Tagged With: Comparison
These two consonant sounds can be confusing. The mouth positions are quite different. Study the positions and practice – you can make them both clearly!
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Buzz, budge. Can you say these two words, or does the ending confuse you? In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over these two sounds.Today we’re comparing the ZZ and the JJ sound. One of the differences is that the zz sound can be held continuously, zzzz. The JJ sound, on the other hand, has a stop component, jj, jj, jj, jj. So I have to pulse that because there’s a stop in the airflow. But the difference between these two sounds doesn’t stop there. There’s a difference in the tongue position and also the lip position. Let’s look at some pictures.
First, let’s look at the lip position. You can see in the left, in the zz sound, that the lips are more relaxed. The corners are actually pulling out a little bit. But in the jj sound, on the left, there’s more tension in the lips. The corners of the lips are coming in, bringing the lips into a circle, while the lips themselves flare out. For the Z sound, the tongue tip touches lightly behind the bottom front teeth while the front part pushes up a bit. In the jj sound, the tongue tip isn’t touching. So it’s pulled slightly back while the front part of the top of the tongue is lifting towards the roof of the mouth.
Now let’s look at a minimal pair up close and in slow motion.
Jest. you can clearly see how the lips come in but also flare for the jj sound. And now, zest, where the corners of the lips remain wide for the Z sound.
More minimal pairs: jealous, zealous. Joan, zone. Jenn, zen. Fridge, frizz. Budge, buzz.
If you have difficulties with these two sounds, you’re probably going to have to practice them over and over in isolation. Then bring them into just a word part, and then eventually the whole word. You’re going to have to do it slowly, thoughtfully, and repetitiously in order to get the correct sound into your habit.
Take, for example, the word ‘enjoy’, with the jj sound. First, practice just the sound. Jj, jj, jj, jj. Then the sound as part of a syllable. joy. joy. joy. joy. joy. Then bring it into the entire word. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.
Or, the word ‘dozen’, with the zz sound. First, isolate just the sound. Zz, zz, zz, zz, zz. Then, that sound as part of a syllable. zen. zen. zen. zen. zen. zen. zen. And then, as part of the whole word. Dozen. Dozen. Dozen. Dozen. Dozen.
I hope this video has helped to make it more clear: the difference between these two sounds.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.