I’ve made a lot of videos that go over how to pronounce specific words, but I can’t make a video for every word. This video shows you resources that already exist on the internet to help you pronounce any word.
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I often get emails from users asking how to pronounce specific words. Today I’m going to show you three different online resources that will help you figure this out on your own. First, dictionary.com. Let’s use the word ‘attain’. The default on dictionary.com is their own pronunciation guide. But you can see the link here, show IPA, and when you click it, it brings up the international phonetic alphabet transcription of the word — the same pronunciation symbols that my website uses. So you can see here, ‘attain’ begins with the unaccented schwa syllable. This little mark means that the next syllable is stressed. So the stressed syllable begins with the T consonant, has the ‘ay’ as in ‘say’ diphthong, and the N consonant. When you press the speaker icon, you can hear a short audio clip of a native speaker saying the word. Attain.The next site I want to show you is the Cambridge Dictionary of American English. So again, we’ll look up the word ‘attain’. Here you see the IPA transcription of the word. And again, there’s a speaker icon, where you can hear a different native speaker saying the word. Attain. So, in both of these great resources, you can hear the word pronounced by a native speaker, but you can also see the International Phonetic Alphabet transcription of the word.
And here’s a site called howjsay.com. Again, we’ll look at the word ‘attain’. Attain. There’s no transcription here, but again you get a third opportunity to hear a different person saying the word. To hear the word a second time, just move the cursor over the word again. Attain. The default pronunciation for this site is British English. But for some words they will give you both British English and American English. For example, on the word ‘water’. Water, American, water. One thing I really like about this site is that you can type multiple words separated by a semicolon to bring them up in one batch. Then you can move quickly from audio file to audio file. This will help you if you have multiple words that sound the same to you — if you’re not quite sure how to differentiate the words. Seen, sing. I encourage you to take advantage of these wonderful free resources on the web as you work on your pronunciation. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.