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Everything you Need to Know About Improving Foreign Language Pronunciation

Everything you Need to Know About Improving Foreign Language Pronunciation

One of the most popular questions we are asked is: “How can I improve my pronunciation?”. Pronunciation is an integral part of language, it plays a big role in communication, building empathy with your interlocutor, as well as creating a virtuous, motivational circle: native speakers’ being surprised at the way you pronounce their language can be an enormous boost of motivation and confidence, which will help you  to keep improving your language skills.

That’s why today we’ve invited Olle Linge, the author of Hacking Chinese, onto the show, he’s currently enrolled on a master’s program for teaching Chinese as a second language, in Taipei.

Olle’s obsession with mastering foreign language pronunciation has led him on his journey to find the best methods for improving the way we pronounce foreign languages.

In this episode of the podcast we discuss:

  • How to train your ears to distinguish similar sounds in a foreign language
  • How to learn the pronunciation of words at the start of your language learning journey
  • The path to sounding like a native
  • The best ways to get honest feedback on your pronunciation
  • How to manipulate the production of sound coming out of your mouth
  • How to constantly improve your pronunciation.
  • And much more…

Quotes:

[Tweet ““Very few people can receive criticism for something they do with a perfectly open mind and a positive attitude.””]

[Tweet ““If you want to speak or write quickly, you should start out by doing it slowly.””]

[Tweet ““Recording one’s own voice is useful and should be a natural part of both learning and teaching.””]

Links:

Olle’s Blog: http://www.hackingchinese.com/
Olle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HackingChinese
Olle on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HackingChinese

What do YOU do to improve your PRONUNCIATION?

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  • http://parispassionnee.tumblr.com Anna

    Great show! I feel like one major obstacle to good pronunciation can be interference from seeing the language written down (especially if the language uses the same writing system or you’re using a romanized script).

    I had so much trouble when I first started learning Irish due to the phonology being so different that I had to start out with audio-only resources. Now that my Irish is a bit better, I feel like some of the written form is creeping into my listening comprehension. When I hear a word I sort of recognize, I can’t help but picture the written form floating around in my mind and I start shoehorning letters I know are in the written word into what I heard (an example: some people don’t really pronounce the “g” in “agat” in the phrase “Go raibh maith agat” yet when I hear it pronounced this way I still try to force that “g” in there).

    I feel like some people in my French classes had their pronunciation forever ruined by seeing it written down from the beginning and would have been better off starting with audio only. I know a lot of people hate audio only courses because they feel that being visual learners they need to see it written down to remember it. But I think it might be worth the struggle in the beginning to start off with developing the ear and getting more accurate pronunciation.

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