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The American Accent: Pronunciation Of The Vowels

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The English Vowel SOUNDS Many learners of English have a distinct accent because they pronounce English with the vowels of their language. They commit this error because the English vowels are "something like" the vowel sounds of their native language, but they are not the same! It is not enough to listen to radio and TV. Most people will only hear the sounds of their native language and will not learn how to pronounce the different sounds of a new language such as Engl...

The English Vowel SOUNDS Many learners of English have a distinct accent because they pronounce English with the vowels of their language. They commit this error because the English vowels are "something like" the vowel sounds of their native language, but they are not the same! It is not enough to listen to radio and TV. Most people will only hear the sounds of their native language and will not learn how to pronounce the different sounds of a new language such as English. It is useful to use a course with recordings of the language you are learning. A good one - and also economical - can be found at http://www.bookslibros.com/charlesieENGLISH.htm. A larger list of resopurces can be found in: http://www.goodaccent.com/accentbooks.htm Let's look at the "pure" vowels that are present in many languages. They are called pure because they have fixed sound, like that of a note of well-tuned musical instrument. These vowels are formed with no interference by the lips, teeth or tongue. It is important to remember that when we speak of the vowels a, e, i, o, u, we are speaking of the vowel sounds, not of the lettersof the alphabet. This is very important to remember in English because the same letter often represents a different sound in the English spelling. We will indicate the sounds by enclosing them in brackets: /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/, and the letters in quotes: "a", "e", "i", "o", "u". In the following section, you can get a quick look at the English vowels that sound "something like" the vowel sounds represented by the letters "a", "e", "i", "o", "u" in many languages. In the rest of the book, we will look at them with more detail and you will also be able to listen to them pronounced. (For the book but only available in Spanish see: http://www.bookslibros.com/TuCD.htm) We will also look at the other English vowel sounds that are peculiar to English and are NOT found in most other languages. The following sounds of English are similar (not the same!) to the sounds /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/ in your language.
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