This word is interesting because the unstressed syllable, ‘-load’, is stressed in American English on its own as the word ‘load’. Study how different it sounds stressed and unstressed. 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 ‘download’.
This week’s Word of the Week is ‘download’. Thanks so much to the fan who suggested it. This is a two-syllable word with stress on the first syllable. DA-da, download. So the first syllable will be longer than the second. DA-da, download.
We begin with the D consonant sound. Teeth are together, and the front, flat part of the tongue is at the roof of the mouth, and I’m voicing it, dd, dd. Next we have the OW as in NOW diphthong. The main issue my students have with this sound is that they don’t drop their jaw enough for the first half of this diphthong. Do-, you really do need to drop it. Dow-. The lips will circle in for the second half of the diphthong, do-. So the jaw will come up, and the tongue will lift to the roof of the mouth for the N. The front part of the tongue should be flat and wide when it goes to the roof of the mouth. Some people will make it more narrow and make it stiff, put some tension in it. That will probably make it sound somewhat more like an NG. So make sure it’s flat and relaxed, nn, all the way forward in the mouth. To transition from the N to the L, push the tip of the tongue against the back of the front top teeth. This will engage the tip, instead of the top flat part of the tongue, which will make it sound more like the L. Next is the OH diphthong. Because we’re in an unstressed syllable, the jaw will drop a little less for this first sound of the diphthong than it would have in a stressed syllable, -lo-, -lo-. The lips will then round in for the second half of the diphthong. Downloa-dd. And we end with a D. Most native speakers won’t release the D, download, dd, dd, but will just make it a stop, download. So, they’ll bring the tongue up into position and stop the air in their throat. Download, download. Since it’s unstressed, we may take some of the energy out of the voice here, -load, -load, -load. Download. So, it won’t sound the same way ‘load’ would in a sentence, where it would be stressed. “That’s a heavy load”, load, load. Download, -load, -load. Load, -load. We’ve got to make it unstressed. Download. Download.
I’ll download that later.
Here it is in slow motion.
If there’s a word you find difficult to pronounce, suggest it in the comments.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.