We all have been judged somewhere because of our communications, especially how we pronounce the words. It is very important to speak the sounds right especially in the English language. The importance of pronunciation in communication cannot be denied. Here the pronunciation of the words matters a lot in conveying the exact meaning of the words. Some words are pronounced the same but have different spellings, some words have the same spellings but when pronounced have different meanings. For example:
‘There’ and ‘their’ have the same sounds but different meanings. Such words are known as homophones.
‘Present’ has two meanings. ‘PREsent’ means existing whereas ‘preSENT’ means gift.
Such words that are spelt/ said the same, but have different meanings are known as homonym.
The letters of alphabets, in the English language, has 21 consonants and 5 vowels. These vowels are: ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘o’, ‘u’. A vowel letter represents a sound made when the voice passes without obstruction through the vocal cavities. The consonants, which comprise the remaining letters represent sounds made when the voice or breath is obstructed by the teeth, lips, tongue, or soft palate. Consonants form syllables only in combination with vowels, hence the master key to correct pronunciation is the knowledge and use of the proper sound values of the vowels, separately and in combination.
There are few problems that are likely to cause wrong pronunciations:
1. MTI-Mother-tongue Influence:
It has a huge impact on the sounds and pronunciation of the words. Few sounds tend to restrict or flow-based upon how heavily one has the influence of their mother-tongue on their language.
The words sound different in different places. Every place has a different accent. American, Britain even India has a different accent on their own- North Indian and South Indian have different sounds while speaking or ending the sentences.
3. Lack of Practice:
Lack of practice majorly affects poor pronunciation. Languages are best learnt when they are thoroughly practised and rehearsed. There are words where a letter is silent like ‘Island’ and where they are not like ‘Iron’. Then there are words where the same letter sounds differently, like gigantic.
Pronunciation affects communication. Poor pronunciation and bad sounds have their own disadvantages. Bad pronunciations always make a poor impression. They cause embarrassment in public. You are most likely to not achieve the thing if your communication is bad. You are avoided, made fun of or are taken granted for. The wrong pronunciation can cause confusion and misunderstandings. It tends to also convey the wrong messages. They crawl in due to speaking too fast and carelessly. It can be avoided by hearing the correct pronunciation of the words, reading and talking, asking people for the correct pronunciation, watching English channels or simple enrolling yourself into communication classes. It can be improved by following the following ways:
1. Communication classes:
It is an easy way to improve your pronunciation and communication skills. The classes like Engear Education not just help in improving communication skills but also in grooming the personality. These classes guide us in building our personality and bringing out the best of it. Their guided assistance helps in achieving the goal in a stipulated time.
If you want to improve your hold on a language practice it as much as you can. Read as much as it is possible. Read novels, newspapers, dictionary etc. Watching movies, news channels in the language you want to learn helps a lot. Practice the dialogues of the movies and improve your pronunciation and speed. Practice shadow reading and reading out loud in front of the mirror or a person.
3. Tongue Twisters:
Tongue twisters help in unlearning and learning. It helps in building new muscle memory for the tongues for new words and their complex pronunciations. Tongue twisters are hard but you don’t have to ace it in one go. Take your time. Some tongue twisters to your help are:
· She sells seashells at the seashores.
· Betty brought some butter but the butter was bitter so she bought some better butter to make the bitter butter better.
Like it is always said, English is a very funny language. It has its own set of rules and exceptions. The correct pronunciation of the words is as important as the meaning of the words. Every word has different sounds, depending upon its meaning, its geography and its history. American and British English have altogether different sounds and so does Indian English. These pronunciations of the words also form the accent of a person. The sounds of the words help in learning, understanding and having a better hold over the language.
Good communication helps you to instil self-esteem and confidence. You tend to become more confident in speaking and presenting your opinions. It improves how you carry yourself around people.