When communicating English with foreigners, the most important thing is to pronounce correctly. But in English there are many pairs of pronunciations whose pronunciation is almost the same, leading to confusion when communicating. Therefore, people who learn to pronounce English need to understand these sounds in order to avoid misunderstandings.
Unclear pronunciation of long vowels and short vowels
In English, there are many words that are almost the same in writing, but theỉ pronunciation are different. The pronunciation of these words helps us to recognize words and their meanings. However, many of our English pronunciation learners do not pay much attention to the distinction between long vowels and short vowels that make confusion in communication.
The two most confusing pairs of vowels are /i/ and / i: /; / u / and / u: /. Let’s try to read the following two conversation examples:
- / i / and / i: /
A: He’s a son of the beach. He always wants to live in the coastal region.
B: What? Son of the bitch?
A: No, the beach. He’s from a coastal area.
B: Oh, son of the beach.
Beach / [bi: t∫ / while bitch / bit∫ /, they are just different in one sound but their meaning are so far away.
- / u / and / u: /
A: What food do you have for your lunch?
B: Foot? I do not eat my foot.
A: No, food. Your meal.
B: Oh, food.
Food / fu: d / while foot / fut /, how can feet be eaten?
Do not pronounce the last consonant
Vietnamese does not have the final sound, so when you learn to pronounce English, you often forget it. But in English, the final consonant plays an extremely important role in helping the other person recognize what word you are mentioning. For example, “kind / kaid /” and “kite / kait /”. These two words are all the same, just different in the last syllable. Basing on the final sound / d / or / t / we can know whether the speaker is referring to “kite” or “type”.
If you omit the final consonant or confusing vowel pairs that are likely to cause misunderstanding, your communication process will not achieve the desired effect. Therefore, practice the English pronunciation carefully so that there will not be such misunderstandings.