In American English, you can drop the T after N, and you’ll hear this a lot with the word ‘Santa’. Come looking for Santas with me in New York City during ‘Santa Con’.
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Hey guys! In this American English pronunciation video, you’re going to learn how to pronounce ‘Santa’.
What is ‘Santa’? ‘Santa’ is short for ‘Santa Claus’, the fictional character that brings children presents on Christmas Eve.
It’s a snowy December Saturday here in New York, I love snow, so I’m very excited. I’ve been waiting for this all year. But, this Saturday is special. It’s called SantaCon. And this means that everyone dresses up in Santa costumes, and goes out drinking in bars. It can get a little rowdy. But, a lot of people come in from the surrounding area. And I think they were estimating around 30,000 Santas would be coming to New York.
So, let’s go over the pronunciation of the word ‘Santa’. The word ‘Santa’. There are two A’s here, but they’re not pronounced the same. One is in a stressed syllable, and one is in an unstressed syllable. The one in the stressed syllable is the AA vowel. But, it’s not a normal AA vowel because it’s followed by a nasal consonant.
But, let’s start at the beginning. It’s a two-syllable word with stress on the first syllable. So, it’s DA-da, DA-da, Santa. Make sure that first syllable is longer. We start with the S consonant, where the teeth come together, ss. Tongue tip points down. Sssa-. Then we go into the un-pure AA vowel, aa-uh, so the jaw drops, the tongue tip is here, and the back part of the tongue reaches up toward the soft palate. But then it relaxes down, which is why it turns from an AA into a UH. AA-uh, AA-uh. We sort of relax everything before we bring the front part of the tongue up for the N. San-, San-.
Now we have a T. It comes after an N, so sometimes native speakers will drop that. It can either be ‘Santa’, tt, tt, tt, with a True T, or ‘Sanna’, with no T. Either one is ok, you can do whichever one is easiest for you. Then we end with the schwa sound. So, it should be really short, uh, uh, and totally relaxed. Sanna, Santa. Now let’s see if we can go find some Santas!
Santas across the street.
Santa having a smoke.
Santa with a dancing elf.
Santas crossing the street.
SantaCon, the morning after.
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