in alphabetical order. First, Alabama. Alabama has 4 A’s in it. Two are pronounced aa, with the life, ‘aa’ as in ‘bat’, and two as the schwa, uh, uh. Very relaxed, very different from how much you have to work for the aa. Alabama. You can see my mouth goes: Alabama, Alabama. Alaska: Again, they’re 3 A’s, and the middle one has the ‘aa’ as in ‘bat’ and the other two are schwa. Alaska. Arizona: It beings with an A, but it’s pronounced as the ‘er’ as in ‘bare’ (now ‘share’), being followed by the R. Arizona. Arkansas: This state name is funny because it’s spelled exactly like the state Kansas, with two extra letters on the front, ‘Ar-‘. However, it is not pronounced at all like ‘Ar-Kansas’, it’s pronounced Arkansas, Arkansas. Now, this state is also a good example of: sometimes in English, in a word that has a syllable that is unstressed, there is practically no vowel sound at all. Ar-cn, cn is the middle syllable. Arkansas, Arkansas. It has very little emphasis and almost no vowel whatsoever. Uh, uh. It’s more just like a little quick sound before you get into the next syllable. Arkansas.
California. This state, often the first I is too well-pronounced: Cal-ee, Cal-ee. It’s ih, it’s the relaxed ih. California, nia. So neither of the I’s in this word are pronounced like a sharp ee sound. California, California. Colorado. Now different people in the States do pronounce this state name differently. I personally pronounce it Colorado. Co, this is like the ‘aw’ as in ‘law’, even though it is spelled as an O. Col-uh, uh, schwa, ra-, again, that ‘aw’ as in ‘law’, Colorado. ‘Oh’ as in ‘no’ is the last sound. Colorado. Connecticut. Now this state name actually contains the word ‘connect’, but it’s not pronounced like that within the state name. First of all the C, that second C, is silent. And then the T is not pronounced as a tt, but more like a D. Connecticut. Delaware. Now, this state name contains the W sound, which is sometimes tricky, so you have to be careful when you watch the mouth – Delaware – that it comes in like that. Delaware.
Florida. This is my home state. And actually, when I was traveling abroad and I would say, Oh, I’m from Florida, people would say Where? And then they would say Oh, Florida! Florida Well, as you can see when I pronounce it, the I is not even pronounced at all. It’s two syllables. Flor-da. However, some people do bring the I into the mix a little bit, and that is perfectly acceptable: Flori-, Flori-, but it’s really not its own syllable. It’s not Flor-ee. Flor-i, Florida, Florida. Georgia. Now, both the vowels that come after the G’s in this state name, the first an E and the second an I, are not pronounced as sounds themselves, they are there to tell us how to pronounce the G’s. So they’ll be a jj instead of a gg sound. Geor – gia. Georgia. Hawaii. Now this comes not from the English language, but from the native language of the Hawaiians. Hawaii is how we pronounce it. I am sure that in Hawaii, the Hawaiians pronounce it with a more authentic accent. But in general, in America, we call this state Hawaii. Idaho. Idaho, all of the letters in this word are pronounced like we would expect them to be: Idaho.